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Open Data Directive

Tá leagan Gaeilge den mhír seo ar fáil anseo.

The Open Data Directive mandates the release of public sector data in free and open formats. The Directive (full title is the Open Data and re-use of Public Sector information Directive) (EU) 2019/1024 was transposed into Irish law by SI 376/2021 on July 22nd 2021. The overall objective of the Directive is to continue the strengthening of the EU’s data economy by increasing the amount of public sector data available for re-use, ensuring fair competition and easy access public sector information, and enhancing cross-border innovation based on data.

The main principle of the Directive is that government data should be open by default and design.  The provisions of the Directive include:

  • Release of non-personal data in open formats and to open standards.
  • Data to be available in real time and via APIs (where possible).
  • New rules on charging - free reuse becomes a principle.
  • Re-use of publically funded research data.
  • List of High Value Datasets (HVDs) to be laid down in an Implementing Act.
  • Prevention of data lock-in, exclusive arrangements discouraged.
  • Re-use of data held by public undertakings such as public utilities and transport providers.


Requests for Reuse

Did you know that you have the right to re-use information which public bodies hold, under the Open Data Directive?

Any individual or entity may make a request to a public sector body to release documents /data for re-use. 

The request should clearly indicate that it is being made under the Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive, commonly known as the Open Data Directive.  The Open Data Regulations which transposed the Directive in to Irish law, SI 376/2021, provide that a public sector body should respond to an Open Data request:

  • within 20 working days from receipt of the request, 
  • or if a complex request, within 40 working days.

Where, due to the extent or complexity of the request, processing will take longer than 20 working days from receipt of the request, the public sector body concerned shall advise the requester accordingly within three weeks after the initial request was received. In such circumstances the public sector body should respond in full to the request within 40 working days from receipt of the request.   


If you are not happy with the public body's decision on your request, you can appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner which is an independent appeals body and have the power to affirm, annul or vary the public body's decision.

Open Data Licence

The majority of data and metadata linked to will be associated with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence, at a minimum.  Under the CC-BY Licence, users must acknowledge the source of the Information in their product or application. Where the Information Provider does not provide a specific attribution statement users should include, or link to, this attribution statement: “Contains Irish Public Sector Data licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence”.


July 2021 - Statutory Instrument 376/2021 - European Union (Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information) Regulations 2021

June 2019 - EU Directive 2019/1024 on Open Data and the re-use of Public Sector Information (Open Data Directive)

PSI Directive

The Open Data Directive was proceeded by the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive.  The PSI Directive has been replaced by the Open Data Directive.

Guides and Circulars

Circular 20/2021 - Open Data Directive