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Ireland 2017 Crime & Safety Report

Europe > Ireland; Europe > Ireland > Dublin

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

U.S. Embassy Dublin does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED DUBLIN AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Please review OSAC’s Ireland-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.

Crime Threats

Ireland hosts a large number of U.S. and other foreign tourists throughout the year. There is a sizeable expatriate presence of Americans and U.S. business interests in the country. The general crime rate is well below the U.S. national average. Crimes against U.S. citizens usually involve petty theft, burglary (residential), and other minor offences.

Through the first three quarters of 2016, crime statistics (see chart below) indicated that there had been a decrease in burglary (-31.2%) and fraud cases (-11.5%) but an increase in sexual offences (+6.6%). Dublin remains the county with the highest crime rate in accordance with its demographically large population. 

Violent crime is rare but does exist and is generally confined to rival drug gangs. Overall drug offences are up (+4.3%). Most drug offences are concentrated in Dublin due to the population density in the metropolitan area.

Recorded crime incidents classified by offense group and annualised1 total to Q3 2015 and 2016

Annualized total to Q3

ICCSq Offense Group

2015

2016

# Change

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

Homicide offenses

60

61

+1

+1.7

Sexual offenses

2,294

2,446

+152

+6.6

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

16,719

16,529

-190

-1.1

Dangerous or negligent acts

7,141

7,488

+347

+4.9

Kidnapping and related offenses

140

137

-3

-2.1

Robbery, extortion, and hijacking offenses

2,549

2,267

-282

-11.1

Burglary and related offenses

28,419

19,562

-8,857

-31.2

Theft and related offenses

77,809

66,466

-11,343

-14.6

Fraud, deception, and related offenses

5,526

4,891

-635

-11.5

Controlled drug offences

15,129

15,787

+658

+4.3

Weapons and explosives offenses

2,402

2,101

-301

-12.5

Damage to property and to the environment

26,921

22,692

-4,229

-15.7

Public order and other social code offenses

32,804

30,112

-2,692

-8.2

Offenses against government, justice procedures, and organization of crime

10,855

11,661

+806

+7.4

1 The annualized figure for a given quarter is the total number of crimes recorded in the 12 months prior to end of that quarter.

Cybersecurity Issues

Cybercrime is considered a growing threat in Ireland. Despite increasing detection rates, the Garda An Siochana (Garda) has said that cybercrime remains a constant and developing threat. It is estimated that one-in-five Irish people have been the victim of online crime, costing the Irish economy more than €350m a year.

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

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

Public Transportation Conditions

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

Aviation/Airport Conditions

Several major U.S. airlines service the international airports. Ireland is also home to U.S. Pre-Clearance operations for U.S. direct flights from both Shannon and Dublin. 

Other Travel Conditions

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

Terrorism Threat

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED DUBLIN AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

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

Anti-American/Anti-Western Sentiment

A small, but vocal and active, percentage of Irish citizens oppose 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

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED DUBLIN AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.

Civil Unrest

Large-scale protests against the implementation of a water tax by the Irish government were frequent in 2014-2015 but had no effect on tourism and were note directed at U.S. interests. Protests can be well organized and attended. Garda presence is generally adequate, although Americans are encouraged to avoid areas where protests are taking place. Protests not directly targeting the U.S. Embassy generally do not involve U.S. interests. 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.

Police Response

Crime Victim Assistance

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

If you are an American citizen in need of emergency assistance outside of regular business hours (including weekends and holidays), please call the Embassy’s main number (01)630-6200 and follow the prompts to reach the operator. You will be connected to the U.S. Marine Security Guard on duty who will assist with directing your call.

Police/Security Agencies

The Garda is Ireland’s sole provider of policing, law enforcement, and state security and is comprised of nearly 12,850 members (October 2016). Response times are typically slower than in comparison to the U.S. police to crime. Police response times are generally adequate and timely within the larger urban areas, especially Dublin, but are considerably slower in the more rural areas of Ireland. 

Medical Emergencies

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

Contact Information for Available Medical Services

There are six 24-hour-service hospitals in Dublin with a bed capacity of approximately 3,000 patients. Emergency room services tend to be oversubscribed; patients can expect waits up to 14 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 (London), which can be contacted at: +44-181-897-6185.

Insurance Guidance

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.

Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance

The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Ireland.

OSAC Country Council Information

The Dublin Country Council currently meets twice a year and has approximately 25 members. Please contact OSAC’s Europe team with any questions or to join.  

U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information

Embassy Address and Hours of Operation

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

Hours of Operation: 0730-1630

Embassy Contact Numbers

Switchboard: +353-01-630-6200
Website: http://dublin.usembassy.gov/

Embassy Guidance

U.S. citizens traveling in Ireland are encouraged to register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service that helps the U.S. Embassy disseminate information about safety conditions and contact travelers in an emergency.

Additional Resources

Ireland Country Information Sheet