Between January 1999 and June 2002, 646 invasive isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected in Ireland. MICs of penicillin, ciprofloxacin, cefotaxime, moxifloxacin and linezolid were determined by Etest methodology. Eighty-seven (13.5%) isolates showed intermediate resistance to penicillin, while seven (1.1%) showed high-level resistance. Eighty-seven (13.5%) isolates were resistant to erythromycin, but all isolates were susceptible to cefotaxime, moxifloxacin and linezolid. The prevalence of pneumococcal isolates non-susceptible to penicillin in Ireland is worryingly high, but currently there are alternative agents available to treat invasive infection.