The increasing movement of people to wilderness areas, shrinking of wildlife habitats and the resulting urbanisation of wildlife has led to growing concerns about the transfer of parasitic diseases, particularly from contaminated faeces. Faecal samples from wild carnivores in Ireland were examined for the presence of protozoan and nematode parasites. Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) samples (n = 91) were positive for Uncinaria stenocephala (38 %), Eucoleus aerophilus (26 %), Toxocara canis (20 %), Trichuris vulpis (4 %) and Isospora-like oocysts (9 %). Badger (Meles meles) samples (n = 50) were positive for Uncinaria criniformis (40 %), E. aerophilus (6 %) and Isospora-like oocysts (16 %). No parasites were observed in pine marten (n = 48; Martes martes) faeces. Approximately 5 % of American mink (Mustela vison) samples were positive for Cryptosporidium by polymerase chain reaction (identified as Cryptosporidium andersoni (n = 3) and 'mink' genotype (n = 1)). The results suggest that wild carnivores in Ireland have a range of parasites, although it is unclear from the present study to what extent these infections are associated with morbidity. While it can be expected that, via their faeces, wild carnivores contribute to the spread of these parasites, they are unlikely the primary source of environmental contamination. Therefore, they should not always be the principal target of control measures.