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Ireland

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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Ireland. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local conditions.
  • Ireland is not a part of the Schengen area. It does not accept Schengen visas. See Entry and exit.
  • Rental cars are targeted for theft and break-ins, especially in Dublin and tourist locations. See Safety and security.
  • Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities in recent years. See Safety and security.
  • This advice does not apply to Northern Ireland. If you are travelling to Northern Ireland, read the travel advice for the United Kingdom.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

You don't need a visa for visits less than 90 days for tourism. On arrival, immigration authorities may ask for details of accommodation bookings, return flights and contacts in Ireland. You may be refused entry, or be given a limited stay visa, if Irish Immigration don't believe you're a genuine tourist. For longer visits or if you wish to work or study in Ireland, you will need a visa.

The Australian government cannot intervene on your behalf if you are refused entry to Ireland.

Ireland is not a part of the Schengen area and therefore does not accept Schengen visas. More information: Schengen bulletin.

Visa and other entry and exit requirements can change at short notice. Contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service or an Embassy or Consulate of Ireland for up-to-date visa information.

Other formalities

If you plan to work in Ireland, you'll need an employment permit. There are nine different types of employment permits. Contact the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for advice.

Entry requirements for minors, both accompanied and unaccompanied, are strictly applied by the Irish immigration authorities. The immigration official may ask for additional supporting documentation. Information is available from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

Passport

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception.  If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

Money

The currency of Ireland is the Euro.

Declare cash of 10,000 euros or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling between Ireland and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and travellers cheques. If you fail to declare your cash or you give incorrect information on entry to, or exit from, Ireland, you will be fined. You don't need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.

ATMs are widely available throughout the country. Check with your bank whether your card will work in Ireland.

Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime, including bag snatching and pickpocketing is common, particularly in city centres such as Dublin. Other areas popular with tourists are also targeted.

Car theft and break-ins are increasing. Rental cars are targeted for theft and break-ins, especially in Dublin and at tourist locations.

There is a moderate incidence of serious, violent crime.

Credit card fraud and ATM scams are becoming more common.

  • Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly on public transport and in crowded places.
  • Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
  • Avoid secluded parks and unlit areas.
  • Lock your vehicle doors, including when you are in the vehicle.
  • Park your vehicles in a secure parking lot wherever possible.
  • Ensure luggage and valuables in vehicles are kept out of sight.
  • Use ATMs in controlled areas such as within banks, shops and shopping centres. Avoid ATMs that open onto the street, especially at night.
  • Check ATMs before use. If anything looks unusual, don't use the machine.
  • Always keep your credit card in sight.
  • Keep an eye on local sources of information on crime. Avoid trouble spots.

The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) offers free support and practical help to victims of crime. See Where to get help.

Civil unrest and political tensions

Instances of civil disorder can rapidly escalate into violence.

  • Avoid protests and demonstrations, including those associated with Northern Ireland, as they may turn violent.
  • Monitor the media and other sources for advice of planned and possible demonstrations and avoid those areas.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. In recent years, terrorists have staged attacks in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks has been disrupted by European security services in recent years.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
  • Exercise particular caution around locations known to be possible terrorist targets.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Keep an eye on the media and local information services for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so. 

More information: Terrorism threat worldwide

Local travel

Road travel

Conditions on major roads and in urban areas are good but Ireland's narrow winding country roads and lanes can be hazardous, particularly at night and during bad weather. Vehicles share country roads with farm animals, vehicles and machinery.

There are serious penalties for drink driving in Ireland, including heavy fines and jail sentences. Blood alcohol limits are 0.05% in most cases but 0.02% for professional, learner and novice drivers.

  • Check your travel insurance will cover you before driving in Ireland.
  • Familiarise yourself with local road rules and practices.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Don't drink and drive.

More information:

Driver's licence

You can use your Australian driver's licence for up to 12 months. After that time you'll need to get an Irish licence. A driver's licence exchange operates between Ireland and Australia. If you have an Australian licence, you won't need to take road rule or driving tests if you apply for an Irish car or motorcycle licence.

Motorcycles

Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorcycle. Always wear a helmet.

Taxis

A number of authorised taxi and limousine services are available in Ireland.

Public transport

Ireland has well developed bus, rail and ferry networks. Public transport may be impacted by industrial action, weather or engineering works. See Transport for Ireland for details.

Sea travel

A number of international cruise lines stopover in Ireland. More information: Cruises

Air travel

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network for information on aviation safety in Ireland.

More information: Air travel

Laws

You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular services charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Possession of even small quantities of illegal drugs can lead to a long jail sentence. Don't use drugs. Don't agree to carry items for anyone else when entering or leaving Ireland. More information: Citizens Information (Irish Government).

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

Ireland recognises dual citizenship.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of your travel.

Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. Keep your prescription medication in the original packaging.

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Health risks in Ireland are broadly similar to those in Australia.

Medical facilities

Ireland's health care system is of a standard comparable to Australia.

A reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and Ireland allows you to access emergency medical services in public hospitals in Ireland on a similar basis to nationals of Ireland. The agreement does not provide for ongoing treatment of existing health conditions and it does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. Visit the Department of Human Services website for more information.

Up-front payment for medical treatment is normally needed.  

Natural disasters

Severe weather can have an impact on your travel overseas. Monitor local media for up-to-date information.

If you're visiting an area recently affected by severe weather:

  • confirm your plans and activities with your tour operator or travel provider
  • check the condition of infrastructure and facilities with local tour operators and hotels.

More information: Severe weather

 

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergency phone numbers

  • Fire: 112
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Criminal issues, contact police:  112 or contact the police at the nearest police station

Always get a police report when reporting a crime.

If you become a victim of crime, local police may refer you to the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) for free support and practical help. This could include liaison with travel companies and financial institutions, and, in emergency situations, arranging accommodation, meals and transport for you. ITAS has a Tourist Support Office for victims of crime in Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin. ITAS can be contacted directly on 1890 365 700 or by email at info@itas.ie.

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, contact ITAS for support and advice.

Australian Government

Read the Consular services charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas. For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Dublin.

Australian Embassy, Dublin

3rd Floor

47-49 St Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 664 5300
Fax: +353 1 678 5185
Email: austremb.dublin@dfat.gov.au
Website: ireland.embassy.gov.au

Access to the Embassy is by appointment only. Check the Australian Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Additional resources