Apparently, the government has moved the transcripts of all Oireachtas business from debates.oireachtas.ie to a separate microsite, oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie. This has impacted on the site Kildarestreet.com, which had been a popular independent website that allowed users to track Oireachtas debates on any matter of their choosing. The loss of functionality has prompted Kildarestreet.com to launch a fundraising initiative to get the site back up and running. They are also adapting the site design so as to avoid this issue re-occuring.
“Administrators are now looking to rebuild the website so that it can ‘scrape’ data from the new website, without the need to rely on any XML feeds produced by the Oireachtas authorities themselves. This, in turn, would mean the site could add to its own database of debates sooner after those debates happen, as the transcripts of parliamentary business are uploaded to the new Oireachtas site quicker than they had previously been. It would also, in theory, allow the site to extend its facilities – including the possible publication of a TDs’ voting records, which are built into the Oireachtas transcripts.”
The fact that such a useful resource is not only independent, but dependent on the public to fund its redesign is an uncomfortable reflection of the low-level of transparency and accessibility available from government sources. If you feel like supporting the redesign, please do so. It should be noted that kildarestreet.com does not receive government funding. If you want more info you can contact the moderator of Kildarestreet.com; his name is John Handelaar, he’s a self-employed web developer https://twitter.com/handelaar. They also have a twitter.