DCU and Trinity have tumbled in the latest university rankings.
Trinity is still number one here, but globally, it's down 44 places from 120th to 164th.
DCU also plummeted from the 401/500 group back to 601/800.
The overall downward trend in Irish universities has led to calls for increased funding.
Dean of Research at Trinity College, Linda Doyle, said the rankings are vital.
"It matters to us hugely in terms of internation reputation, and that matters in terms of foreign direct investment and in matters [to] us as a country being taken seriously," she said.
"What we're asking for is competitive funding at the research side of things - you want that funding to be there, you want it to be competitive -- and basically then you give it out on the basis of excellence."