Open Datasets

A vast number of datasets relating to public services have been made available to the public as part of an open data initiative

open data

What is open data?


Open data is about making data held by public bodies, available and accessible for reuse and redistribution. It promises to aid areas such as eGovernment and data analytics, to deliver economic, social, and democratic benefits.


A Publisher in the context of the Open Data Unit is any Irish Public Sector Body who publishes Open Data on the portal. There are in excess of 100 publishers at present, on the portal, providing a vast array of diverse datasets.

Open Data Licence

For a dataset to be considered as Open Data, it must be associated with an Open Licence. The European Commission, as part of its ongoing work in relation to the PSI Directive, has issued guidelines on recommended licences and datasets. These guidelines encourage “the use of open licences, which should eventually become common practice across the Union”. read more»

Open Data Sources

The Open Data listed in is published by over 80 Government Departments and Public Bodies. Many datasets are individually published and updated by public organisations. Other datasets are harvested daily from existing, domain-specific data catalogues.


The portal publishes datasets in a number of formats. Some of these datasets are very sophisticated and have their own API for integration. Others are downloadable, machine-readable formats such as JSON or CSV, while a few exist in generally digestible format such as PDF or HTML. There are in excess of 6000 datasets available, most of which are available in machine-readable format.

Re-use of Public Sector Information

The re-use of public sector information is covered by many pieces of legislation, from EU directives to Irish statutory instruments. If you wish to find out more about the legislation covering open data in the public sector, details are available on the Open Data Unit’s web portal.

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