I've not been back to the GRO facilities in Belfast or Dublin for many years. A visit to one left me with a facial tick that took several years to rid myself off, whilst a visit to the other led to aggressive verbal incontinence for months that not even a fully trained labrador with a factory supply of Andrex could keep up with! That was some eight to ten years back - but I've been assured by many that conditions at both are much improved. Thanks to the GRO Roscommon ordering facility I have rarely needed to return to either, so have simply taken people's words for it.
When I discuss visiting archives, in recent times I have been holding PRONI up in Belfast as just one of the best in the UK, never mind Northern Ireland. New PRONI gets the genie thing these days in the way that old PRONI just didn't! But don't take my word for it - read Jan Powell's account of her research trip to Belfast at http://www.rellyseeker.net/blog/archive-visits-in-northern.html. Jan equally praises PRONI to the high heavens - but take a look at her comments on GRONI, and in particular her comments about the computer system, and the frankly UNBELIEVABLE conditions about the use of iPads!
Oh - my - God!
Let's hope someone at GRONI reads it also...!
(With thanks to Jan, who also has a lot of great things to say about the Mitchell in Glasgow in her post!)
My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see http://pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Time to smash a few brick walls...!