Friday 16 November 2018

Why I'm 'donating' my archive

 

Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda
Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

After much soul searching, and having consulted with my family, I feel that the time has come for me to ''donate'' my archives to the State. I would like to see it go to the National Library, or maybe they could put it with the Book of Kells in that room in Trinity. While it might not draw the same queues as the Book of Kells, I feel there would be a certain initial flurry of interest, as former friends, girlfriends and people who no longer speak to me come in for a gawk. We would need an indexing system of course, so people could access material relating to themselves quickly and easily.

Many people are asking me why I have chosen to take this step. I suppose one thing is that I have been deeply affected by the various campaigns around archive donation. The Government is always trying to get more people to be donors, so I want to set a good example. Indeed I agree with those who argue donation should work on an opt-out basis, so the State takes your archive unless you ask them not to.

Many of you have been asking if I'm influenced by Neil Jordan and others ''donating'' their archives and getting a couple of million in a tax write-off. To which I would say, no. This is not about money. But obviously I will take the tax write-off. It would be rude not to.

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