The increased recognition of the importance of soil is reflected in the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda with sustainable development goals that directly and indirectly relate to soil quality and protection. Despite a lack of legally binding legislation for soil protection, the European Commission remains committed to the objective of soil protection. However, the achievement of a legally binding framework for soil protection relies on the implementation of a soil monitoring network (SMN) that can detect changes to soil quality over time. As beneficiaries do not pay for the provision of soil information, the options for soil monitoring are limited. The use of existing data sets should be considered first. Using Ireland as an example, this research explored the opportunities for a SMN for Ireland considering three existing national data sets. The options for a SMN are considered in terms of their spatial and stratified distribution, the parameters to be measured and an economic analysis of the options proposed. This research finds that for Ireland, either a 10 or a 16 km2 grid interval stratified by land use and drainage class offers the best potential in relation to the spatial distribution of existing data sets to reflect local data at a national level. With existing data, the stratified SIS data using the 16 km2 grid offers the best value for money, with baseline costs for analysis, excluding field costs, of between €706 481 and €2.8 million. Acknowledging the impossibility of measuring all parameters with ideal frequency, this study proposes a two-tier system for optimized monitoring frequency. Parameters must anticipate future policy requirements. Finally, the implementation of a SMN must be accompanied by standardized methods, defined thresholds and action mandates to maintain soil quality within allowable limits.