|Still current at: 04 October 2011
Updated: 09 August 2011
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the General - Consular Assistance Statistics section (updated statistics). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Ireland.
(see travel advice legal disclaimer)
Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism abroad page.
Safety and Security - Crime
Most visitors to Ireland enjoy a trouble-free time and experience no difficulties during their stay. The capital, Dublin, is a bustling city and tends to be the centre for nightlife and shopping, attracting a lot of people. The Dublin shopping centre is very busy especially at weekends. Take precautions to avoid personal attacks, bag snatching and pick pocketing. Try to avoid carrying valuables and large sums of money. You should make sure that vehicles are properly secured, and where possible park in secure parking lots. Do not leave valuables such as handbags or mobile phones in your car. For more general information see our Victims of crime abroad page.
Safety and Security - Local Travel
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
In 2009 there were 239 road deaths in Ireland (source: DfT). This equates to 5.4 road deaths per 100,000 of population compared to the UK average of 3.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2009.
Most road signs in Ireland are metric measurements.
Do not drink and drive. You may be heavily penalised or even imprisoned if you are found driving over the limit. The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Please be aware that new legislation is imminent that is likely to make the level even less. Since July 2006, the Garda Traffic Corps has been empowered to conduct random breath-tests on drivers. Holding and using a mobile phone whilst driving is also banned. If you relocate to Ireland you must re-register your UK registered vehicle within one week of arriving to reside in Ireland. Your car could possibly be impounded if you fail to comply. See our Driving abroad page.
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Air Travel
The revised EU-wide security measures that came into effect for all passengers departing from UK airports in November 2006 are also being implemented in Ireland. For more details about this see Airline security.
Safety and Security - Political Situation
Ireland Country Profile
It is illegal to smoke in places of employment in Ireland. This covers pubs and restaurants. Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even small quantities can lead to long terms of imprisonment. Do not offer to carry parcels or luggage for any other person when entering or leaving Ireland.
See our Your trip page.
Ireland, along with the UK, is a member of the Common Travel Area. This means that British Citizens do not require a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the IDs of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and most airlines will not carry passengers to and from Ireland unless they have seen satisfactory photographic ID before boarding. Travellers to Ireland are therefore advised to take their British passports with them.
Other than passports, some carriers may accept other types of photographic ID. For their acceptability, please consult your carrier before travelling. Take care to read any advice they may give when booking tickets on the Internet.
If you need a doctor you may be asked to pay for the consultation there and then. You should ensure that you have sufficient medical insurance to cover this.
You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Irish nationals. It also does not cover you for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. See our EHIC page.
In the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 6,900 adults aged 15 or over in Ireland were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.2% of the adult population, which equals the prevalence percentage in the UK. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.
Seek medical advice before travelling to Ireland and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention visit the websites of the NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
See our Travel health page.
General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. Ensure that you have sufficient medical insurance to cover your stay in Ireland. If you need a doctor you may be asked to pay for the consultation there and then. See our Travel insurance page.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.
The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) can also offer support and practical assistance to victims of crime. This includes liaison with travel companies and financial institutions and, in emergency situations, arranging accommodation, meals and transport. The service is free and Ireland-wide. The ITAS recommends you report any incident in person to the nearest Garda (Police) Station who will then contact the organisation.
ITAS can be contacted at:
Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS)
Monday-Friday, 6 - 7 Hanover Street East, Dublin
Weekends and public holidays: Store Street Garda Station, Dublin 2
www.itas.ie. email@example.com Tel: Mon-Fri: +353 (0)1-6610562; Weekend and public holidays: +353 (0)1 6668109
Open Mon-Sat: 10:00 - 18:00, Sun & Public Holidays: 12:00 - 18:00.
General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.
29 Merrion Road
Telephone: (353) (1) 205 3700 Main Switchboard
(353) (1) 205 3775 Trade & Investment
(353) (1) 205 3791 Press & Public Affairs enquiries only
1570 214 666 (in Ireland, charged at €1.75 per minute) or 0906 664 1717 (from the UK, charged at £1.50 per minute) Passports. All passport enquiries are handled on our behalf by Careline.
1570 214 314 (in Ireland, charged at €1.75 per minute) or 00 353 76 670 9865 (if calling outside of Ireland, call charged at $14) Visas. All UK visa enquiries are handled on our behalf by WorldBridge Service.
(353) (1) 205 3885 Management
(353) (1) 205 3880 Trade & Investment
(353) (1) 205 3731 Chancery
(353) (1) 205 3890 Visa
(353) (1) 205 3820 Passports
(353) (1) 205 3779 Consular
(353) (1) 205 3893 Press & Public Affairs
firstname.lastname@example.org Trade & Investment section
email@example.com Press & Public Affairs
Office Hours: GMT: (Local Time = GMT)
Mon-Thurs: 09:00-12:45 / 14:00-17:15
Fri: 09:00-12:45 / 14:00-17:00