IEDR has launched a public consultation on the introduction of IDN domains in the .ie name space.
The consultation period runs from February 21st, 2016, until March 21st, 2016.
Up until now only Latin characters have been permitted in .ie domain names, even though one of Ireland’s official languages is Irish (gaelic) which uses accented characters. The “fada” is used in the Irish language to elongate vowel sounds, so it can be found on a, e, i, o or u transforming them into á, é, í,ó,ú.
A lot of Irish place names, people’s names and organisation names use the Irish language, so up until now they’ve only ever been able to register the non-accented version. For example, the Irish translation of my first name is Micheál. At the moment I cannot register micheál.ie (or any variation on that), but would have to settle for micheal.ie (without the accent on the “a”).
So at a high level, once there is agreement people (and organisations) will be able to register their “real” Irish name(s). Of course, as we know, there are still issues around “universal acceptance” of IDN domains, so email and other applications currently do not work 100% with IDNs. As a result of this setting reasonable expectations with IDN IE domains will be an important part of the release and promotion of them.
Here’s the background documents as prepared by the IEDR in consultation with the Policy Advisory Board:
You can submit your feedback on the consultation via email to email@example.com before March 21st 2016.
Disclosure: I am one of the four registrar representatives on the IEDR’s PAC.