The Irish Singles Chart (Irish: Cairt Singil na hÉireann) is Ireland's music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and compiled on their behalf by The Official Charts Company. Chart rankings are based on sales, which are compiled through over-the-counter retail data captured electronically each day from retailers' EPOS systems. Currently, all major record shops, digital retailers and streaming services contribute to the chart, accounting for over 95% of the market. A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by the Irish Recorded Music Association on Friday at noon. Each chart is dated with the "week-ending" date of the previous Thursday (i.e., the day before issue). The singles chart was first published on 1 October 1962, and covered the top ten singles of the previous week by record label shipments.
The charts were first broadcast on RTÉ on 1 October 1962. Before this charts had been printed in the Evening Herald newspaper, but it is debated as to whether they are official or not. Up until 1972 the Irish Chart was based on telephone sales received from record retailers based on over the counter sales to the public. The compilers of the chart changed several times and in January 1972 the chart changed to one based on sales from manufacturers to retailers. From October 1975 to February 1977 the chart was compiled from votes from readers in the Evening Herald newspaper. There was a separate Irish and International artists chart for a time during this period. From 1977 the chart once again became based on sales from retailers to the public but during the early 1980s this again changed and was once more based on sales from manufacturers to retailers. Currently RTÉ 2fm broadcasts the top 30 of the chart every Friday night from 8pm to 10pm.
In 1992, the singles chart became based on consumer sales after IFPI and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) granted a contract to Gallup, a market research company. Gallup installed Epson PX-4 devices in sixty record stores to collect singles sales data. In 1996, Chart-Track was formed as a result of a management buy-out from Gallup. Also in 1996, with the development of technology, EPOS systems were installed in multiple music retail stores. The EPOS systems allowed for the collection of more accurate sales information. Currently, Chart-Track collects data daily from major record stores such as HMV and Tower Records, as well as over forty Independent retailers. In total, data from over four-hundred and ninety stores are collected each week. The singles chart is compiled over seven days and released every Friday at noon by the IRMA, while Midweek Charts are produced daily, but only released to IRMA members.
It was announced that from 1 July 2006, downloads would be counted in the charts. They would also feature in their own chart in addition to being counted for the overall chart. Data was initially collected from iTunes, Vodafone, eircom, Sony Connect, Wippit and Bleep.com. Although IRMA estimated the size of the download market to amount to only 14% of the total market in 2006, this has increased in more recent years.
First Irish artist to go straight in at number one
Artists with the most number one hits
2. 13 (tie)
5. 9 (tie)
8. 8 (tie)
14. 7 (tie)
Songs with the most weeks at number one
Acts to occupy the top two positions
In addition, in the fifth and seventh week that Justin Bieber was at #1 and #2 with "Love Yourself" and "Sorry", "What Do You Mean" was at #3. For the sixth week that Ed Sheeran was at #1 and #2 with "Galway Girl" and "Shape of You", he also occupied #3 to #16 with the remaining tracks from "÷". In the second week, "Castle on the Hill", "Nancy Mulligan" and "New Man" occupied #3, #4 and #5 respectively and "Castle on the Hill" remained at #3 for the third week.