After losing the toss and being put into bat, the Irish were struggling at 56-4 when rain forced players to leave the field. The teams had already played through half an hour of light showers.
The ground at Malahide, near Dublin, was virtually deserted by the time confirmation arrived about three hours later that there would be no further play.
England was without players who featured in the recent test series in the West Indies, and named a makeshift team featuring five debutants. Two of them, Mark Wood and David Willey, took a wicket apiece, and two others, James Vince and Jason Roy, took catches at slip.
It was a one-off ODI between the teams.