Official Languages (Amendment) Act 2021

The Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 was enacted on 22 December 2021. A copy of the new Act is available here.

The provisions in the new legislation include:

The new provisions will be implemented over a period of time.

We are currently reviewing our website to take into account the amendments to the legislation arising from the new Act. We hope to conclude this review early in the New Year. In the interim, if you have any question in respect of any specific provision of the new Act, we can be contacted at or by phone at 091-504006.


Privacy Policy and Data Protection

How we use your information

Information is provided in this privacy notice about the ways in which Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga (OCT) collects, stores and maintains personal information provided by our customers, in the exercise of the official authority vested in the Office.

Making use of our website:

See the cookies policy available here: Cookies Policy. Cookies on our website ( ) do not track or store users' personal or financial information.

Search engine:

The search facility is an internal search function on our website, and it only reports the information disclosed on the website. We do not track or retain user activity when customers use this facility.

Online complaints:

OCT offers an online complaints system to facilitate the complaints process. The data is not retained on the website – the information is transmitted by email to the Office, and is then recorded on the Office's systems.

Calling the Office:

OCT does not collect Land Line Call Recognition or any other information in relation to the origin of a call. We do not record or retain telephone conversations.

Sending email to us:

Any email that is sent to us is recorded and forwarded to the relevant person. Every member of staff who deals with the application can view the sender's email address. The Office keeps emails for 7 years in line with our policy on records.

Making a complaint to us:

Both a hard and an electronic file are generated when we deal with a complaint. Typically, personal information about the complainant is found therein. The personal information is also recorded in the Office's workflow system, so that the complaints can be administered.

We only collect the personal information required to investigate the complaint. A complaint cannot be investigated with a public body without this personal information, although the personal details of the complainant are not normally transmitted to the public body concerned. We collect and publish case-studies and statistical information about the number and types of cases that we process, but none of the information contains personal attributes nor is any individual identified.

We usually do not have to disclose the complainant's identity to the public body about which a complaint has been made, but such identity must be made known in certain cases relating to personal correspondence, for example. We try to comply with the complainant's wish to remain anonymous, except in cases where the complaint cannot be investigated without disclosure of the complainant's identity. 

Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that sensitive personal data is processed safely if collected for the purposes of a complaint.

The information received in the hard and electronic complaints files is retained in line with our retention policy. This means that the information is kept for 7 years from the date of the last action on the file. It is kept in a safe environment and is only available to those who need to have access to it.

Any personal data from the Office's workflow system for any complainant that we have not had contact with in the last 7 years is deleted.

We may publish the public body's identity in our Annual Report or elsewhere when we proceed with enforcement action. The complainant's identity is not published.

Other contact:

We retain personal data in the case of contact with us seeking information or applying for employment or when we receive an invitation. This data is also inputted into the Office's workflow. According to the Office's policy on records, this data in hard and electronic form is deleted after 7 years.

Access to personal information:

Any individual has the right to find out about any personal data in relation to themselves held by the Office. A copy of this information can be obtained by submitting a written request to Órla de Búrca, Data Protection Officer, Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga, An Spidéal, Gaillimh, or by email to  An application may also be made to amend or delete such data. The identity of the applicant is confirmed before any data is released, or before any amendment to the data.


As far as possible, we do not disclose personal data without mutual consent. We may wish to share personal information with the other parties involved when we investigate certain complaints. We do not disclose individual personal data to third parties except in cases where the individual agrees to the disclosure.

Changes to our Privacy Policy:

This is a live document, reviewed regularly. This policy was last updated in May 2018.

How to contact us:

For more information about our Privacy Policy, you may contact us at or by telephone at 091-504006.

A person has the right to appeal a decision of the Data Protection Officer to the Director of the Office and subsequently to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

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