Ireland Facts

Want to find out what the weather holds or who to contact in case of an emergency? We have the facts every visitor needs to know.

 

Select an item from the following list:

 

 

Climate

Ireland has a mild, temperate climate:
Summer temperatures generally range from 60ºF/15ºC to 70ºF/20ºC.
Spring and autumn are generally 50ºF/10ºC.
Winter is between 40ºF/5ºC and 46ºF/8ºC. (Snow is rare, but showers can occur at any time of the year.)

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Concessions

The island of Ireland widely recognizes concessions. Men and women over the age of 65 are recognized as being Senior Citizens or Old Age Pensioners and enjoy a variety of discounts and privileges.

Ireland's also very student friendly with many attractions offering a reduced student rate/admission charge on the presentation of a valid student ID card.

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Currency

Republic of Ireland
The euro is the currency of the Republic of Ireland.
One euro consists of 100 cent.
Notes are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
Coins are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2.

Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, the currency is sterling.
One pound sterling consists of 100 pence.
Notes are £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100.
Coins are 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.

Credit Cards
Any credit cards that bear the Visa, MasterCard or American Express symbol will be widely accepted in Ireland. Visitors with other cards should ask in advance or check if that card is on display where they wish to use it.

Banks
Banking hours are generally 10.00am to 4.30pm Monday through Friday. Some banks are open on Saturday. ATM (cash) machines are located at most banks and accept most credit and debit cards.

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Customs

Customs operate green and red channels at most ports and airports. If you need to declare goods over the duty and tax-free allowances for non-EU visitors you must use the red channel. Pass through the green channel if you have nothing to declare.

For goods obtained outside the EU
The following goods may be imported by persons over the age of 17 without incurring customs duty:

  • 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco;
  • 10l of spirits (more than 22%) or 20l of intermediate products (eg port, sherry etc but not sparkling wine) or
  • 90l of wine (of which only 60l can be sparkling) or 110l of beer;
  • 60mls of perfume or 250ml of eau de toilette;
  • other dutiable goods to the value of 40 Euro.

Vat and Tax Refunds

To be able to claim a tax refund you must be a non-EU visitor to Ireland. Look for the 'Tax-Free Shopping' sign in the windows of participating stores. You must complete a valid tax refund document obtained from the retailer and present the tax refund document and goods to Customs on departure from the EU. A customs officer will check the goods and validate the tax refund document. You can receive your refund on the spot at some airports, otherwise you should mail the validated tax refund document back to the store and a refund will be issued.

VAT is charged on almost everything, but remember that refunds only apply to goods being taken out of the country, not services. VAT and tax refunds are not available to EU visitors.

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Demographics

The population of the island is currently 5.4 million, with over 4 million living in the Republic of Ireland and 1.7 million living in Northern Ireland.

The island of Ireland enjoys a rich diversity of ethnic groups and cultures and there is a dominance of young people - over half the population is under 30 years old.

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Disabled Travelers

Ireland extends a warm welcome to visitors with disabilities. Since hosting the Special Olympics in 2003, many public places and visitor attractions are now accessible to wheelchair users, and an increasing number of restaurants and pubs, hotels and guesthouses are well equipped to accommodate disabled guests.

The National Rehabilitation Board has a county-by-county fact sheet and copies of this can be obtained by writing to:
Details
The National Rehabilitation Centre
Access Dept
25 Clyde Road,
Dublin 4
Tel. + 353 1 608 0400
email: nrb@iol.ie

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Emergency Numbers

William A. Stevenson, III
Director of International Programs :: Active Crisis Manager
Office: (479) 524 7119, Fax: (479) 524 7463, Home: (479) 524 7613
Address: 1509 Savannah Lane, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
E-mail: wstevenson@jbu.edu

Shohreh Noorbakhsh
International Programs Administrative Assistant
Office: (479) 524 7108, Fax: (479) 524 7463
Address: 2000 W. University Street, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
E-mail: erowe@jbu.edu

Steve Beers
Vice-President for Student Development
Office: (479) 524 7133, Fax: (479) 7221, Home: (479) 524 6157
Address: 23782 Orchard Hill Rd, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
E-mail: sbeers@jbu.edu

Kim Hadley
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Office: (479) 524 7117, Fax: (479) 524 7278
E-mail: khadley@jbu.edu

Scott Wanzer
Director of Campus Safety
Office: (479) 524 7403, Fax: (479) 524 7278
E-mail: CampusSafety@jbu.edu

Office of the President
Office: (479) 524 7116, Fax: (479) 524 7348, Home: (479) 524 7091
Address: 2000 W. University Street, Siloam Springs, AR 72761
E-mail: president@jbu.edu

 

Republic of Ireland

Emergency Police, Fire, Ambulance:
Tel: 112 or 999
These numbers are free of charge but should only be used in cases of genuine emergency.
On answer, state which service you require, wait to be connected to that service, and then clearly state the location of where the assistance is required.

In the case of a vehicle breakdown contact:
Automobile Association (AA) (Tel: 1800 66 77 88)
RAC Motoring Service (Tel: 1800 535 005)

 

Northern Ireland

Emergency Police, Fire, Ambulance:
Tel: 999
This number is free of charge but should only be used in cases of genuine emergency. On answer, state which service you require, wait to be connected to that service, and then clearly state the location of where the assistance is required.

In the case of a vehicle breakdown contact:
Automobile Association (AA) (Tel: 0800 88 77 66)
RAC Motoring Service (Tel: 0800 828 282)

 

Tourist Victim Support Service (TVSS)

Though the general level of personal safety is high, should you be unfortunate enough to be the victim of crime while visiting Ireland, the Tourist Victim Support Service provides emotional and practical support with the aid of a team of trained volunteers with multi-lingual skills.

Republic of Ireland
Operating Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sundays and National Holidays from 12pm to 6pm, call 1 800 661 771, email info@touristvictimsupport.ie or log onto www.tourismvictimsupport.ie.

Northern Ireland
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, contact ++ 44 28 90 328152. After 5pm, weekends or public holidays, contact the Victim Support line on 0 845 30 30 900; email sebelfast@victimsupportni.org.uk or log onto Victim Support Northern Ireland www.victimsupport.org/vs_ni

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Families & Children

There's no doubt about it - the Irish love kids, and Ireland is a wonderfully welcoming place to visit for families with children. Most public places and visitor attractions cater for those children, with changing facilities, children's menus, high chairs and ramps for strollers.

 

Getting around

Republic of Ireland
On the trains: Children under five travel free, while children from five to 15 years old pay half fare. Check out Irish Rail for more information.
On the buses: Children under 16 are charged special child rares. One child under three will be free if accompanied by and in the charge of a fare-paying passenger, provided that the child does not occupy a seat to the exclusion of another passenger. Check out Bus Éireann for more information.
Where doubt exists as to the eligibility of a child for a reduced fare, it's the responsibility of the passenger claiming the child fare to produce evidence of age.

Northern Ireland
Information about family tickets for unlimited travel in Northern Ireland by bus, Metro and rail are available from Translink. Children under 16 pay half fare on all routes.

 

Children's activities

Throughout the summer, there are lots of clubs for kids with special activities from sports to arts and cookery. There's also an abundance of zoos, wildlife parks, castles, caves, boat rides and much more to do while you're here, so check out our list of family friendly activities across the island of Ireland.

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Geography

The island of Ireland is 304 miles/486 km long and 172 miles/275 km wide and is divided into four historic provinces - Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught.
Within these four provinces are 32 counties. The Republic of Ireland consists of 26 counties and Northern Ireland consists of six counties.

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Language

Republic of Ireland
English and Irish (Gaelic) are the official languages of the Republic of Ireland and street and road signs are all bilingual. In Gaeltacht areas, Irish is spoken daily; however, everyone also speaks English.

Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, English is the official language. The Irish language, Gaelic, is also taught in many schools and summer schools. Ulster Scots (Ullans), spoken in Northern Ireland, is on the increase and is being taught to those who are keen to explore another facet of their national identity.

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Medical

For visitors from the United States, private medical insurance is highly recommended. Please check with your carrier before departure regarding your coverage.

Republic of Ireland
Department of Agriculture and Food (Tel. +353 1 607 2000) www.irlgov.ie
Department of Health and Children (Tel. +353 1 635 4000) www.doh.ie

Northern Ireland
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Tel. 44 28 9052 0500) www.dhsspsni.gov.uk

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Pets

Pets entering Ireland from Great Britain
There are no restrictions on animals being brought into Ireland from Britain. There are special regulations applied to some dogs, for example pit bull terriers.

Pets entering Ireland and the UK from the continent
Pets entering the island of Ireland from the U.S. are subject to six months quarantine unless they have undergone the requirements of the UK Pet Travel Scheme and obtained the requisite 'Passport for Pets' and entered Ireland through the UK. There are special regulations applied to some dogs, for example Pitbull Terriers. For more information relating to pets contact:

Northern Ireland
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
(Tel: 44 28 905 24717) www.dardni.gov.uk

Republic of Ireland
Department of Agriculture
(Tel: 353 1 607 2000) www.irlgov.ie

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Provinces & Counties

Connaught

Counties in the province of Connaught: Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo.
The ancient province of Connaught on the west coast of Ireland contains a rich diversity of stunning landscapes and coastal views, including the spectacular spots of Connemara, Mayo and Sligo. The coastline consists of thousands of wildly shaped bays, inlets and islands that are ripe for discovery.
Galway City is the capital of the West, and has a laid-back boho feel with its easy mix of ultra-modern culture and proud Gaelic traditions. Other beautiful towns that will make an impression are Westport and Sligo.

 

Leinster

Counties in the province of Leinster: Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow.
Leinster is the most fought-over and colonised part of Ireland and this is reflected in the region's historical heritage. A mixture of beautiful countryside and modern towns, well over half the population of the Republic now lives in Leinster.
Leinster includes Newgrange, Europe's greatest and most stunning Neolithic monument, the vibrant capital city of Dublin, the luxurious verdant countryside of Wicklow, and Kilkenny with its rich Norman architecture and lively atmosphere.

 

Munster

Counties in the province of Munster: Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford.
Munster is the most lush of the four provinces, and home to some of Ireland's most breathtaking scenery. Munster's winding roads snake intricately over mountain passes descending to magnificent sea inlets. The area is rich in archaeological remains, not least of which are the mysterious stone circles that dot the landscape.
Throughout the region are many traces of plantation towns as well as numerous coastal and harbour towns, such as Kinsale and Clonakilty. Munster is also home to Cork City, the second city of the Republic of Ireland, and Limerick City, which is a historical gem with its 13th-century castle fortress and old town.

Ulster

Counties in the province of Ulster: Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Monaghan, Tyrone.
The northern part of Ireland - the great and majestic Ulster - offers a different and quite unique experience. The interwoven influences of several different cultures - the Ulster Scots, the Gaelic, the Normans and the Anglo-Normans have sculpted and coloured the landscape in a particularly unique way.
The geographical location of Ulster, as the most northern part of Ireland surrounded by ocean on three sides, has formed a breathtakingly beautiful coast of dramatic cliffscapes, sweeping strands and tumbling mountain. The tranquil rural landscapes of Southern Ulster bounded by Lough Neagh in the east, Lough Erne in the west and the Lakelands of Fermanagh, Cavan and Monaghan in the south, offer a superb and almost continuous countryside.
What is undoubtedly the most impressive aspect of Ulster is its spectacular coastline, from the wild reaches of Donegal, along the northern shoreline from Londonderry to Bushmills, and down the Antrim coast to Larne, north of Belfast.

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Public Holidays 2006

Republic of Ireland
January 1 and January 2 (New Year)
March 17 (St Patrick's Day)
April 14 (Good Friday/bank holiday only)
April 17 (Easter Monday)
May 1 (May Day)
June 5 (Spring Holiday)
August 7 (Summer Holiday)
October 30 (Hallowe'en)
December 25 (Christmas Day)
December 26 (St Stephen's Day)

Northern Ireland
January 1 and January 2 (New Year)
March 17 (St Patrick's Day)
April 14 (Good Friday - bank holiday only)
April 17 (Easter Monday)
May Day 1st May
Spring 29th May
July 12th
August 28th
December 25th (Christmas Day)
December 26th (Boxing Day)

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Regional Tourist Offices

Regional Tourism Organisations (Northern Ireland)

Armagh Tourist Information Centre
40 English Street, Armagh BT61 4BA
Tel: +44 28 3752 1800
Fax: +44 28 3752 8329
info@visitarmagh.com
www.visitarmagh.com

Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau
47 Donegall Place, Belfast, BT1 5AD
Tel: +44 28 9024 6609
Fax: +44 28 9031 2424
info@belfastvisitor.com
www.gotobelfast.com

Causeway Coast & Glens
11 Lodge Road, Coleraine, County Londonderry, BT52 1LU
Tel: +44 28 7032 7720
Fax: +44 28 7032 7719
mail@causewaycoastandglens.com
www.causewaycoastandglens.com

Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau
44 Foyle Street, Londonderry, BT48 6AT
Tel: +44 28 7126 7284
Fax: +44 28 7137 7992
info@derryvisitor.com
www.derryvisitor.com

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism
Wellington Road, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh BT74 7EF
Tel: +44 28 6632 3110
Fax: +44 28 6632 5511
info@fermanaghlakelands.com
www.fermanaghlakelands.com

Kingdoms of Down
40 West Street, Newtownards, County Down, BT74 7EF
Tel: +44 28 9182 2881
Fax: +44 28 9182 2202
info@kingdomsofdown.com
www.kingdomsofdown.com

 

Regional Tourism Authorities (Republic of Ireland)

Cork Kerry Tourism
Áras Fáilte, Grand Parade, Cork
Tel: ++ 353 21 425 5100
Fax: ++ 353 21 425 5199
info@corkkerrytourism.ie
www.corkkerry.ie

Dublin Tourism Centre
Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
information@dublintourism.ie
www.visitdublin.com

East Coast & Midlands Tourism
Clonard House, Dublin Road, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Tel: ++ 353 44 48761 (Admin only)
info@ecoast-midlandstourism.ie
www.ecoast-midlands.travel.ie

Ireland West Tourism
Áras Fáilte, Forster Street, Galway
Tel: ++ 353 91 537 700
Fax: ++ 353 91 537 733
info@irelandwest.ie
www.irelandwest.ie

North West Tourism
Áras Redden, Temple Street, Sligo
Tel: ++ 353 51 875 823
Fax: ++ 353 51 877 388
info@southeasttourism.ie
www.southeastireland.com

Shannon Development
Shannon Town Centre, County Clare
Tel: ++ 353 61 361 555 (admin)
Fax: ++ 353 61 363 180
info@shannondev.ie
www.shannonregiontourism.ie

South East Tourism
41 The Quay, Waterford City,
Tel: ++ 353 51 875 823
Fax: ++ 353 51 876 720
info@southeasttourism.ie
www.southeastireland.com

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Senior Citizens

The island of Ireland widely recognises concessions. Men and women over the age of 60 are recognised as being senior citizens or old age pensioners (OAPs) and enjoy a variety of discounts and privileges.

Car rental age requirements and restrictions
Most of the major car rental companies have desks at airports, ferry terminals and cities across Ireland. Generally, these companies do not rent cars to drivers over 70. It is advisable to book in advance, especially if you are traveling during the high season, as it is generally cheaper.
For insurance reasons you should advise the car rental company if you intend traveling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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Smoking Ban

The Republic of Ireland has introduced a blanket ban on smoking in all places of work to protect public health and reduce the incidences of smoking-related illness.

Smoking is prohibited in public areas within the Republic of Ireland - this includes all bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

Although hotel bedrooms may be exempt from the ban, it is applied to all other areas within hotels.
(The date for introduction was March)

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Telecommunications

Cellular Phones
Only digital phones with GSM subscriptions and a roaming agreement will work on the island of Ireland. Visitors should consult with their supplier before departure.

Pay Phones
Pre-paid phone cards are widely available both in the Republic and Northern Ireland and both are convenient and effective to use.

Telephone Codes
If calling Northern Ireland from abroad, all telephone numbers must be prefixed with 0044 (drop the first 0 of the local code).
If calling Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland, replace the prefix code 028 with the code 048.
If calling the Republic of Ireland from abroad all telephone numbers must be prefixed with 00 353 (drop the first 0 of the local code).

Telephone Enquiries

Northern Ireland
Directory Enquiries - Tel: 118 500
International Directory Enquiries - Tel: 118 505
Talking Pages - Tel: 0800 600 900 or visit www.goldenpages.ie

Republic of Ireland
While in the Republic of Ireland contact: Directory Enquiries - Tel: 11850
International Directory Enquiries - Tel: 114
Golden Pages Talking - Tel: + 353 1 618 8000 or visit www.yell.co.uk

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Vaccines

Vaccines are neither compulsory nor necessary unless you are travelling from an infected country.

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Visa, Passport and Embassies

A valid U.S. passport is required to visit the island of Ireland. Visitors of all other nationalities should contact their local Irish Embassy/Consulate prior to traveling to the Republic of Ireland and visitors to Northern Ireland should contact their local British Embassy, high Commission or Consular Office.

Embassies & Visa Contacts

Further information for the Republic of Ireland, including a full list of Irish Embassies, is available from:

Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008. Tel: (202) 462 3939.

British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20008. Tel: (202) 588 7800.

Consulate of Ireland, 345 Park Ave, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10154. Tel: (212) 319 2555.

Consulate of Britain, 845 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022. Tel: (212) 745 0200.

The Embassy of the United States of America, Dublin
42 Elgin Road, Dublin 4. Tel: 353 1 668 7122

The U.S. Consulate General, 14 Queen Street
Belfast BT1 6EQ. Tel: 44 28 9032 8239

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Young people / Teenagers

Student ID cards
Some attractions and travel options offer a reduced student rate/admission charge on the presentation of a valid student ID card. Always state that you have a valid student ID when making bookings before you arrive.

Car rental age requirements and restrictions
Most of the major car rental companies have desks at airports, ferry terminals and cities across Ireland. Generally, these companies do not rent cars to drivers under 21. It is advisable to book in advance, especially if you are traveling during the high season, as it is generally cheaper.

For insurance reasons you should advise the car rental company if you intend traveling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
For more information, check out www.carrentalcouncil.ie or www.bvrla.co.uk

Studying and working in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
USIT (www.usit.ie) is the Irish student and youth travel service, with 22 travel offices located all over the island of Ireland. The Work in Ireland program is based in Dublin.

USIT co-sponsors the Work in Ireland Program and also organize various study programs, including the Irish Studies Summer School at Trinity College and the Ireland in Europe Summer School. USIT also runs budget accommodation centres in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

USIT specializes in educational and special interest travel, arranging and designing summer schools and study tours for universities and educational groups visiting Ireland. If you are interested in developing a program specific to your academic needs in Ireland, please email incoming.ireland@usit.ie.

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