Ireland - Consular Information Sheet
November 8, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Ireland is a highly developed democracy
with a modern economy.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport is necessary, but a visa
is not required for tourist or business stays of up to three months.
For information concerning entry requirements for Ireland, travelers
the Embassy of Ireland at 2234 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20008; tel. (202) 462-3939, fax: 202-232-5993,
or the nearest Irish consulate in Boston, Chicago, New York, or
San Francisco. The Internet address of the Irish Embassy is: http://www.irelandemb.org.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: A peace agreement for Northern Ireland
was ratified by voters in Ireland and Northern Ireland in May
1998. While the cease-fire that came into effect at that time
is officially holding, there have been periodic incidents of violence
associated with paramilitary organizations. Incidents of violence
have been widespread in Northern Ireland, with at least the potential
for some spill-over into Ireland. Travelers to Northern Ireland
should consult the Consular Information Sheet for the United Kingdom.
CRIME INFORMATION: Although Ireland has a low rate of violent
crime, incidents in which non-nationals and tourists have been
victims of assault have increased. The numbers of racially-motivated
attacks in particular have risen in the past year. There is a
high incidence of petty crime, mostly theft, burglary, and purse
snatching. Rental cars and tourists, particularly in the vicinity
of tourist attractions, are targeted by thieves. The loss or theft
abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local
police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens
can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad,for ways to promote a trouble-free trip.
The pamphlet is available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND INSURANCE: Modern medical facilites
and highly skilled medical practitioners are available. U.S. medical
insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S.
Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical
services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often
expect immediate cash payment for health services. Uninsured travelers
who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Travelers have found that supplemental medical insurance with
specific overseas coverage, including air evacuation, has proved
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at tel. 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-800-CDC-FAXX(1-800-232-3299),
or via CDC's Internet
site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Ireland is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availablitiy of Roadside Assistance: Good
As driving is on the left side of the road in Ireland, motorists
without experience in left-drive countries should be extra cautious.
Tourists driving on the wrong side of the road are the cause of
several serious accidents each year. Road conditions are generally
very good, but once off main highways, country roads quickly become
narrow and uneven. Roads are more dangerous during the summer
and on holiday weekends due to an increase in traffic.
Taxis are reasonably priced, but availability varies with time
of day. Bus service in cities is generally adequate, though many
buses are overcrowded and frequently late. Inter-city bus and
train services are reasonably good.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at: http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific
information concerning Irish driving permits, vehicle inspection,
road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the
Irish National Tourist Organization (Bord Failte) web site
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Ireland's Civil Aviation
Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Ireland's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit
FAA's web site at: http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Irish Customs authorities may enforce
strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export
from Ireland of items such as firearms. It is advisable to contact
the Embassy of Ireland in Washington or one of Ireland's consulates
in the United States for specific information regarding customs
requirements. Customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA
(Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the admission
of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for
exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA
Carnet Headquarters, located at the
U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet
in the United States. For additional information, please call
212-354-4480, or send an e-mail to email@example.com., or visit
http://www.uscib.org for details.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protection available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Irish laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Ireland are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail
sentences and heavy fines.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Most Irish banks will not accept
U.S. $100 bills. Automated Teller Machines are widely available,
but some ATM's, particularly in rural areas, may not accept U.S.
bank ATM cards. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Ireland.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at: http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html, or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in or
visiting Ireland are encouraged to register with the Consular
Section of the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on
travel and security in Ireland. The U.S. Embassy in Dublin is
located at 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, tel. (353)(1)668-7122;
after hours tel. (353)(1)668-9612/9464; fax: (353)(1) 668-9946.
Travelers to Northern Ireland may consult the Consular Information
Sheet for the United Kingdom. Further information and answers
to many frequently asked questions are available on the
U.S. Embassy's Internet home page at http://www.usembassy.ie/.