Here's an image which sums up how FOI works in Ireland. It's the disclosure log of the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs for the month of January. There are just 11 requests. One is from a member of the Oireachtas (Parliament). One is a private individual. The remaining nine are all journalists. (As a simple comparison, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office received 1,353 requests in the last three months of 2011) At €15 a pop just to ask a question, then €75 for a review and €150 for an appeal to the Information Commissioner that's not really a surprise - who can afford to ask questions if they can't charge it as a business expense?