Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 allows the public to request and obtain records held by a wide range of public bodies including the HRB. This access, as stated in the Act, should be to the ‘greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy’. It gives every person;

  • the right to access records held by the HRB
  • the right to have personal information about them and held by the HRB corrected or updated where the information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by the HRB that affect them.


The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it.


You should send a request either, in writing or by email, to:

FOI Officer

Health Research Board

Grattan House

67-72 Lower Mount Street

Dublin 2

D02 H638


Applications should be in writing and should include the following:

  • A statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act;
  • As much information as possible about the records being sought;
  • In what format you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies).

An application form can be downloaded here in MS Word Format and here in PDF format, but you are not required to use this application. Please return this form to or the postal address above.

Should you require assistance in identifying the records required, the FOI Officer will be happy to assist you.


The FOI Act has three types of fees:

  • those relating to the search and retrieval involved in a request
  • those relating to copying records at the prescribed rates, and
  • those relating to the appeal processes

There is no charge for submitting a request.  The FOI Act provides that a fee will only apply where the preparation time for a request exceeds 5 hours, and the fee will be capped at €500.

List of Fees

  • No fee will be charged where the cost of search and retrieval and copying is up to and including €100.
  • Search and Retrieval - €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying).  If the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the HRB can refuse to process the request.
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
  • Internal Review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders)
  • Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders)

Under the FOI Act the requester must be notified within 2 weeks (10 working days) of receipt of the request of the amount of any fee being charged.


You may appeal any decision issued by the HRB by writing to the FOI Officer, Health Research Board, Grattan House, 67-72 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, D02 H634 seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

You should make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances). The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the HRB and a decision will be communicated to you within 3 weeks.


If you are dissatisfied following the completion of an internal review, you may seek an independent review of the decision from the Information Commissioner. Also, if you have not received a reply to your request for an internal review within 3 weeks (15 working days), this is deemed to be a refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Commissioner.

Appeals in writing may be made directly to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner

6 Earlsfort Terrace

Dublin 2

D02 W773



No, the HRB routinely makes information available to the public through information leaflets, publications and in response to enquiries.  This will continue.  FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made routinely available.