_____ _____ Ireland

Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind



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Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties


For supplementary information, see links to post office home pages here External, to postal code pages here External and to other personal name and addressing issues pages here External.

Table of Contents

Ireland - Country information


Local short name form

Official name



5 149 139 (2022) [1]



International telephone access code


ISO 3166 country codes

Car nationality plate code


Internet country code


GRC Country Code


Ireland - Number format


(where . indicates the decimal separator and , the thousands separator)

Ireland - Date and time formats


   dd mm yyyy

Both the 12- and 24-hour time notations are used.


Ireland - Languages


Ireland has two official languages: English External, spoken by 95 per cent of the population, and Irish External (Gaelic) spoken by the remaining 5 per cent. The Irish speakers are mainly to be found in An Ghaeltacht, areas to the west and south-west of the country.


image Road signs in Irish only, An Ghaeltacht

Ireland - Personal names


The surnames of the Irish may differ within a family (more so amongst speakers of Irish). In the name Sean O Fearghail, the ‘O’ indicates “the lineage of”. For a daughter, this would become ni’Fearghail. This is used whether single or married, as her status as daughter does not change. A married woman using her husband’s name may use Ui’Fhearghail meaning “wife of”. However, this form changes before a vowel or as a genitive making recognition for non-Irish-speakers difficult - for example, Seán Mac Anna (son), Áine nic Anna (daughter), Máire bean Mhic Anna (wife of the son of). Amongst English-speakers, the people in this last example would be known as Seán McCann, Áine McCann and Máire McCann.

   Tables of names can be acquired: given names External, surnames/family names External, family name prefixes External, forms of address External, job titles External

Ireland - Company names


In English, words indicating the nature of a company, when forming part of the company name, will always follow the name of the company, either after a comma or in brackets, thus:

   John Smith, Bakers
   John Smith (Bakers)

In Irish, this is reversed to become “Bakery of Smith” (with the name written in the genitive form):

   Bacus Mhic Ghabann

Ireland - Company legal forms


The following company types will be identified in Irish address databases:

   Co-op (Co-operative)
   Cuideachta Phoiblí Theoranta (CPT - Irish form of “PLC”)
   Company limited by guarantee
   Friendly Society
   General Partnership
   Investment limited partnership
   Limited (Ltd) (private limited company)
   Limited partnership
   Non-resident company
   PLC (Public Limited Company)
   PrC (Public company limited by shares)
   Public Corporation
   Public Unlimited Company
   Teoranta (Teo. - Irish form of “Limited”) 
   Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Ireland - Addresses


   Note: This section last updated 14th July 2015

Addresses are written in the following formats:

   Recipient name 
   {Building {number and} name}
   {number[ ]}Street name 
   {Secondary street line or zone}
   {Settlement name}
   POSTAL TOWN{[ ]sorting code}
   {County name}


   Recipient name 
   {Building {number and} name}
   {number[, ]}Street name 
   {Secondary street line or zone}
   {Settlement name}
   POSTAL TOWN{[ ]sorting code}
   {County name}

For example:


County names are not required for county towns.

The thoroughfare type is written after and separately from the thoroughfare name in English. In Irish the thoroughfare type is written before and separately from the thoroughfare name (with the exception of when the thoroughfare name is an adjective - thus Golden Lane is Ór Lána). Note also that Irish real names in addresses will change in their Irish form as dictated by rules governing the genitive case. Thus:

   McDermott Tower


   Túr Mhic Dhiarmada

in Irish. Another example:

   O’Connell Street


   Sráid Uí Chonaill

Non Irish-names will be unaffected:

   Churchill Terrace


   Ardán Churchill

Similar rules apply to place-names within street address strings.

In An Ghaeltacht (Irish-speaking areas) the law dictates that addresses are written in Irish only.


   A table containing information about the relevant position of elements within address blocks can be acquired External

Building indicators


Below is a list of commonly occurring building indicators, with the abbreviated form(s), which you are most likely to find in address databases:

English Abbreviation Irish
Apartments   Leithlanna
Buildings Blgs Foirgnimh
Cottages   Iostáin
Dwelling   Teaghais
Farm   Feirm
Flatlets   Mionárasáin
Flats   Árasáin
Hall   Halla
House(s) Hse(s) Teach (Tithe)
Lodge   Lóiste
Maison(n)ettes   Teaghaiseáin
Manor   Mainéar
Mansions   Árais
Penthouse   Díonteach
Tower   Túr
Villas   Bailtíní
   Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Thoroughfare types



Below is a list of commonly occurring thoroughfare types, with the abbreviated form(s), which you are most likely to find in address databases:

English Abbreviation Irish
Alley   Scabhat
Arcade   Stuara
Arch   Áirse
Avenue Ave. Ascaill
Bank   Bruach
Bar   Barra
Behereen   Bóithrín
Boulevard Bd. Búlbhard
Bow   Bogha
Brae   Brí
Bridge   Droichead
Centre Ctr.  
Close   Clós
Colonnade   Colúnra
Coppice   Rosán
Copse   Rosán
Court Ct. Cúirt
Crescent Cr. Corrán
Croft   Croit
Cross   Crosaire
Dale   Gleanntán
Dell   Gleannán
Demesne   Diméin
Dene   Fothair
Diamond   Diamont
Dingle   Cumairín
Dock(s)   Duga(í)
Downs   Mulláin
Drive   Céide
Dunes   Dumhcha
Estate   Eastát
Extension   Síneadh
Farm   Feirm
Field   Gort
Gardens   Gairdíní
Garth   Goirtín
Gate   Geata
Glade   Ceapach
Glebe   Gléib
Glen   Gleann
Grange   Gráinseach
Green   Faiche
Guard   Garda
Haggard   Iothlainn
Hamlet   Gráig
Harbour   Calafort
Heath   Fraoch
Heights   Arda
Hill   Cnoc
Inns   Óstaí
Island   Oileán
Junction   Gabhal
Lands   earann
Lane   Lána
Lawn   Plásóg
Lott(s)   Scair(eanna)
Mall   Meal
Mardyke   Mairdíog
Market Mkt. Margadh
Mart   Marglann
Mead   Móinéar
Meadow   Cluain
Mews   Eachlann
Moor   Móinteán
Mount   Cnocán
Orchard   Úllord
Oval   Ubhchruth
Parade   Paráid
Park   Páirc
Passage   Pasáiste
Path   Cosán
Place Pl. Plás
Pound   Póna
Promenade   Promanáid
Quarter(s)   Ceathrú
Rise   Ard
Road Rd. Bóthar
Route Rte.  
Row   Rae
Shambles   Seamlas
Side   Taobh
Slip   Caolbhealach
Spinney   Roschoill
Square Sq. Cearnóg
Steps   Céimeanna
Strand   Trá
Street St. Sráid
Terrace   Ardán
Third   Trian
Track   Raon
Vale   Gleann
Valley   Gleann
View   Radharc
Village   Sráidbhaile
Walk   Siúlán
Way   Bealach
Wood(s)   Coill(te)
Yard Yd. Clós

NB: The abbreviation for Saint commonly written in the same way as that used for Street, ‘St.’, though correctly Saint, as a contraction, is abbreviated without the full stop.

   Comprehensive tables of these strings can be acquired – see http:www.grcdi.nl/addresses.htm External

Other elements commonly found in address databases for Gaelic


NB: note that the casing of Gaelic does not follow the logic used by other Indo-European languages such as English. The first letter of a real noun does not necessarily start with a capital letter, whilst a capital letter may appear in the second or third position of a word otherwise in lower case. For example Teach an tSagairt. These indicate letters (“eclipsing letters” added to the front of an existing word (which retains its case) in certain grammatical situations. Though no hard and fast rules can be given, it is usually the case that in words beginning with the following letters the first letter is in lower case, the second (or third) is in upper case thus: bhF, bP, dT, gC, mB, nD. E.g. “Heights Road” is Br na nArda, “Trees Road” is Br na gCrann.

Prepositions in Irish change according to their position and combination with other words. Many do not have English equivalents. Where identifiable, they should be written in lower case.

There is no indefinite article (“a”, “an”).

Irish English
an, a’ (na for plural nouns) the
Cúl- Back
Cuar- Circular
Cros- Cross
Thoir East
Oirthearach Eastern
An Chéad First
Tosaigh Front
Mór Great
Laistigh Inner
Beag Little
Íochtarach (or Íocht.) Lower
Príomh- Main
Láir Middle
Míleata Military
Nua New
Thuaidh North
Sean- Old
Lasmuigh Outer
Cúil Rear
An Dara Second
Theas South
An Tríú Third
Uachtarach (or Uacht.) Upper
Thiar West
Iartharach Western
Naomh Saint

Ireland - Post office box


This is written as P.O. Box, Post Office Box, PO Box, or Post office box in English, Bosca Poist in Irish.

Ireland - Postal codes


   Note: This section last updated 14th July 2015

Ireland’s new postal code system, the Eircode, was introduced on 13th July 2015. These codes have 7 characters, including letters and numbers, and will provide a unique code for each postal address. Each code is unrelated to the codes of the residences around it. The postal code is written on its own at the end of the address block, the rest of the address format remains unchanged. Formats include:

   A99 A9A9
   A99 AA99
   A99 A9AA
   D6W A9A9
   D6W AA99
   D6W A9AA

Codes do not include the letters B, G, I, J, L, M, O, Q or S.

Existing Dublin sorting codes have been incorporated into this system, though it is likely that people will continue to use these sorting codes during the introductory phase of the new postal code system. These sorting codes range between 1 and 24 (though not 18, 21 or 23), and are written after and on the same line as the town name. Odd numbers are for districts north of the River Liffey, even numbers for those to the south. This code is always numeric with the single exception of the code “6W”.

   Metadata containing postal code formatting rules, exceptions and regular expressions can be acquired External

Ireland - Postal code format graphic




Ireland - Postal code format

Ireland - Postal code specifics

Ireland - Postal code regular expression

\A([A|C-F|H|K|N|P|R|T-Z][0-9][0-9]|D6W]( )[A|C-F|H|K|N|P|R|T-Z][A|C-F|H|K|N|P|R|T-Z|0-9][A|C-F|H|K|N|P|R|T-Z|0-9][A|C-F|H|K|N|P|R|T-Z|0-9])\Z

Ireland - Postal code level of coverage


Ireland - Postal code map

imageClick on the image for a larger version

Place names in Ireland


   Note: This section last updated 7th August 2016

Place names may be found in Irish Gaelic, although they will more often be in English. For settlements in An Ghaeltacht the Irish names should be used.

Refer to Exonyms in Ireland for full lists of place names in Ireland in other languages.

Bilingual English/Irish road signs, Western Ireland


Ireland - Administrative districts


Ireland has 4 provinces and 26 counties. Note that only part of the province of Ulster is within the Irish Republic. Counties are usually mentioned in the address, preceded by the abbreviation ‘Co ’, short for ‘County’, as Ireland has no postal codes.

Province County
Connaught External Galway External
  Leitrim External
  Mayo External
  Roscommon External
  Sligo External
Leinster External Carlow External
  Dublin External [see note below]
  Kildare External
  Kilkenny External
  Laois External
  Longford External
  Louth External
  Meath External
  Offaly External
  Westmeath External
  Wexford External
  Wicklow External
Munster External Clare External
  Cork External
  Kerry External
  Limerick External
  Tipperary External
  Waterford External
Ulster External Cavan External
  Donegal External
  Monaghan External

The remaining 6 counties of Ulster ( Antrim External, Armagh External, Down External, Fermanagh External, Londonderry External and Tyrone External) form Northern Ireland External, a constituent region of the United Kingdom.

Note: the historic county of Dublin is no longer an administrative county. In 1994 it was split into the city of Dublin External and the counties of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown External, Fingal External and South Dublin External, together making up the Dublin Region (Réigiúin Átha Cliath). “County Dublin”, however, remains in common usage and continues to be used in addressing.

Administrative districts graphic


Telephone numbers in Ireland


   Note: This section last updated 25th September 2018

Irish numbers when called from abroad have a length of between 7 and 10 digits, with area codes of between 1 and 3 digits and subscriber numbers of between 5 and 8 digits. Mobile number have one of these area codes: 82, 83, 85-89.

   Tables of telephone number information/formats can be acquired – see http://www.grcdi.nl/telephone.htm External 


  1. ^ citypopulation.de/en/ireland/admin/ External 20230531

Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2024. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.