Telephone numbers in the Republic of Ireland

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Ireland telephone numbers
EU-Ireland.svg
Location of Ireland (dark green)
Location
CountryIreland
ContinentEurope
RegulatorComReg
TypeOpen
NSN length7-9
Typical format(0xx) xxx xxxx
Access codes
Country calling code+353
International call prefix00
Trunk prefix0
List of Ireland dialing codes

Numbers on the Irish telephone numbering plan are regulated and assigned to operators by ComReg.

Overview[edit]

Telephone numbers in Ireland are part of an open numbering plan that allows variations in number length. The Irish format is similar to systems used in many parts of Europe, notably the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and France, where geographical numbers are organised using a logic of large regional prefixes, which are then further subdivided into smaller regions. It differs from UK numbering, which originated as alphanumeric codes based on town names.

Irish Mobile and non–geographic number are fixed length and do not support local dialling.

The trunk prefix 0 is used to access numbers outside the local area and for all mobile calls. This is followed by an area code, referred to as a National Dialling Code (NDC), the first digit of which indicates the geographical area or type of service (e.g. mobile).

Calls made from mobile phones and some VoIP systems always require the full area code and phone number.

In common with most European countries, the trunk prefix 0 must be omitted when calling Irish numbers from abroad.

General structure of Irish numbering[edit]

Irish area codes vary in length, between one and three digits (excluding the leading 0), and subscribers' numbers are between five and seven digits.

As optional local dialling is facilitated, Irish geographic numbers cannot begin with 0 (trunk prefix), 1 (special number prefix) or 999 (emergency services). However, mobile numbers use the full range of digits, as local dialling is not supported on mobile networks, and the area code must always be dialled.

A migration to a standard format, (0xx) xxx xxxx, is in progress; however, to avoid disruption, this process is only being carried out as needed, where existing area codes and local numbering systems have reached full capacity. There is currently no plan to move to a closed numbering system.

Geographical numbering[edit]

Irish geographical numbering is structured on a regional basis and follows a logical hierarchy.

These directory areas correspond approximately to the following geographical regions:

  • 01 – Greater Dublin Area
  • 02 – Cork
  • 04 – Northeast
  • 05 – Southeast
  • 06 – Midwest and Southwest
  • 07 – Northwest
  • 09 – West

The Midlands is covered by several regional codes.

Except for the 01 area, each area is further subdivided into smaller areas (NDCs). Usually, the main city or town in the area is 0x1 e.g. 021 (Cork), 061 (Limerick), 091 (Galway).

Regional overview[edit]

Directory area National Dialling Codes (NDCs) Region and cities / towns
01 01 – single NDC for entire region Dublin area: extends to certain parts of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare.
02 021 to 029 Cork area:
04 0402, 0404, 041 to 047 and 049 Northeast and Midlands:
05 0504, 0505, 051 to 053, 056 to 059 Midlands and Southeast:
06 061 to 069 Midwest and Southwest:
07 071 and 074 Northwest
09 090, 091, 093 to 099 West and Midlands

ComReg maintains a map of area codes here.

Mobile services[edit]

Mobile phone numbers start with the prefix 08x and are part of a closed numbering plan, which means that a mobile phone number must have 10 digits. Calls to landlines and other mobiles require the area code on a mobile phone.

New numbers are assigned on prefixes and ranges managed by a specific operator. However, as full mobile number portability has been in operation since 2003, it is no longer possible to reliably identify which network a particular number is on. For example, a newly assigned Three number would begin with 083, but may have been ported to another operator in the meantime.

Mobile network operators (MNOs)[edit]

NDC Network Notes
083 and 086 Three Ireland 086 previously belonged to O2.
085 eir mobile previously known as Meteor and eMobile
087 Vodafone Ireland formerly Eircell

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs)[edit]

NDC Network Notes
083 BlueFace hosted on Three Ireland
085 GoMo hosted on eir
087 Postfone hosted on Vodafone Ireland
089 Tesco Mobile Hosted on 3 Ireland. Numbers begin with 2 and 4
48
Virgin Mobile Ireland Hosted on 3 Ireland. Numbers begin with 60 and 61[1]
Lycamobile Hosted on 3 Ireland. Numbers begin with 9

M2M (Machine to Machine) Communication[edit]

NDC Network Notes
088 All networks Reserved for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, using the format 088 XXXXX XXXXX. This prefix was originally used for the Eircell TACS network active from 1985 to 2001.

Direct to voicemail number[edit]

Mobile phone numbers also have their own voicemail number. To access this, the number 5 should be put after the prefix. For example, the mobile number 08x xxx xxxx has the voicemail number 08x 5 xxx xxxx.

On some networks, when the direct to voicemail number is called, the voicemail greeting for that network is played (e.g. Vodafone, eir Mobile), while others request a phone number followed by the voicemail greeting for that number (e.g. Three). Users can press the hash key (#) to gain access to the voicemail box.

Calls to Northern Ireland[edit]

Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK numbering plan, a special arrangement exists for calling Northern Irish landlines from the Republic of Ireland.

Calls to Northern Ireland can be dialled using the 048 prefix or by dialling the number in the full international format. Most Irish operators treat calls to Northern Ireland at national or even local rates. Similar charging arrangements apply when calling the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland.

For example, to reach Belfast landline 90xx xxxx, subscribers can dial either 048 90xx xxxx or 00 44 28 90xx xxxx.

Northern Irish mobile phones use the same mobile numbering and networks as other parts of the UK – calls must be dialled using the 00 44 7xxx xxx xxx format.

International calls[edit]

In common with all EU countries, the international access code is 00.

Numbers should be dialled as follows: 00 – country code – area code – local number.

All mobile phones and some VoIP services also support the international E.164 number format, so a + may be optionally used instead of 00.

Reserved numbers[edit]

  • 03 – reserved for future changes in the numbering plan
  • 07 – all except 0707, 0700, 071, 074 and 076 are reserved without assigned purpose
  • 0707 – reserved for personal numbering
  • 0800 – reserved

Special numbers[edit]

  • 00 – international access
  • 020 91x xxxxdrama use (although the rest of 020 is free)
  • 0700 – personal numbering
  • 076VoIP services
  • 080 – mailbox for landline users (formerly access code for Northern Ireland)

Speed dial short numbers to contact carriers[edit]

  • 1901 – eir
  • 1902Digiweb
  • 1903 – Tesco Mobile
  • 1904BT Ireland
  • 1905 – eir mobile
  • 1907 – Vodafone Ireland
  • 1908 – Virgin Mobile Ireland
  • 1913 – Three Ireland
  • 1910Magnet Networks

Operator services[edit]

General operator assistance no longer exists in Ireland.

  • 118xx – Directory enquiries (multiple commercial providers offer a variety of services in this number range)

Emergency services[edit]

The emergency number for Ireland is 112. This is harmonised across the EU.

To avoid confusion, the long–established 999 continues to be advertised alongside 112. Either number can be dialed.

Services provided[edit]

SMS emergency service[edit]

112 can also be contacted by SMS. While the service is open to all users, it is primarily aimed at the deaf community.

Pre-registration is required. Further information can be found at 112.ie.

Premium rate numbers[edit]

Premium rate voice[edit]

Irish premium rate telephone numbers start with 15 and are read in two-digit blocks e.g. 1550 is "fifteen fifty".

The rates given below are from ComReg and are indicative only. Please check with your specific telephone service provider for exact rates.

NDC Maximum price (ComReg) Notes
1512 €0.50 per call Premium rate untimed
1513 €0.70 per call
1514 €0.90 per call
1515 €1.20 per call
1516 €1.80 per call
1517 €2.50 per call
1518 €3.50 per call
1520 €0.30 per minute Premium rate timed
1530 €0.50 per minute
1540 €0.70 per minute
1550 €1.20 per minute
1560 €1.80 per minute
1570 €2.50 per minute
1580 €2.40 per minute
1590 €3.50 per minute
1598 Premium rate adult non–live
1599 Premium rate adult live

Premium rate SMS[edit]

NDC Maximum price (ComReg) Notes
51XXX €0.16 per SMS Premium rate SMS
53XXX €0.30 per SMS
58XXX variable price – see advertising
59XXX

A special 50XXX code is used for free–of–charge SMS.

Premium rate services in Ireland are regulated by ComReg.[2]

Special rate non–geographic numbers[edit]

NDC Indicative pricing Notes since 1 December 2019 from 1 January 2022
1800 free National freephone / toll free as before
00800 International freephone / toll free
0818 variable timed variable geo–rated geo–rated
1850 variable per call charge untimed withdrawn
1890 variable timed variable
076 variable VoIP only

Toll–free numbers are free to call from mobile handsets, however the recipient can elect not to accept mobile–originated calls, and/or to accept calls only from predefined geographical region(s).

NB: 1800 1850 & 1890 can only be dialled from within Ireland. They should never be printed or presented in the international format +353 1800, +353 1850 or +353 1890 as these clash with working Dublin landline numbers in the 01area +353 1 8xx xxxx

A recent review[3] of non–geographic numbers will lead to the withdrawal of the 1850, 1890 and 076 number ranges by 1 January 2022. During the transition period, these ranges are geo–rated (charged as if they are geographical numbers).

From August 2019, various telecoms providers announced price changes which took effect on, or just before, 1 December 2019, including Virgin Media Business, in2tel, Virgin Media, Eir, Tesco Mobile, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Pure Telecom, 48 months and Sky Ireland.

Internet access numbers[edit]

  • 1891 – reduced cost internet access (possibly timed)
  • 1892 – local rate internet access (timed)
  • 1893 – variable cost internet access (timed)

Carrier selection (per call)[edit]

  • 13xxx – carrier selection (third party long distance, international and internet services). These codes override the default carrier.

Carrier preselect is normally used where the exchange automatically uses the customer's preferred provider(s).

Network engineering codes[edit]

  • 199xxx... – network operator-specific engineering codes (undefined length). These codes are generally not published.

Line information codes[edit]

These services give you more information about your phone line (applicable only to lines provided using the OpenEir access network.)

Check phone number associated with line / automatic number announcement circuit (ANAC)[edit]

  • 199000 – reads out your telephone number.

Check preset carrier[edit]

Check which carrier you are using for each category of call:

  • 19800 – international calls
  • 19822 – local calls
  • 19801 – calls to other parts of the Republic of Ireland, Irish mobile numbers and landlines in Northern Ireland.

Voicemail[edit]

  • 171 – used to access voicemail on all networks: fixed line (POTS and Cable), all mobile operators and many VoIP providers.

Call management services / supplementary service codes[edit]

Special short codes are used to control various supplementary services offered by digital local exchanges. These services were first introduced as PhonePlus in 1981, on the first generation of Alcatel E10 and Ericsson AXE digital exchanges used in Ireland, and were rolled out nationally throughout the 1980s.

These services are available on all Irish PSTN lines, regardless of operator. There is a more expansive range of services available, but these are the most commonly used. Different codes apply on cable telephony lines, such as those provided by Virgin Media Ireland and on VoIP providers.

PSTN lines and some ISDN services[edit]

Caller ID services[edit]

  • 141 – caller ID default override – withhold caller ID on this call
  • 142 – caller ID default override – present caller ID on this call
  • 1471 – check last missed call. The system will verbally announce details of the last missed call
  • #93# – delete missed call information from network memory

Call waiting[edit]

  • *43# – setup
  • *#43# – check status
  • #43# – cancel
Answering call waiting[edit]
  • R0 – reject call (or send to voicemail) and temporarily suspend call waiting service for this call.
  • R1 – answer waiting call and disconnect current call.
  • R2 – answer waiting call and place current call on hold/or swap between calls.
  • R3 – merge both calls into a three–way call.

Conference/three–way calling[edit]

  • While on a phone call, press the R key on your phone and dial the number you wish to add to the conversation.
  • Dial R3 to begin conference/three–way call.
  • R2 allows you to separate the calls and swap between them.

Call hold / transfer to another extension[edit]

  • R – places call on hold. Hang up and telephone will ring until call on hold is picked up again.

Call forwarding (unconditional)[edit]

  • *21*(phone number)# – forward all calls to (phone number)
  • *#21# – check status
  • #21# – deactivate

When this service is active, the dial tone changes to a two–frequency 'siren' tone.

Alarm / reminder call[edit]

  • *55*[time in 4–digit 24h format]# e.g. for 8:30am dial *55*0830#
  • *#55# – check status
  • #55# – cancel

Most exchanges confirm setup with a verbal announcement, however some exchanges may use a ringing tone to indicate successful service setup and a busy tone to indicate an error/invalid code.

Services on Virgin Media Ireland cable network[edit]

(Codes are unique to the network and do not follow ETSI guidelines)

Caller ID services[edit]

  • 141 – caller ID default override – withhold caller ID on this call
  • 142 – caller ID default override – present caller ID on this call
  • 1471 – check last missed call. The system will verbally announce details of the last missed call.

Call forwarding[edit]

Call forwarding (unconditional)[edit]
  • *70 (wait for prompt and enter phone number) – forward all calls to (phone number)
  • #70 – deactivate
Forwarding to voicemail[edit]
  • *75 – activate when busy
  • #75 – deactivate when busy
  • *77 – forward if unanswered
  • #77 – deactivate if unanswered

Call waiting[edit]

  • *72 – activate
  • #72 – deactivate
Answering call waiting[edit]
  • R1 – answer waiting call and disconnect current call.
  • R2 – answer waiting call and place current call on hold or swap between calls.

Anonymous call rejection[edit]

  • *90 – activate
  • #90 – deactivate

Redial last number called[edit]

  • ##

You will either hear a tone or a voice message to confirm services have been set up or deactivated.

Mobiles[edit]

  • GSM supplementary service codes – All of Ireland's mobile providers use the standard GSM codes to control special services such as call forwarding, barring, call waiting etc.

Number changes[edit]

Several major number changes have occurred since 2000.

2002–2003[edit]

  • The majority of area codes in County Donegal were merged into the single area code 074, while parts of south Donegal (e.g. Bundoran, Rossnowlagh) were merged into the area code 071. The area codes abolished were 073, 075 and 077. All local numbers became 7–digit.
  • Area codes in County Sligo and north County Leitrim were merged into the single area code 071. The area codes abolished were 072, 078 and 079. All local numbers became 7–digit.
  • Area codes in parts of counties Galway and Mayo were merged into the single area code 094, including Castlebar, Claremorris, Castlerea and Ballinrobe. The area codes abolished were 0907 and 092. All local numbers became 7–digit.
  • Area codes in parts of counties Galway, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath were merged into a new area code 090, including Athlone, Ballinasloe, Roscommon and Portumna. The area codes abolished were 0902, 0903, 0905 and 0509. All local numbers became 7–digit.
  • Area codes in parts of counties Meath and Offaly were merged into the single area code 046, including Navan, Kells, Trim, Enfield and Edenderry. The 0405 area code was abolished. All local numbers became 7–digit.

2006–2007[edit]

  • All local numbers with the area code 044 changed from 5–digit to 7–digit. Numbers in the Rochfortbridge minimum numbering area (MNA) were prefixed by 92, in the Mullingar MNA by 93 and the Castlepollard MNA by 96.
  • Area codes in counties Laois and Offaly were merged into the single area code 057, including Port Laoise, Birr and Tullamore. The area codes abolished were 0502, 0506 and 0509. All local numbers became 7–digit.
  • Area codes in County Wexford and parts of counties Carlow and Wicklow were merged into the single area code 053, including Wexford, Enniscorthy, Ferns and Gorey. The area codes abolished were 054and 055. All local numbers became 7–digit.

2009–2010[edit]

  • All local numbers with the area code 023 changed from 5–digit to 7–digit. Numbers in the Bandon MNA beginning with 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 were prefixed by 88, while numbers beginning with 6 were prefixed by 66.
  • All local numbers with the area code 043 changed from 5–digit to 7–digit. Numbers in the Longford MNA were prefixed by 33 and in the Edgeworthstown MNA by 66.
  • All local numbers with the area code 052 changed from 5–digit to 7–digit. Numbers in the Clonmel MNA were prefixed by 61, in the Cahir MNA by 74 and the Killenaule MNA by 91.
  • All local numbers with the area code 064 changed from 5–digit to 7–digit. Numbers in the Killarney MNA were prefixed by 66 and in the Rathmore MNA by 77.

Older changes[edit]

  • The area code 0461 for Nobber was merged with the area code 046 in the late 1980s. Numbers were changed from (0461) xxxx to (046) 5xxxx.
  • All local numbers with the area code 01 changed from 6–digits to 7–digits in five stages between 1990 and 1994:
    • On 2 April 1990, numbers beginning with 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 70 and 79 were prefixed with 6.
    • On 8 April 1991, numbers beginning with 8 and 69 were prefixed with 2.
    • On 4 April 1992, numbers beginning with 4 and the remaining 6–digit numbers beginning with 2 were prefixed with 8. Numbers beginning with 95 and 98 were prefixed with 2.
    • On 24 April 1993, numbers beginning with 75, 780, 781, 782, 783 and 784 were prefixed with 4, while numbers beginning with 60, 61, 68, 71, 76, 77, 785and 789 were prefixed with 6, and numbers beginning with 72, 73, 74, 786, 787 and 788 were prefixed with 8.
    • On 16 April 1994, numbers beginning with 3 were prefixed with 8, while numbers beginning with 5 and 9 were prefixed with 4.
  • Mobile numbering became 7–digit in the mid–1990s
  • All local numbers with the area code 021 changed from 6–digits to 7–digits in two stages between 1998 and 2000.
    • From September 1998, numbers beginning with 40 were prefixed with 2, while numbers beginning with 43 and 33 were prefixed by 7.
    • From February 2000, numbers beginning with 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 were prefixed with 4.
  • All local numbers with the area code 066 changed from 6–digits to 7–digits in 2000.
  • The prefix 080 was previously used for calls to Northern Ireland, but this changed to 048 following the Big Number Change in 2000.

Possible future changes[edit]

All local numbers with the area code 01 are currently 7–digits, but may change to 8–digits in the future, although breaking the city into separate area codes would match the rest of the national system.

A review and public consultation on the future of Ireland's numbering plan was undertaken.[4]

Historical numbering[edit]

Defunct access codes[edit]

  • 16 – former international access code[5]
  • 03 – formerly used for calls to the UK. The format was 03 + STD code + local number.[6]
  • 08 – formerly used for Northern Ireland landlines
  • 084 – formerly used for Belfast landlines[7]

Defunct operator services[edit]

  • 10 – national operator assistance (withdrawn in 2007)
  • 114 – international operator assistance (withdrawn in 2007)
  • 910 – operator-assisted calls to some areas without direct dialling (withdrawn in the early 1980s)
  • 1190Telecom Éireann national directory assistance (withdrawn in the early 2000s and replaced with 11811, originally 190)
  • 1197 – Telecom Éireann UK directory assistance (withdrawn in the early 2000s and replaced with 11818, originally 197)
  • 1198 – Telecom Éireann international directory assistance (withdrawn in the early 2000s and replaced with 11818, originally 198)
  • 191 – Telecom Éireann repair services (withdrawn in the late 1990s)
  • 196 – telemessaging services, whereby callers could ask an operator to send a postcard with a printed message (withdrawn in the late 1990s)

A range of numbers from 192, 193 and 194 were once used for various Telecom Éireann customer service and account service lines.

Defunct information services[edit]

  • 1191 – speaking clock (withdrawn on 27 August 2018)

Historical Northern Ireland access codes[edit]

  • before 2000: 08 followed by Northern Irish area code and phone number e.g. Belfast (01232) xxx xxx was reached by dialling 08 01232 xxx xxx.

Belfast could previously be reached by dialling 084 in place of the UK area code 0232.[7]

Historical Great Britain access codes[edit]

Until the early 1990s, the 03 numbering range was originally used for calls to Great Britain,[8] including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, with the Irish prefix 030 replacing the UK trunk code 0.[6]

Calls to British cities using the director telephone system were also possible using shorter codes:

031 was replaced with 03071[11] and 03081[12] when 01 was split into the area codes 071 and 081 in 1990.

Use of 03 for this purpose was discontinued in 1993, when the international access code changed from 16 to 00, with calls to Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland) requiring the country code +44 and the area code in full.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Numbering". Commission for Communications Regulation.
  2. ^ https://www.comreg.ie/premium-rate/about-premium-rate-services/what-are-premium-rate-services/
  3. ^ "Review of Non-Geographic Numbers". Commission for Communications Regulation. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ The Evolution of Geographic Telephone Numbering in Ireland, ComReg, 19 December 2013
  5. ^ Birnbaum's Ireland, 1991, Stephen Birnbaum, Houghton Mifflin, 1990, page 151
  6. ^ a b Festivals in Great Britain, Northern Ireland & Eire: A List with Forecast Dates and Policies, Richard Gregson-Williams, John Offord Publications, 1986, page 108
  7. ^ a b Ireland: A Directory, Jim O'Donnell, Institute of Public Administration, 1984, page 247
  8. ^ Multinational Executive Travel Companion, Guides to Multinational Business, 1992, page 244
  9. ^ Ireland: A Directory, Jim O'Donnell, Institute of Public Administration, 1985, page 18
  10. ^ a b c d e Ireland, Administration Yearbook and Diary, Institute of Public Administration, 1980, page 333
  11. ^ State Directory, Stationery Office, 1992, page 76
  12. ^ Benn's Media Directory, Benn, 1992, page 292
  13. ^ Ireland, Institute of Public Administration, 1994, page 14

Sources

External links[edit]