The Irish Domain Registry (IEDR), the company responsible for regulating the .ie internet domain, is to make it quicker and easier for individuals and businesses to register a .ie domain by March 2018.

Currently, any individual or business who wants to register a website using the .ie domain have to prove they have a real and tangible “connection to Ireland”. i.e,

  • Irish citizens or residents;
  • Companies registered in Ireland;
  • Foreign companies or individuals with a registered trademark covering Ireland; or
  • Foreign companies which are able to demonstrate that they are trading in Ireland (via documents such as invoices, marketing material aimed at the Irish market, a letter from a solicitor or an accountant, etc)

They also have to have a valid claim to the desired name they wish to register. i.e,

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have a valid reason for applying for a given domain name. The domain name, therefore, needs to match the applicant’s registered business, company or trademark name. Should this not be the case, the applicant needs to specify to the Registry the reason for the domain name application and the intended use of the domain name. 

This had proven to be a major stumbling block for Irish businesses, particularly new ones.

However, after running a Public Consultation with a view to liberalising the .ie domain name registration process, the IEDR have decided to retain the requirement to have a connection to Ireland, but dropped the need to prove a valid claim to the name.

This, the IEDR said, will help speed up the registration process and make it easier for people, clubs, community organisations and businesses.

“By simplifying the .ie registration process, it will be easier to get a preferred website address or email address which will have a clear, identifiably Irish connection,” said David Curtin, the chief executive of IEDR.

“More people, organisations, communities and businesses across Ireland, and those around the world with Irish heritage or Irish operations, will be able to reach out to the wider internet community, communicate with their customers, and buy and sell online with e-commerce,” David Curtin said.