Last year, the Irish registry conducted a public consultation about simplifying the rules for registration and management of the .ie domain. As a result of that consultation, they decided to remove the rule that the domain name must be related to the requestor (e.g. company name or trading name). The policy that each domain name registrant must have a connection to Ireland remains the same.
This change will become effective as from the 1st of March 2018. As a result, anyone who has a connection to Ireland can register any .ie domain they like.
We advise trademark holders to secure their desired .ie domains before this change applies.
.ie is the official ccTLD of the country of Ireland. Compared to other registries, the Irish registry is somewhat conservative when it comes to this domain. Only those individuals, companies and associations that have an association with Ireland can register an .ie domain. For example, when the mononymous American singer tried to register the domain melan.ie, the registry denied her request because she did not have a valid connection to Ireland.
For most ccTLD’s, however, it is not necessary to have a connection to or an address within a particular country to register them. Some ccTLDs, such as .co for Colombia and .nu for Niue, are actually more popular outside of their respective countries!