What is Freedom of Information (FOI)? 

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you certain legal rights when you are dealing with public bodies.

You have the right to:

  • access records held by the hospital, as detailed in section 11 of the Act
  • have your personal information amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, as detailed in section 9 of the Act
  • receive reasons for our decisions that affect you

Mater Hospital records affected by the FOI Act 2014 include:

  • All records relating to personal information, including information held in patient and staff records
  • All other records created on or after 21 October 1998 (non-personal information)

The Act allows the hospital to limit access to some information in certain circumstances; you will be given a full explanation if this occurs.

Helpful FAQs

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 sets down strict time limits for the processing of requests. We will acknowledge your request within two weeks of receiving it. We will respond with our final decision within four weeks of our receipt of your request.

We may extend the four-week time limit for replying to a request, for the reasons set out below:

The request relates to a large number of records

A large number of requests have been received from different applicants for the same records

If we have to delay our reply on these grounds, we will let you know before the end of the four-week period and give you the reasons for the delay.

You can email or write to us with your FOI request.

By Email:
For access to personal records email: foi@mater.ie
For access to non-personal/corporate records email: corporatefoi@mater.ie

In Writing: 
Personal requests can be made in writing to:
Freedom of Information Officer (Personal Requests) 
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
Dublin 7 
D07 R2WY
Your request should include the following:
  • A statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act;
  • As much information as possible about the records being sought
  • Proof of your identify if you are requesting personal information, such as a photocopy of your passport, driving licence or other official form of ID
Non-Personal/Corporate requests can be made in writing to:
Corporate Freedom of Information Officer 
Risk Management Department 
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
Dublin 7 
D07 R2WY

You can ask for access to the following:

All records relating to your personal information held by us
Records of the deceased (if you are the next of kin or a family member)
All other records that have been created since 21 October 1998 (non-personal information)

To protect patient confidentiality and the hospital’s on-going business, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt certain types of information from release. This may include:

  • Confidential and commercially sensitive information
  • Personal information relating to other people

Your request may be refused if it’s deemed to be unclear or too big. However, we can help you to reduce the scope of your request.


When a patient dies, the next of kin or other family members may request access to the patient’s medical records. These requests are always dealt with by the Freedom of Information Office. The FOI Office will balance the patient's right to confidentiality with the right of another person to be given that information in the public good, called the public interest.

You can download and complete our official application form below to make your request. You should then post the completed form, together with proof of your relationship to the deceased person, proof of your own identity and a copy of the deceased's death certificate to:

The Freedom of Information Officer
Mater Hospital
Eccles Street
Dublin 7
D07 R2WY
Tel: (01) 803 298


Personal information
There is no fee for personal information requests.

Non-personal information
Search and retrieval* fees are as follows:

Up to the first five hours – free
€20 per hour thereafter
Maximum charge is €500

Requests that exceed a value of €700 will be refused on administrative grounds
*search and retrieval includes time spent on finding and verifying information

You may appeal our decision by writing to:
Risk Manager
Risk Management Department
Mater Hospital
Eccles Street
Dublin 7
D07 R2WY
Email: riskmanagement@mater.ie

Make sure you state that you are looking for an internal FOI review. You may be charged €30 (€10 for medical card holders) to appeal a decision for non-personal information. You should make your appeal within four weeks from the date of our initial decision.

If you are not satisfied with the internal review decision, you may appeal the decision within six months of receipt by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97
Tel: (01) 639 5689
LoCall: 1890 22 30 30
Fax: (01) 639 5674
Email: info@oic.ie

You may be charged a fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) for your application. There is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner that concern personal information only. There is also no fee charged for appeals to decisions to impose a fee or deposit.

No. You can get a copy of your medical records without using the FOI Act.

The hospital routinely makes information available to the public through information leaflets, publications, our website and in response to enquiries. This will continue. FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records that not routinely made available.

The Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
D02 HE97

Tel: (01) 639 5689
LoCall: 1890 253 238
Fax: (01) 639 5674
Email: info@oic.gov.ie

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Central Policy Unit, Floor 3
7-9 Merrion Row
Dublin 2
D02 R583

Tel: (01) 631 8258
Fax: (01) 604 5750
Email: cpu@per.gov.ie



Freedom of Information Model Publication Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires listed public bodies or organisations to have a publication scheme, where they routinely publish and make certain information available to the public.

The Department of Public Expenditure & Reform has developed a model publication scheme for all public sector organisations which includes guidelines and example of the types of information that needs to be made available to the public. We are following these Department guidelines to develop our publication scheme to meet this requirement.

1. Information about the Mater Hospital

2. Services provided or to be provided to the public

3. Decision making process for major policy proposals

  • this information will be made available as soon as possible

4. Financial information 

5.  Procurement

6. Disclosure log and other information to be published routinely: