Olav's Irish number plates

Could this be the most boring website ever? Olav's Irish number plates – License plates of Ireland is a Norwegian fansite for, well, number plates. I tried to find something redeeming on this site but it's just a tedious collection of dirty number plate photos.

Christ, Olav what are you on? You're in Norway, home of Bugge Wesseltoft, Christian Wallumrood, Jan Garbarek, Jaga Jazzist, Terje Rydpal, Nils Petter Molvaer, Susannah and the Magical Orchestra etc. Go see some jazz, you space cadet.

Anyway, what is the story with Irish number plates? The basic requirements are:

  • The registration number consisting of numbers and letters must be in black on a white reflective background
  • The name of the county of registration must be in Irish, (examples are Baile Átha Cliath, Corcaigh, etc.)
  • The flag of the EU and the letters "IRL" must be placed on the left-hand side of the plate, the flag comprising 12 gold stars in a circle, the letters in white beneath it, all on a blue reflective background. No other numbers, letters, marks, etc., should appear on your registration plate.

But deeper in the legislation you find pages and pages of this kind of labyrinthine bureaucracy:

(d) the index mark shall be separated from adjoining figures on each side of the index mark by a hyphen with a stroke width of 10 millimetres which shall extend horizontally for a distance of not less than 13 millimetres and not more than 22 millimetres; the distances between each hyphen and the nearest part of any adjoining letter or figure shall be uniform and shall be not less than 10 millimetres…

For years, I assumed that this was all Euro-regulation nonsense, but then I realised that right next door we have this situation:

Hmm. That's more like it. Who introduced all this tomfoolery, I demand to know.