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THE SAORSTAT CENSUS 1926

Kildare Observer 10 April 1926
The Saorstat Census

INTRICATE WORK NOW IN PROGRESS

The work of compiling the 1926 census of the Irish Free State is going ahead energetically.
All the forms have now being distributed to the number of 850,000. This is in excess of the number actually required, which should be about 656,000; but the margin will cover possibilities as to anything going wrong, and also the difficulty of knowing the exact number of houses in each locality. The work in the Civic Guard barracks is brisk, and as the members of that force are not as numerous as the old R.I.C., with consequent larger districts, it is conceivable that there may be some little delay in collecting the forms.

ELABORATE PLANS
As to the filling of the forms, the officials have gone to great lengths to try to simplify the matter. From the Department letters have been sent to the clergy enclosing pattern forms and instructions for filling them, and priests and clergy of other denominations are asked to exhort the people to take care of the forms and study them, and make a success of the census.
They are also asked to exhibit outside the churches placards of an explanatory nature which have been supplied. Letters were also sent to the principal employers, asking them to bring the matter under the notice of those in their employment and generally to advise and help them to fill up the forms correctly. Communications of a similar kind were sent to large farmers who might be able to reach numbers of labourers. The importance of the matter is further to be brought home to the people by posters exhibited outside the various post offices and Civic Guard barracks in the country. Labour organisations, employers’ organisations and such bodies as Chambers of Commerce, Harbour Commissioners, etc., are being communicated with from headquarters.

IN THE SCHOOLS
The officials are relying greatly on a course of lessons to be given in National, Secondary, and day technical schools in the work immediately preceding the census.
A model lesson has been drawn up for the teachers, and it is hoped that the latter will show initiative in the matter, and give examples suitable to the types of families to which the children belong.
About 50,000 pattern census forms are being used in connection with this part of the general scheme of instructions.
As an instance of some of the unusual classes of work that face compilers, it might be mentioned that every inmate of the Dublin Union would be regarded in practice as part of a large family. Officials, with their families, who live within such an institution, would have to appear on separate forms. The distribution of the forms throughout the country must be completed before the night of April 17, and the collection is to commence on the following Monday.

Kildare Observer 29 May 1926
The Saorstat Census

FIRST RETURN IN A MONTH

The first return in the Saorstat census is expected in about a month, Mr. McGilligan told Mr. Johnson (Lab.) during the debate on the vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce.
“Are all the forms collected yet?” queried Mr. Davin (Lab.)
Mr. McGilligan said he heard some forms were being collected last Thursday (20th), but these, he understood, were the last. He was not aware that there were any forms not yet collected.
It would have been quite easy and much more rapid if the enumerators had been asked to go around and merely collect the forms; but if they gave the enumerator strict instructions to see that the forms were filled in properly, then it was natural that it was going to be a longer task.
If that had not been done it would have meant, in cases where the forms were not correctly filled, that the enumerator would again have to visit such households to try to get the correct information.
When he made the statement that the first return of collected information would be available in a month, he said that under the impression that all the forms had been collected. If the collection were not completed, that month would not run from that day.
In the coming year it was proposed to take a census of agricultural production – from June next to May, 1927
Mr. Baxter (Far.) welcomed the announcement with regard to a census of production. If, however, that work was to be done effectively, it would be much more difficult task that was incurred in connection with the census of population. A census of production was overdue.

The first return in the Saorstat census is expected in about a month, Mr. McGilligan told Mr. Johnson (Lab.) during the debate on the vote for the Department of Industry and Commerce.“Are all the forms collected yet?” queried Mr. Davin (Lab.)Mr. McGilligan said he heard some forms were being collected last Thursday (20th), but these, he understood, were the last. He was not aware that there were any forms not yet collected.It would have been quite easy and much more rapid if the enumerators had been asked to go around and merely collect the forms; but if they gave the enumerator strict instructions to see that the forms were filled in properly, then it was natural that it was going to be a longer task.If that had not been done it would have meant, in cases where the forms were not correctly filled, that the enumerator would again have to visit such households to try to get the correct information.When he made the statement that the first return of collected information would be available in a month, he said that under the impression that all the forms had been collected. If the collection were not completed, that month would not run from that day.In the coming year it was proposed to take a census of agricultural production – from June next to May, 1927Mr. Baxter (Far.) welcomed the announcement with regard to a census of production. If, however, that work was to be done effectively, it would be much more difficult task that was incurred in connection with the census of population. A census of production was overdue.

Kildare Observer reports on the progress of the Saorstate Census of 1926


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