Republic of Ireland Travel Advice
Security travel advice for the Republic of Ireland
How safe is Ireland?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The current travel safety advice for Ireland is to remain cautious, especially during times where political or religious tensions may be prominent in the region of both Northern and Southern Ireland. Most stays are trouble-free, and the levels of serious crime are low throughout Southern Ireland.
Please note that the UK government has heightened its terror threat for Northern Ireland dissident Republican Terrorism to “substantial” in May 2016. Although it is felt that British nationals would not be singly targeted within Southern Ireland, please be sensitive to the nature of the past conflict and understand that there is an underlying threat from terrorist factions.
Most stays in Ireland are trouble-free, and Ireland has a low incidence of serious crime. Petty crime is apparent as with all tourist destinations, please be mindful of pickpockets and car theft. However, if you carry out normal safety precautions, your stay should be trouble-free.
Ireland is a cultured country and as such, has a rich history; some of which has been plighted in turmoil: “the troubles”. During 1968 through to 1998, there was ongoing terrorist activities fuelled by territorial tensions within the country, and predominantly Northern Ireland, but also affected the United Kingdom, and as far afield as Gibraltar. During this time, there were over 3,600 fatalities and 50,000 injured.
Many attacks and countering offensives were undertaken. As such, since this, there are times in the region where risks may be heightened throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. Prominent times are between April and August, especially leading up to the 12th July, where there are arranged marches, which can rapidly turn into civil disputes, and these parades can turn viciously violent without little warning.
As with all international cities, please be mindful in the late/early morning hours of being present on the street, the night clubs in the country can close between 2-4am and as such, some areas can become busy with persons who are intoxicated. This presents an enhanced security risk, as these localities can be areas where troubles can start.
There have been stabbings and other violent crimes in some areas of the country; Limerick is a known area for heightened crime during the evening hours, although in the majority, this is feud-related between existing rival ties in the area. Violent crime is rarely directed towards tourists, so your stay should remain a peaceful one if you are mindful of particular locations and times.
If you become a victim of crime whilst in Ireland, after contacting the relevant police authorities, please contact the Irish Tourist Assistance Service on 1890 365 700. The service can arrange accommodation, transportation and meals, and they liaise with many companies, such as travel insurance and financial institutions.
Ireland's International Relations
Ireland has good international links throughout the world. It has taken an independent stance with much of its foreign policy, with regards to its military involvement, and as such, is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). However, the Irish Defence Forces have taken part in many peace-keeping operations, such as the Congo crisis, Cyprus, Lebanon and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There has been previous controversy over the United States of America, using Shannon Airport as a transiting point for forces travelling onwards to Iraq. It is one of the smaller countries part of the European Union and was one of the founding members to carry the euro single currency.
Travelling around Ireland
Transport links throughout Ireland are good, however may suffer congestion at busier times in central areas, as with many international cities. In addition to this, ferry crossings may face delays due to weather conditions. Check with your provider on your itinerary before travelling. Our live map below provides comprehensive traffic updates on congested areas. Please see below for further information.
Some roads can be found to be rather narrow or have twists and turns, of which may be hazardous when driving in torrential or bad weather. Please heed caution when driving in the countryside.
Take great care when swimming, as the North Atlantic Ocean can easily pull swimmers out to sea, especially in the North West area of Ireland. Please note any information issued by the coastguard and the designated areas where it is safe to swim.
Hillwalkers should note that weather conditions can turn quickly and mists can roll in with temperatures dropping around the Sligo areas, please make sure you are aware of your surroundings, and have good equipment and protection for your travels.
Emergency services in Ireland:
Police emergency: 112
Fire emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 112
Religion: Christianity (Roman Catholicism)
Time now in Dublin:
Consular information for Ireland
U.S. Embassy Dublin
42 Elgin Road
Telephone: +353 1 630 6200
Telephone: +353 1 668 8777
British Embassy Dublin
29 Merrion Road
Telephone: +353 1 205 3700
Visa requirements for Ireland
Not required for stays up to 90 days. Ireland is a member of the European Union, but it is not part of the Schengen area. A passport is required to travel between Ireland and other European countries, including the United Kingdom in the instance of providing photographic identification. Alternatively for the UK, a driver’s licence is also permitted.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Ireland are up-to-date with primary boosters, such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get a Tetanus vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Water and sanitary conditions in Ireland are to a high standard.