It will be possible to register Irish geographic names as part of .ie domain names from 20 December the Irish registry, IE Domain Registrations, has announced.
So it will now be possible for businesses or community groups that can show a connection to Ireland to register domains that contain their geographic location.
Any town, village, city or townland can be applied for. In the past, these domains were only available to Local Authorities, or anyone who got special permission from them. While most geographic names will have been registered, options will exist for potential registrants to use the placename only as part of a longer name, for example, HowthRugbyClub.ie.
There are currently 222,200 .ie domain names registered, so there are plenty of options to choose from.
To show a connection to Ireland, registrants will need to show they are one of the following:
- Irish Citizens (Irish passport / Irish birth certificate).
- Irish Residents (utility bill / bank statement).
- Companies registered in Ireland (CRO / RBN or VAT number).
- Companies not registered in Ireland (show that you are trading with clients in Ireland – such as invoices, press releases or previously published marketing material aimed at the Irish market, or a letter from a solicitor, accountant or bank manager, confirming your current or future trade with Ireland).
- Companies, partnerships and individuals (Irish or EU Community registered trademark).
Then to register a .ie domain name, registrants will need to show a valid reason for registering the domain, known as the “claim to the domain.”
If the domain applied for matches a registered business, company or trademark name, registrants need to include the relevant number with their application. To register a domain for any other reason, registrants will need to include a few short sentences with their application explaining why they want this domain and what it will be used for.
In other Irish domain name news, the struggling .irish new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) has been sold to Donuts. The gTLD hit General Availability in June 2015 and hit a peak of 2,458 registrations in September 2016 before losing around one in 8 registrations (almost 300) in less than a month and has sit at around the 2,160 registrations mark since.
Donuts have been on the prowl for new gTLDs for a few months now and the addition of .irish takes them to 198 new gTLDs they operate with 1.877 million domains under management.
While there are restrictions on .ie, there are no such restrictions on .irish with the gTLD being promoted as a means for the Irish diaspora expressing their Irish identity from anywhere in the world.