Help us with The Big Dig

Update: We’ve removed date of births after a question about data protection. We don’t think we’d have a problem with it but we’re being conservtive, it’s too early to ask for readers to donate to our litigation battles! We had most of the info already and kept a copy, just removed it from the public doc…

Myself and Gavin are working on a number of long-term projects looking into the financial and business backgrounds of our public representatives.

One of these projects could be thought of as the deepest dig into the business interests of Irish politcians undertaken… well, ever. We’ll be looking at all serving TDs and their business interests (not just in Ireland), whether they’re director, manager, or shareholder, and doing similar digs on other public representatives, over the next few months.

Be assured, we have some nice shovels at our disposal.

To begin, as this is a crowdsourcing experiment, we’re asking readers for help. I’ve set up a document which can be publicly edited that we’d would love some assistance completing.

The categories that require attention are:

  • TDs Name in English (if Irish used)
  • Profession (pre-politics)
  • Date of birth
  • Partner’s name (pre-marriage and/or if possible, post-marriage)
  • Partner’s date of birth
  • Obviously, we don’t expect to be able to crowdsource all this information – I suspect there’ll be almost no available data on partner’s date of birth – but each nugget will be useful. Of course, we’ll have to confirm it ourselves before we publish any resulting stories, but this is to give us some direction.

    It also saves us a fair few hours which we can use to dig about rather than spend building the foundations of the investigation.

    All the relevant information we gather will be made public and, if applicable, connected to the KildareStreet database, upon completion of the diggin’.

    And vandals, if there are any out there, we can roll the document back to X:XXpm/am at any point, ruining it is simply a waste of your time.

    Help us find out more about your TDs’ business history

    Thanks in advance.

    8 thoughts on “Help us with The Big Dig”

    1. Have you checked out your obligations under Data Protection law? You may be able to justify compiling or collating publicly available information on politicians but if you start publishing personal information on their spouses you might be crossing a line and could be vulnerable to contravening the Data Protection Acts.

      1. None this information is not already in the public domain. Only relevant info on partners (i.e if they own a business in an industry their partner may be able to influence) will be published.

    2. Publishing D.O.B. would, in my mind, be a breech of the Data Protection Act. Collect the info privately by all means but do not publish it.

    3. right to remove dob, would displaying year of birth be too much though, collect and keep dob privately for reference.

      would a a column for sources be useful

    4. using google squared (search) you can get a list of tds, then you ask for dob’s and suddenly you have a list of most of their dobs’ is that a breach of data protection?

      perhaps it is is if you republish it…

    5. DoB is very important in doing company seaches. Some people, as directors of companies, use different addresses for different companies and the only way to check if they are the same person is by DoB

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