Ireland

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Thursday, 20 March 2014.   It has been reviewed and reissued with editorial amendments. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Ireland.

Ireland overall

Summary

  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Ireland.
  • Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
  • There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Ireland is not a party to the Schengen Agreement. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Ireland for the most up to date information.

For advice on entry and exit requirement to Northern Ireland, see our United Kingdom travel advice.

Australians wishing to work in Ireland must hold a valid work permit; there is no longer a separate category for spouses or dependants. It is not possible for an Australian Working Holiday Visa Holder in Ireland to switch over to a work permit until the completion of the full year of the Working Holiday Visa.

People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) who are carrying 10,000 Euros or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Under the legislation, the term "cash" includes cheques, travellers' cheques and money orders. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.

Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.

There is an ongoing risk of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities.

Civil unrest/political tensions

You should avoid all protests and demonstrations, including those associated with tensions over Northern Ireland, as they may turn violent. Instances of civil disorder can rapidly escalate into violence and you should avoid them wherever possible, including through careful monitoring of the media and following the advice of local authorities.

Northern Ireland Australians travelling to Northern Ireland should read the relevant sections of our United Kingdom travel advice.

Crime

Ireland has a low incidence of serious, violent crime. Petty crime, including bag snatching, smash and grab from cars and public transport, and pickpocketing is common, particularly in city centres and areas frequented by tourists. Car theft is increasing, especially in Dublin, and rental cars are particularly targeted. Credit card fraud and ATM scams are becoming more common. If you are suspicious of any items that are stuck to ATMs or look unusual, do not use the machine.

The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) offers free support and practical help to victims of crime. This includes liaison with travel companies and financial institutions, and in emergency situations is able to arrange accommodation, meals and transport. ITAS recommends that you report any incident in person to the nearest Garda (Police) Station who will then contact the organisation. ITAS can also be contacted directly on 1890 365 700.

Money and valuables

Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Check with your bank whether your ATM card will work overseas.

Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.

As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.

Local travel

While conditions on major roads and in urban areas are generally good, road traffic regulations are occasionally not observed. Ireland's narrow winding country lanes can be hazardous, particularly when driving at night and during inclement weather. For further advice, see our road travel page.

A driver licence exchange operates between Ireland and States and Territories in Australia. This allows a holder of a valid Australian driver licence who is resident in Ireland to surrender their Australian licence and be granted an equivalent Irish licence without undergoing a driving test. All surrendered licences are returned to the relevant Australian motor vehicle registry.

There are serious penalties for drink driving in Ireland. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences.

Airline safety

Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.

Laws

When you are in Ireland, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australian overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Information for dual nationals

Our Dual Nationals brochure provides further information for dual nationals.

Health

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. 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 a traveller’s medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

Ireland's health care system is generally of a reasonable standard. Up-front payment for medical treatment is normally required.

The Australian Government has signed a reciprocal health care agreement with the Government of the Republic of Ireland. The agreement provides Australians with access to emergency medical services but does not provide for ongoing treatment of existing health conditions. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See Medicare Australia's website for more information.

Where to get help

In Ireland, you can obtain consular assistance from the:

Australian Embassy - Dublin

7th Floor
Fitzwilton House
Wilton Terrace
Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 664 5300
Fax: +353 1 678 5185
Email: austremb.dublin@dfat.gov.au
Website: http://www.ireland.embassy.gov.au/

If you are travelling to Ireland, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

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

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.

Additional information

For parents

For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children page.



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.