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Ireland 2016 Crime & Safety Report

Europe > Ireland; Europe > Ireland > Dublin

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

Post Crime Rating: Low

Crime Threats

The general crime rate in Ireland is below the U.S. national average. Crimes against U.S. citizens usually involve petty theft, burglary, and other minor offences. Ireland hosts a large number of U.S. and other foreign tourists. There is also a sizeable expatriate presence and U.S. business interests. Through the first three quarters of 2015 crime statistics reported (see chart below), there was a small increase in burglary and fraud cases (+6 percent each) but a larger increase in sexual offences (+14 percent). Dublin remains the county with the highest crime rate in accordance with its demographically-large population. Violent crime is rare but does exist. 

Recorded crime incidents classified by offence group and annualized total1 Q3 2014 and 2015



Annualized total to Q3

ICCSq offense group




% Change




Homicide offences






Sexual offences






Attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments and related offences






Dangerous or negligent acts






Kidnapping and related offences






Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences






Burglary and related offences






Theft and related offences






Fraud, deception and related offences






Controlled drug offences






Weapons and explosives offences






Damage to property and to the environment






Public order and other social code offences






Offenses against government, justice procedures and organization of crime





Cybersecurity Issues

Cybercrime is not a major concern, but it is a growing threat. A media article cited that between 2014 and early 2015, police fielded an average of 138 call per month related to cyber crimes.

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

Road conditions and road safety standards meet/exceed U.S standards, except in the most remote areas where roads can be extremely narrow and difficult for many tourists/expatriates to navigate. Weather conditions, especially in the west, contribute to hazardous road conditions. Major roads are well maintained, and extensive lighting exists. Vehicle accidents are common and are a major hazard for tourists. Ireland is a right-side drive country. 

There are a number of tour organizations that arrange travel throughout the country, with varying degrees of service. None are deemed off-limits.

Always lock your vehicle and whenever possible park in a protected, well-lighted area. Do not leave anything visible in the interior that would attract a thief's attention.

Public Transportation Conditions 

The overall transportation system is an efficient, safe system. Taxis, buses, and trains are all considered safe. 

Aviation/Airport Conditions

All major U.S. airlines service the international airports. Ireland is also home to a U.S. pre-clearance operation for many U.S. direct flights in both Shannon and Dublin. 

Terrorism Threat

Post Terrorism Rating: Low

Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns

There are several known indigenous terrorist organizations; however, these organizations tend to focus their activity on criminal profits as opposed to their previous ideological/political mission. Ireland's government ministers recognize the security problem created by "criminal terrorists," whose criminal activities have a weak ideological underpinning and tend to involve a cross-border (Northern Ireland) element.

The ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe and the attacks in France have highlighted a growing problem in Europe but has not affected Ireland. While Ireland has not experienced any transnational terrorist attacks, the police consider an attack “possible, but not likely.” 

Anti-American/Anti-Western Sentiment

A small, but vocal and active, percentage of Irish citizens oppose the U.S. activity in Afghanistan, military use of Shannon Airport, and perceived support for Israel; otherwise anti American/anti-Western sentiment is almost non-existent. 

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

Post Political Violence Rating: Low

Civil Unrest 

Large-scale protests against the government’s implementation of a water tax were frequent in 2015 but had no effect on tourism nor were they directed at U.S. interests. These protests can be well organized and attended. Irish police presence is generally adequate, although Americans are encouraged to avoid areas where protests are taking place. Protests not directly targeting the U.S. Embassy do not involve U.S. interests.

Post-specific Concerns 

Drug-related Crimes

Drug-related crime takes place in Ireland. While overall, drug offences were down (-4 percent) most drug offences were concentrated in Dublin due to the population density of Dublin county. 

Police Response

An Garda Síochána is Ireland’s sole provider of policing, law enforcement ,and state security and is comprised of nearly 14,500 members (January 2016). 

Response times are typically slower than in the U.S. Police response to crime is generally adequate and timely within the larger urban areas, especially Dublin. These times are considerably slower in more rural areas. 

Crime Victim Assistance

Emergency notification of the Garda or other emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, coast guard) can be made by calling either 999 or 112 from any phone.

Medical Emergencies

In a medical emergency, calling 999 or 112 will dispatch an ambulance anywhere. The ambulance service will take patients to the closest suitable hospital.

Hospitals do not accept American insurance as coverage. Patients are expected to pay all costs up-front at the time of treatment and apply for reimbursement later.

Contact Information for Recommended Hospitals/Clinics

There are six 24-hour-service hospitals in Dublin with bed capacity for approximately 3,000 patients. Emergency room services tend to be oversubscribed; patients can expect waits up to 12 hours before being seen. 

Children needing hospital attention should be taken to one of three children’s hospitals in the Dublin area: Tallaght, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children (Crumlin), or Children’s Hospital Temple Street. 

Outside of Dublin, most major cities have a hospital; consultation with emergency services to locate the nearest medical facility is recommended.

Available Air Ambulance Services

Response time for air medical evacuation is approximately 4-6 hours. The closest commercial evacuation service is at Heathrow International Airport in London and can be contacted at: +44-181-897-6185.

Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance 

For additional information on vaccines and health guidance, please visit the CDC at: 

OSAC Country Council Information

The Ireland OSAC Country Council webpage can be found at: The Regional Security Officer, who is a permanent member of the Country Council, can be reached through the main switchboard for the U.S. Embassy (+353-1-630-6200). To reach OSAC’s Europe team, please email 

U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information 

Embassy Address and Hours of Operation

U.S. Embassy Ireland, 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4

Regular business hours: 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m

Embassy Contact Numbers

Switchboard: +353-01-630-6200

Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Situational Awareness Best Practices 

Be aware of your surroundings. Travelers are strongly advised to review their personal safety and security posture, to remain vigilant, and to be cautious when frequenting prominent public places and landmarks. The usual common sense security tips apply in Dublin and in Ireland in general. Always try to be aware of your surroundings, especially in highly populated areas or in situations where you would be time/place predictable. Never leave personal items unattended and be suspicious of individuals who offer to assist you with your luggage. Do not flaunt cash/jewelry and leave unnecessary credit cards and other items at home or locked in a safe. Carry identification, and secure ID and valuables in an inner pocket, preferably with a zipper. Carry purses and handbags with the flap or zipper side next to the body. In hotels, utilize safe deposit boxes for your valuables, and utilize the locks that are on the room doors.