Data Protection Act, 1988
Restriction of right of access.
5.—(1) Section 4 of this Act does not apply to personal data—
(a) kept for the purpose of preventing, detecting or investigating offences, apprehending or prosecuting offenders or assessing or collecting any tax, duty or other moneys owed or payable to the State, a local authority or a health board, in any case in which the application of that section to the data would be likely to prejudice any of the matters aforesaid,
(b) to which, by virtue of paragraph (a) of this subsection, the said section 4 does not apply and which are kept for the purpose of discharging a function conferred by or under any enactment and consisting of information obtained for such a purpose from a person who had it in his possession for any of the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection,
(c) in any case in which the application of that section would be likely to prejudice the security of, or the maintenance of good order and discipline in—
(i) a prison,
(iii) a military prison or detention barrack within the meaning of the Defence Act, 1954 , or
(iv) Saint Patrick's Institution,
(d) kept for the purpose of performing such functions conferred by or under any enactment as may be specified by regulations made by the Minister, being functions that, in the opinion of the Minister, are designed to protect members of the public against financial loss occasioned by—
(i) dishonesty, incompetence or malpractice on the part of persons concerned in the provision of banking, insurance, investment or other financial services or in the management of companies or similar organisations, or
(ii) the conduct of persons who have at any time been adjudicated bankrupt,
in any case in which the application of that section to the data would be likely to prejudice the proper performance of any of those functions,
(e) in respect of which the application of that section would be contrary to the interests of protecting the international relations of the State,
(f) consisting of an estimate of, or kept for the purpose of estimating, the amount of the liability of the data controller concerned on foot of a claim for the payment of a sum of money, whether in respect of damages or compensation, in any case in which the application of the section would be likely to prejudice the interests of the data controller in relation to the claim,
(g) in respect of which a claim of privilege could be maintained in proceedings in a court in relation to communications between a client and his professional legal advisers or between those advisers,
(h) kept only for the purpose of preparing statistics or carrying out research if the data are not used or disclosed (other than to a person to whom a disclosure of such data may be made in the circumstances specified in section 8 of this Act) for any other purpose and the resulting statistics or the results of the research are not made available in a form that identifies any of the data subjects, or
(i) that are back-up data.
(2) Regulations under subsections (1) (d) and (3) (b) of this section shall be made only after consultation with any other Minister of the Government who, having regard to his functions, ought, in the opinion of the Minister, to be consulted.
(3) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) of this subsection, section 4 of this Act, as modified by any other provisions thereof, shall apply notwithstanding any provision of or made under any enactment or rule of law that is in force immediately before the passing of this Act and prohibits or restricts the disclosure, or authorises the withholding, of information.
(b) If and whenever the Minister is of opinion that a prohibition, restriction or authorisation referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection in relation to any information ought to prevail in the interests of the data subjects concerned or any other individuals and by regulations so declares, then, while the regulations are in force, the said paragraph (a) shall not apply as respects the provision or rule of law concerned and accordingly section 4 of this Act, as modified as aforesaid, shall not apply in relation to that information.