The Oldest Websites in Ireland

20th June 24

The oldest websites in Ireland typically date back to the early 1990s, during the dawn of the public internet. Among the first significant Irish websites were those related to educational institutions and government services. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, commercial and news websites began to proliferate, with prominent examples like Irish Times Online and The rise of broadband in the 2000s spurred further growth, leading to a diverse online presence encompassing e-commerce, entertainment, and social networking, reflecting Ireland's digital evolution. While it's challenging to pinpoint exact dates for all, some of the earliest known Irish websites include:


University College Dublin (UCD) - 1993

UCD was among the pioneers in Ireland to have an online presence, contributing to academia and research with its early website. The University College Dublin (UCD) website was first launched in the early 1990s. The exact year is not explicitly documented, but like many academic institutions, UCD began establishing an online presence around this time as the internet became more widely accessible and universities started to recognise the importance of having a web presence for information dissemination, academic resources, and communication. UCD is a public research university and a member institute of the National University of Ireland. Located in Dublin, it offers a vibrant campus life and diverse programs across various disciplines. UCD is a global leader in education, fostering innovation and critical thinking. Its extensive alumni network and international collaborations enhance its reputation as a top educational institution. It is Ireland's largest university and has over 38,417 students. It is also amongst the most prestigious universities in Europe. UCD consists of 6 colleges these include College of Business, the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Engineering and Architecture, the College of Social Science and Law, the College of Health and Agriculture Sciences, and the College of Science. 

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Trinity College Dublin (TCD) - 1994:

TCD followed closely, establishing its web presence in the mid-90s, serving as a hub for academic resources and information. The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) website was set up in 1993. Their website has undergone significant evolution, transforming into a comprehensive portal catering to current and prospective students, faculty, researchers, and the general public alike. It now offers an extensive array of information and services, encompassing everything from detailed course descriptions and admissions guidelines to research publications and updates on-campus events.

Trinity College Dublin, established in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland and supported by the city of Dublin, stands as Ireland's oldest university. Its library, spread across multiple buildings, houses over 6 million printed volumes. Among its treasures are extensive collections of rare books, maps, and manuscripts. Located in the heart of Dublin, it combines historic charm with modern academic excellence. Known for its rigorous scholarship, Trinity offers a diverse range of programs and world-class research facilities. Its iconic campus houses the famous Book of Kells. With a vibrant student community and global connections, Trinity is a leader in higher education and innovation.

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Irish Times - 1994:

The Irish Times, one of Ireland's leading newspapers, launched its website in 1994, making it one of the earliest media outlets in Ireland to go online. The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadcast newspaper and online digital publication. The newspaper was founded in 1859 by Major Lawrence Knox. Despite changes in ownership, The Irish Times has maintained a reputation for independence and quality journalism. It is known for its in-depth reporting, analysis, and commentary on Irish and international affairs. Over the years, the newspaper has evolved to become a more broadly appealing publication, reflecting a wide range of viewpoints and catering to a diverse audience. In recent years, The Irish Times has embraced digital transformation, offering various subscription models to access premium content online. The newspaper has covered major events in Irish history, including the Easter Rising in 1916, the Irish Civil War, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It has also been a platform for prominent Irish writers, intellectuals, and commentators.

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Irish National Information System (INIS) - mid-1990s:

INIS was a significant project aimed at providing public information and services online. The Irish National Information System (INIS) website was set up in the mid-1990s, specifically around 1995. INIS was established to provide online access to various databases and resources related to Ireland, including information on libraries, museums, and archives. The INIS is responsible for managing immigration and asylum matters within the country. During the mid-1990s, Ireland was experiencing significant changes in immigration patterns due to economic growth and EU expansion, which influenced the development of INIS. Overall, the mid-1990s were formative years for the Irish National Immigration Service (INIS), as it adapted to changing immigration dynamics in Ireland and across Europe while establishing itself as a central authority for immigration matters within the Irish government.

Government of Ireland - mid-1990s

The Government of Ireland website, known as, was officially launched on October 21, 2020, marking a significant step in the digital transformation of public services. Serving as the primary portal for accessing information and services provided by the Irish government, it consolidates various departmental websites into a unified platform. This initiative aims to enhance transparency and accessibility in government operations, offering citizens, businesses, and visitors convenient access to government information, services, and resources. The website provides comprehensive details on government policies, initiatives, public services, regulations, and contact information for departments and agencies. In essence, plays a pivotal role in advancing transparency, efficiency, and public engagement with government services and information.

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These early websites were often basic, with limited functionality and simple designs, reflecting the technological capabilities of the time. They played a crucial role in the initial stages of Ireland's internet development and digital transformation.

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