WHOIS .IE, Ireland’s Digital Identity on the Global Stage

We continue our series of articles about more than 1500 ccTLDs and gTLDs. As you know, our Domain Availability API and Whois API allow programmatically domain availability checks and bulk Whois checks including .IE whois.

The .ie domain serves as the gateway to Ireland’s digital identity, reflecting the country’s rich history, innovative spirit, and dynamic presence in the global digital economy. As the country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) for Ireland, .ie is a beacon for Irish businesses, individuals, and communities, symbolizing a secure and localized online presence. This article explores the .IE WHOIS system, its importance in the governance of Ireland’s digital domain, and the broader context of doing business online in Ireland.

If you are wondering why not .IR, that’s Iran’s ccTLD and we will cover that in a separate article.

The Significance of .IE in Domain Management

In the verdant digital landscape of Ireland, the .ie domain is more than just a virtual address. It’s a mark of authenticity and trust. For those seeking to establish a digital footprint within Ireland, the .ie domain stands as a preferred choice, offering a clear signal of a connection to Irish culture and commerce.

Managed with a focus on security and stability, the .ie domain underpins the nation’s online economy, supporting a myriad of digital interactions from e-commerce to educational endeavors.

There are around 330,000 .IE domain names registered (February 2024). This puts Ireland well above Croatia’s .hr, but definitely nowhere near the top ccTLDs. Irish businesses and domain users are often going for several other TLDs, including .UK for United Kingdom, .EU for European Union, .COM and others.

Understanding WHOIS in the Context of .IE

WHOIS databases are essential for the transparency of the domain name system, providing public access to information about domain registrations. This includes domain ownership details, registration dates, and administrative contacts. In Ireland, the WHOIS system for .ie domains is managed by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), which ensures a reliable and truthful record of domain registrations. The .IE WHOIS system serves as a center for domain research, offering valuable insights into the ownership and status of .ie domains, critical for legal processes, cybersecurity, and market research.

whois .ie example
.IE WHOIS Example obtained with a Whois API with JSON output

This WHOIS JSON record provides details about the domain shop.ie, under Ireland’s country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) .ie. Here’s an analysis based on the provided information:

  1. General Information:
    • WHOIS Server: Managed by “whois.domainregistry.ie”, indicating that the query was processed by the official registry for .ie domains.
    • Status: “Successfully processed” with a status code of “0” shows that the query was completed without any issues.
    • Registered: The domain is currently registered, as confirmed by “true”.
  2. Domain Registration Details:
    • Registry Domain ID: “738518-IEDR” uniquely identifies the domain within the .ie registry.
    • Date Created: The domain was initially registered on May 30, 1999, indicating a long-standing presence online.
    • Date Expires: The domain is set to expire on May 31, 2024. This long-term registration demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the domain.
    • Date Updated: The last update to the domain’s information was on July 15, 2023.
  3. Domain Status:
    • Listed as “ok” according to ICANN’s epp#ok status code, suggesting the domain is active and without any issues affecting its status.
  4. Nameservers:
    • The domain uses “ns0.reg365.net”, “ns1.reg365.net”, and “ns2.reg365.net” as its nameservers, indicating it is hosted or managed by Register 365, a domain hosting and management service.
  5. Privacy and GDPR Compliance:
    • WHOIS Raw: The mention of “Disabled due to GDPR” shows adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation, limiting the public display of personal information.
    • Contacts: Details for the registrar and registrant, as well as admin and tech contacts, are limited or marked as “Disabled due to GDPR”, reflecting privacy measures to protect personal data.
  6. Registrar Information:
    • The domain’s registrar is identified as “Register 365”, with provided contact information, including a phone number and an email address for abuse reports. This suggests that Register 365 is responsible for the registration and, potentially, the management of the domain.
  7. Miscellaneous:
    • “_cached”: false indicates that the information provided is freshly retrieved with a Live Whois API.
    • “Requests available”: 30 might refer to the number of remaining WHOIS queries available to the requester before reaching a service limit.

Overall, the WHOIS record for shop.ie shows it is an established domain within Ireland’s .ie domain space, registered through a recognized registrar, and utilizing a set of nameservers that suggest professional hosting or management. The limitations on personal data disclosure highlight the impact of GDPR on the visibility of registrant information, ensuring a balance between transparency and privacy.

Governance of .IE

The IE Domain Registry (established in January 1988) manages the .ie namespace with precision and care, reflecting Ireland’s commitment to creating a secure and resilient digital infrastructure. The registry operates with policies that build an equitable and competitive environment for domain registrations, encouraging digital growth across the Emerald Isle.

A ccTLD (Country Code Top-Level Domain) is a two-letter domain extension designated specifically for a country or territory, based on the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes. These domain extensions are part of the global Domain Name System (DNS) and are used to signify websites’ geographic affiliations, providing a means for internet users to identify the country of origin or target audience of a website.

Examples of ccTLDs include:

Ireland’s Online Business Environment

Ireland’s digital economy is one of the most dynamic in Europe, characterized by a strong IT sector, a significant presence of multinational tech companies, and a burgeoning scene of tech startups. Doing business online in Ireland offers access to a tech-savvy population and a supportive regulatory framework that promotes innovation and digital trade.

E-commerce in Ireland is bolstered by high internet penetration rates, a preference for digital transactions among consumers, and a robust digital payments infrastructure.

Irish holiday on the streets of Dublin, Ireland
Irish holiday – Photo by Sophie Popplewell on Unsplash

International Trade Ties

Ireland’s digital services and goods traverse borders, making it a significant player in the international market. The country’s biggest importers and exporters include its European neighbors, particularly within the EU single market, as well as the United States, with which Ireland has strong economic and cultural ties. Irish companies leverage the .ie domain to engage with these international partners, exporting everything from digital media to IT services, and importing cutting-edge technology and software that further drive the digital economy.

Wrapping up .IE Domain and WHOIS

The .ie domain and its WHOIS system embody Ireland’s digital sovereignty, providing a trusted and recognizable online home for Irish entities. As Ireland continues to advance on the digital front, the .ie ccTLD will play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s digital future, enabling Irish businesses and communities to make their mark on the world stage. With its vibrant digital economy and strong international connections, Ireland’s .ie domain stands as a testament to its digital ambition and success.


Goran Duskic has been the Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. since 2011, a company that specializes in developing APIs, including the well-known Whois API. He started his career in internet entrepreneurship in 2006 and has co-founded several online businesses, including a web hosting company that he later sold. Goran's work primarily involves creating practical API solutions to meet technological needs.