It seems likely that the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the company that manages Ireland’s “.ie” country code top-level domain (ccTLD), is to go ahead with the introduction of “Internationalised Domain Names” to the Irish internet market. Stripped of the jargon it simply means that Irish-based websites using “.ie” at the end of their addresses will be able to make use of special or non-standard characters in their names. Importantly, these include the síneadh fada or fada, the acute accent in Irish spelling. This would allow someone to register, for instance, a website as “éire.ie” instead of “ireland.ie” (sorry, the former is already gone). From the IEDR press release:
“The Public Consultation on the proposed policy change to allow the introduction of Internationalised Domain Names to the .ie namespace is now open.
Through the framework of the IEDR Policy Development Process (PDP), the IEDR’s Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) has reviewed a policy change request in relation to the introduction of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) to the .ie namespace.
This policy change would allow for the registration of .ie domain names which include acute accents / fadas on vowels, .e.g. á é í ó ú.”
Given that the end of the consultation is being heavily promoted in the press on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day it’s probably a done-deal. Of course the tabloid Journal decided to feature people dressed as fucking leprechauns on its report of the upcoming change but would you expect from the Anglo-American Buzzfeed-Lite of Ireland?
However, there’s still no progress on the provision of a “.éire” domain name for Ireland alongside the existing “.ie“.