One of the first items I try to tackle whenever I hit a new country is to get a pay as you go SIM for my iPhone. If you are on a budget it’s something that you may not want to do, but I find having data on my phone invaluable for various reasons.
Last time I was in Ireland, I opted for a Vodafone SIM card for my iPhone. I remember at the time it was reasonably priced and gave me 100MB or so of data. Since I was going to be in Ireland for a month though, I wanted to have more data. I look at Vodafone’s pricing, but it started at around 40 Euros for the month for 1GB worth of data.
A friend of mine recommended O2 instead, so as soon as I arrived in Galway I went down to the O2 office to price out getting a SIM card in Ireland. Sure enough, they had a 1GB data plan for only 20 Euros, which I figured should last me nearly a month.
The O2 people were really friendly, and had me and my girlfriend up and running on our new SIMs in about 10 minutes. Most of the time when purchasing a pre-paid SIM card they will need to see your passport. But O2 didn’t need it, or any other form of identification either.
Unfortunately for me, my SIM card displayed “No Service” for over 24 hours after putting my new SIM card in. When I went back to O2 the next day though they determined that my SIM card hadn’t been properly activated, and quickly fixed the issue for me. Had I brought my phone with me when I went the first time I’m sure that could have been avoided, as my girlfriend made sure her phone was working before we left the store.
So in 2013 the best pay as you go data plan in Ireland that I found was for O2. Your mileage may vary, but for me 20 Euros to use my cell phone for a month around Ireland is a good deal.