Given the increasing role that informal caregivers play in the Irish health, social and economic systems, this short empirical paper outlines and maps the spatial distribution of caregivers from the 2002 and 2006 Censuses to provide some preliminary insights into patterns of caregiving in Ireland. The primary tasks involved mapping the distribution of carers at small area-level in both 2002 and 2006 and noting specific changes in patterns from the 2006 data. Patterns of informal caring are discussed in relation to: (a) clusters and concentrations (as measured by location quotients), (b) specific distributions related to intensities of caring, (c) key changes noted between 2002 and 2006 and (d) some preliminary explorations of explanatory data. Associations were identified between high-intensity caring and age, social class, deprivation and working in the home. Finally, potential applied policy uses for data for informal caring are identified including needs assessment and as an evidence base for modelling spatial service equity. Â© 2008 Geographical Society of Ireland.