Population-based studies of childhood cancer incidence, survival and mortality make an important contribution to monitoring the successful implementation of new treatment guidelines and to understanding the epidemiology of these diseases. We analysed incidence and survival for cancers diagnosed in children under 15 years in the Republic of Ireland during 1994-2000 (the first seven years of National Cancer Registry coverage), and longer-term mortality trends. World age-standardized incidence rates in Ireland averaged 142 cases per million children per year, slightly higher than the European average and slightly lower than the US average, though differences varied by diagnostic group. Observed five-year survival in Ireland (79% overall) was slightly higher than European and US averages, significantly higher for acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia (67%) and (compared with the US) significantly lower for Hodgkin lymphoma (83%). No significant increases in incidence rates were evident from the available seven years' data, either overall or for particular diagnostic groups. Rates of childhood cancer mortality have declined markedly since the 1950s, in line with other developed countries and suggesting major improvements in treatment and consequent survival.