About Ireland

Customs
Passport & Visas
Duty Free
Restrictions
on Smoking

Maps

Maps are generally available in newsagents and petrol station shops, booksellers, Tourist Information Offices. The maps are produced by the Ordinance Survey of Ireland and the Ordinance Survey of Northern Ireland, many being jointly produced. There is a regional “Discovery Series” of about 40 maps which have good coverage of the west and southeast and cost about £4.

Banks

Generally, in the Republic of Ireland the banking hours of business are Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 12.30 and from 13.30 to 15.30 hours. Some branches open during lunchtime and most open late one day a week (Thursday in Dublin). The TSB works through lunch and has later closing times: 16.00 and 19.00 on Thursdays. In Northern Ireland, banks in main towns are
open 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri. Elsewhere, some may close from 12.30-1.30pm.
In small villages, the bank may not open every day, so get cash in bigger centers. Building society banks are open longer (and, often, on Saturday).
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Money

There are two currencies: the Euro in the Republic of Ireland and Sterling in Northern Ireland. In Ireland there are coins of 1c(Cent), 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 1 Euro and 2 Euro. Notes are issued in denominations of Euro. Some areas near the border can operate on a dual currency basis. In Northern Ireland it is very common for the banks to issue their own notes which some people may not accept in the UK due to unfamiliarity.

Foreign Exchange

Foreign exchange bureaus are available in most banks, post offices, Tourist Information Offices, airports, some shops and accommodations. Bureau de Change kiosks are also situated in many towns and most cities. If in doubt, secure enough local currency before travelling out of urban areas. Top

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants often add 10-15% to the bill especially for large parties. This is not mandatory in the Republic of Ireland but is normal and of course, tipping always appreciated. Tipping in pubs is unusual except for table service. Top

Credit Cards

Visa, MasterCard and Eurocard are accepted practically everywhere in service and retail outlets. Diners Club and American Express cards are also accepted by many outlets. Maestro and EDC (European Debit Card) are accepted in most places which accept Visa and MasterCard. Most credit cards can be used in ATMs, especially the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank ATMs, except for American Express which can be used at Cashier machines.

In the event of your card being lost or stolen you should call one of the following numbers which applies to you.

Card
Type
Telephone
(IRL)
From
Northern Ireland
American
Express
1-800 709 907
01273-696933
Eurocard/MasterCard
1-800 557 378
0800-964767
Visa
1-800 558 002
0800-895082
Diners
Club
1-800 709 944
0800-460800

Calls to 1-800 numbers are free within the Republic of Ireland.

Calls to 0800 numbers are free within Northern Ireland. Top

Using the Phone

Ireland offers a extensive modern digital telephone service. Public telephones have two systems, cash and callcard. Phones in the Republic take one or the other but not usually both whereas in the North they can take both. Some additional phones can take credit cards. Callcards can be purchased in many shops, all post offices and phone centres. In the Republic of Ireland for operator assistance for numbers within the Republic dial 11811, for numbers within Britain and Northern Ireland it is 1197 and for other international calls, collect calls, booking calls and other inquiries, it is 114. In Northern Ireland operator assistance
for numbers within Britain is available by dialing 100 and 155 for international calls. Directory inquiries can be reached at 192 and 153 for international inquiries. The tones used in Ireland are a continuous high pitched tone as a dial tone, a repeated double beat tone–burr-burr for the ringing tone and a high pitched, broken tone beep-beep-beep for the engaged tone. Top

Language/Accents

The main languages are English and Irish and most signposts in the Republic are bilingual. English is spoken by everyone while Irish is generally confined to pockets of the southwest, west and northwestern coastal areas, but it can sometimes be heard anywhere. Top

Emergency Services

Telephone Numbers Should you need the emergency services (Fire, Police, Ambulance or Sea/Air/Mountain/Cave Rescue), they can be contacted free by dialing 999 or 112 (in the Republic of Ireland). On answer, state which service you require, wait to be patched through to that service, then clearly state the location of where the assistance is required. Top

Pre-Travel Checks

Tickets,
Cash, Passport and Toothbrush! Top

DutyFree
All international airports and ferries have duty free shopping for non-EU passengers only. Top

VAT/Sales Tax Refunds

Visitors returning to non-EU countries can claim back VAT on purchases being brought home. This is refunded to your credit card account or into a currency of your choice at the airport on leaving. Ask when purchasing goods in shops for a tax-free shopping form with each purchase. Top

Electricity

The Republic of Ireland operates at 220V at 50Hz and 230/240V 50Hz in Northern Ireland. The electricity supplied is AC and plugs generally conform to BS1363 for 3-pin plugs except for shaving sockets which support most common international variants and are two-pin. Top

Units (Metric/Imperial)

The Metric system applies across most of Europe and Ireland. The most notable exception is the “hallowed” pint. Some local traders still measure by the pound and ounce by default. Top

Police

In the Republic of Ireland the law enforcement entity is called the GardaSíochana, with both male and female officers known as Gardaí, Garda singular. Northern Ireland’s police force is called the Police Service of Norther Ireland (PSNI). Top

Getting Newspapers from home

Most national UK and national Irish papers are widely available. A few shops (Eason’s in particular) have selection of imported continental newspapers.
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The Law and Age limits

The legal age limit for the consumption of alcohol is 18 years.
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Disabled Visitors

Many accommodations and tourist attractions have upgraded their facilities for the disabled. For more detailed information contact:

In
the Republic of Ireland
In
Northern Ireland
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport NI Direct Government Services
www.dttas.ie/accessible-travel http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/mobility
Tel: + 353 1 670 7444

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Weather

The climate in Ireland is mild and temperate. The average temperatures range from about 4°C in the winter and 16°C – 20°C in summer. Be sure to take some rain protection especially during winter and when travelling in the West or mountains at any time. For weather information on Clone
House Click Here.Top

Sunrise/Sunset Times

In midwinter the sunrise times are about 8.00am and sunset times about 16.00pm. During midsummer, sunrise is at about 5.00am and sunset at about 21.45pm. Top

Winter/Summer Times

From the last week of March to the last week of October Ireland is on GMT. From the last week of October to the last week of March Ireland is on GMT + 1 hour Top

Passports and Visas
You need a valid passport to enter any European country. Visas are not required for everyone depending on the length and purpose of your visit. More visa information is available from the Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs.
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Customs

Various allowances apply for EU and non-EU residents, and for duty free goods. These are outlined at points of entry and exit. The importation of certain foodstuffs is also prohibited. Top

Health

You should check that your health insurance coverage is adequate, especially if coming from North America. EU citizens are entitled to free public hospital treatment but should obtain an E111 form prior to departure. Health certificates are typically only necessary if you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is present. Some countries will require you to announce yourself to officials on arrival if you have been in contact with farm animals prior to arrival. Top

Pets

Restrictions and quarantines apply to the import of pets from all countries other than the UK. Check the Dept. of Agriculture’s information sheet for more. Top

Smoking

Smoking is completely prohibited in:

  • Enclosed places or work
  • Bars/restaurants
  • Art galleries
  • museums and libraries
  • Cinemas, Theaters and concert halls
  • Suburban railway services, railway and bus stations
  • Waiting rooms
  • Indoor sports centers
  • Games areas in bowling alleys.
  • Bingo halls
  • Bridge entrees
  • Public areas in banks and other financial institutions.
  • Food preparation areas in hotels,restaurants, cafés, pubs, delicatessens.
  • Public offices, meeting rooms, corridors in all buildings owned or occupied by the State.
  • Supermarkets, Grocery stores and butchers premises.
  • Schools, University colleges, preschools, crèches, day nurseries, play groups, etc.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities.
  • Doctors and dentists waiting rooms, pharmacies and hairdressers.
  • Taxis Top

Restrictions on Smoking

Ban on smoking in the workplace in Ireland

Since 29th March, 2004 the Irish Government has implemented a ban smoking in the workplace in Ireland. This means that with effect from that date (29 March 2004) smoking is forbidden in enclosed places of work in Ireland. This includes office blocks, various buildings, public houses/bars, restaurants and company vehicles (cars and vans). The ban has been introduced as part of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002 (Section 47) Regulations 2003.
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“Clone House is a smoke free environment, smoking is permitted on the grounds”