There is no specific legislation relating to the regulation of tattooing and body piercing businesses in Ireland. However, tattooing and body piercing businesses are required to comply with public health as well as health and safety legislation in the same way as any other business. In the absence of sector specific regulation, my Department and the Health Service Executive are finalising guidelines on infection control for use by the tattooing and body piercing industry. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance in relation to infection control, and it is aimed at achieving the highest standards of safety and prevention. It will also provide information concerning best practice for people who are considering getting a tattoo or body piercing when choosing an operator.
With respect to consent, including the age of consent, under the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act, 1997, and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1935, tattooing and body piercing may be construed as a criminal offence if proper informed consent is not obtained; or in the case of minors, if tattooing or body piercing is carried out on certain parts of the body, with or without consent. Consequently, any queries relating to these issues would be a matter for An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice and Equality.
The guidelines are in the process of being finalised and are expected to be published later on this year.