Minister Noonan Launches new E-licensing system
Date Released: Tuesday, June 4, 2024

First phase of online portal involves processing deer hunting applications for 2024/2025, with more applications to be added over time

New system offers significant benefits to users, including greater efficiency and flexibility
Development is part of organisational renewal in NPWS, and will assist national efforts underway to manage the deer population.

Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD today launched the first phase of a new initiative developed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to bring licence applications online. Applications for deer hunting licences for the coming season can now be submitted to the NPWS through a new Heritage Licensing Portal. Over time the portal will be expanded to become a one-stop-shop for all Heritage licences.

The portal is one of the flagship projects of the Department’s Heritage ICT Modernisation Programme, and will deliver a modern, fast, efficient licencing process. Those applying for deer hunting licences for the 2024/2025 season will be the first group to avail of the new online system. In addition to processing licence applications, hunting returns can be added incrementally throughout the year. Applications for other licences will be managed through the portal in due course.

Minister Noonan said:

“I welcome this modern, flexible and citizen focused approach to issuing licences, which will also bring about benefits for nature. Deer are an integral part of the Irish landscape, but overgrazing is putting pressure on our woodlands and peatlands habitats. Preventing wild deer from accessing these habitats is challenging, and hunters are a major line of defence in protecting them. This new development will provide a more efficient, user friendly process which will support them to play their part in the overall management of the deer population and in particular hotspots.”

The new e-Licensing system will benefit applicants in a number of ways. Once they have set up an individual account, each applicant will be able to manage their licence applications and returns. They will be able to track the progress of their application, and access their licence documentation online when approved. Applicants may also add hunting returns throughout the year, before submitting them at the end of the season in advance of applying the following year.

Director General of the NPWS, Niall Ó Donnchú said

“NPWS has been in a phase of renewal since the launch of our Strategic Action Plan in 2023. The delivery of initiatives such as e-Licensing demonstrate our commitment to a high level of service to both stakeholders and the public.

This new system has been enhanced by engagement with hunting organisations and stakeholders, and I would like to thank them for their contribution. We look forward to their engagement as we further develop this system to support other licence applications.”

Further Information

Phase 1 of the eLicensing system allows those wishing to apply for a deer hunting licence for the 2024/2025 season to do so digitally in a safe and secure environment.

To apply for a deer hunting licence, applicants will have to create a profile on the Heritage Licensing Portal. This can be done on computers or on mobile devices through a browser.

Applicants will be required to supply relevant information and documentation, including photo, certification of hunting training, firearms details etc., as relevant. Applications will be reviewed within NPWS, and once approved, a licence will issue digitally to the applicant. A copy of the licence will be emailed to the address provided by the applicant, but will also be available within the portal.

NPWS has met with relevant stakeholder groups, and has provided them with a run through of the system. A FAQ document will be available to users, and a helpline will be available.

Applicants will be able to access the Portal from 2pm on Tuesday 4 June at the following url:

The Helpline number is 01 8883242 or email

For any technical issues when registering contact