Significant water leak at National Archives led to “concerning” discovery of asbestos beneath floors

A major leak at the National Archives caused suspended ceilings to collapse, disturbed flooring, damaged document storage boxes on four different levels, and the discovery of asbestos in the building.

An internal report said the leak occurred after the valve on a high-pressure hose “perished” leading to a steady flow of water that began to flow throughout the building.

It said water had seeped through the National Archives premises in Dublin affecting all six floors, file storage areas, and the ground floor reception.

However, the report said they were fortunate that much of the damage had been cosmetic and that no archival records had been lost during the event.

It said: “The most concerning damage was to the flooring in the third-floor workroom and the possible presence of asbestos.

“Most importantly, no records suffered any significant damage, and no records were lost.”