For over 70 years, residents of the Republic of Ireland have been able to watch live BBC TV – initially by picking up terrestrial signals coming from Northern Ireland and Wales, and later by being licensed under the Irish TV licence.
Watching BBC iPlayer in Ireland is a different story though, and Brits taking a trip to the Emerald Isle will find that the BBC streaming service is totally unavailable to watch – meaning you have Peaky Blinders, Killing Eve or brand new comedies like The Witchfinder.
Here we’ll walk through the steps required to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland, and we’ll also share where to access the BBC’s flagship shows if you’re a permanent Irish resident.
How to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland
In the UK it’s as easy as going to the BBC iPlayer website, register a free account, choose what you want to watch and press play. Those in Ireland, however, have no access.
Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way around this in the form of the best VPN.
Once you have installed your BBC iPlayer VPN, all you need to do is connect to a UK VPN server and then head over to the BBC iPlayer website as if you were back home in the UK. iPlayer thinks you’re in the right place and gives you free access to all the shows you love.
Please note that to watch BBC iPlayer you must also be a UK TV license payer. Access without this is not allowed.
Which VPN is best for watching BBC iPlayer in Ireland?
Watch iPlayer in Ireland step by step
Do I need a TV license to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland?
Short answer: Yes.
BBC iPlayer is funded by UK citizens who pay for their TV license, and the rules state that only those who contribute can watch. This can be frustrating for Brits abroad as even though they pay for their license BBC iPlayer is still blocked. In this situation, using a streaming VPN to watch iPlayer in Ireland is a perfect solution.
However, Irish citizens who do not pay the UK TV license will be prohibited from accessing BBC iPlayer. Fortunately, however, there are a number of other ways to access BBC content.
Watch BBC shows in Ireland without iPlayer
Irish residents are not completely out in the cold when it comes to watching BBC TV programmes. Live TV has of course never been discussed – Irish citizens have been able to watch it for years – but a subscription is necessary to catch up.
How to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland on Fire Stick
Its portability factor makes Amazon’s Fire TV Stick the perfect streaming device to travel with – all you need is a power outlet and an HDMI connection.
One of the Fire Stick’s biggest draws to travelers, however, is the fact that it’s VPN compatible, meaning you can watch BBC iPlayer on a big screen from anywhere – and thankfully the process is super easy. For a full selection of VPNs, see our guide to Fire Stick VPN services.
Follow the simple steps below to get started:
- Sign up for a VPN – we recommend ExpressVPN
- Install your VPN’s app on your Fire Stick. You can find this for all major providers in the Amazon App Store
- Open the app and connect to a UK server
- Open the BBC iPlayer app, choose something to watch
- To enjoy!
Is watching BBC iPlayer legal in Ireland?
Again, if you’re a UK TV license payer, using a VPN to watch iPlayer in Ireland is totally beyond expectations. However, you are breaking this rule if you watch iPlayer (inside or outside the UK) without a TV license.
While you do need a TV license to watch anything on BBC iPlayer, it’s worth noting that you don’t need one to watch UK TV abroad on other channel sites such as ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5.