Facts on Ireland

Facts on Ireland are organized into these groupings:


Passport / Visa Requirements:

Visitors to Ireland (and the UK) must hold a valid passport before starting their journey. Please note children require their own passports.

Citizens living within the European Union and most other Western countries including the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa do not require visas.

All other countries should contact their local Irish Embassy / Consulate prior to travelling to the Republic of Ireland, and visitors to Northern Ireland should contact their local British Embassy / High Commission or Consular Office.

How to apply for a US Passport

US citizens can find passport application information at the State Department website.

Embassies & Visa Contacts

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

The Department of Foreign Affairs
Tel:00 353 1 478 0822


The Passport and Visa Office
Irish Embassy, Montpellier House, 106 Brompton Rd, London SW31JJ
Tel: 020 7225 7700

Further information for Northern Ireland is available from your local British Embassy or Consulate – for details please contact:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 020 7008 1500

For an extension to your stay in Northern Ireland, contact:

The Undersecretary of State
Tel: 0870 606 7766



Visitors to Ireland from the United Kingdom and other EU countries are not required to make a declaration to customs at their place of entry. However certain goods are prohibited or restricted to protect health and the environment; restricted goods include meat and poultry.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 years of age without incurring customs duty:

  • 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco
  • 10l of spirits (more than 22 per cent) 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
  • 50g of perfume and 250 ml of eau de toilette
  • Other dutiable goods to the value of €40.63

For further information please contact:


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

In Northern Ireland, Sterling is the local currency.

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 see if that card is on display where they wish to use it.


Banks in Ireland generally open around 9.30am and close about 4.30pm Monday through Friday and 5pm on Thursday. ATM (cash) machines are located at most banks and accept most credit and debit cards.



The island of Ireland is 300 miles/450 km long and 190 miles/300 km wide and covers approximately 32,600 sq. miles/84,500 sq. km. Ireland is divided into four provinces – Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught and into 32 counties. The Republic of Ireland consists of 26 counties and Northern Ireland consists of 6 counties.

Ireland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and in accordance with daylight saving, clocks are put forward one hour mid-March and back one hour at the end of October. During summer it stays light until as late as 11.00pm but by mid-December it can be dark by 4.00pm.



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

In Northern Ireland, English is the official language. The Irish language, Gaelic, is also taught in many schools and summer schools. Ulster Scots, 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.



The population of the island is approximately 5.6 million, with approximately 3.9 million living in the Republic and 1.7 million in Northern Ireland. 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.



Ireland has a mild temperate climate with summer temperatures generally ranging from 60 to 70 degrees. Spring and fall are generally 50 degrees and in winter between 40 and 46 degrees. Snow is a rare occurrence, however showers can occur at any time of the year.



Mobile Phones

Only digital phones with GSM subscriptions and a roaming agreement will work in 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 are both convenient and effective to use.

Telephone Codes
  • If calling Northern Ireland from abroad, all telephone numbers must be prefixed with 001 44 (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 001 353 (drop the first 0 of the local code)
Telephone Enquiries

While in Northern Ireland contact:

  • Directory Enquiries – Tel: 118 500
  • International Directory Enquiries – Tel: 118 505
  • Talking Pages – Tel: 0800 600 900 or visit www.yell.co.uk
While in the Republic of Ireland contact:
  • Directory Enquiries – Tel: 11850
  • International Directory Enquiries – Tel: 114
  • Golden Pages Talking – Tel: 1 618 8000 or visit www.goldenpages.ie


Emergency Numbers:

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, then clearly state the location of where the assistance is required.

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, then clearly state the location of where the assistance is required.


Smoking Ban within Republic of Ireland:

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. No smoking is allowed in public areas within the Republic of Ireland – this includes all bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Although hotel bedrooms will be exempt from the ban, it will be applied to all other areas within hotels.

Ask us anything.

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