FACT FILE — Ireland — Éire : Céad Mile Fáilte —Ireland is divided into 4 provinces: Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The country has 32 counties, 26 forming the Republic of Ireland and six counties of the nine Ulster provinces in the north east, that is administered by Britain. The country is an ideal holiday location, be it in the country or one of the towns or cities or by the sea.
There are many ranges of mountains including the Wicklow Mountains, Caha Mountains, Sperrin Mountains and the Mourne mountains. These are contrasted by the rivers, Shannon and the Erne. Dublin -baile átha cliath is the capital of the Republic (see also FACT FILE DUBLIN.)
Northern Ireland has a largely rural society living in beautiful countryside which boasts world famous natural features like the Giants Causeway. About half the population are settled on the eastern coastal region around the capital Belfast. It is the location of Northern Ireland's "silicon valley" and financial service centre.
Communications are very good: From mainland Europe and Britain there are flights to Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Shannon, Knock and other locations. There are car ferry (including high speed crossings) from Scotland, England, Wales and France. The road system is good and the population is not high, unless you are in a major city traffic is easy. Motorways are now being developed over a lot of the country and the M1 motorway is now complete from Dublin to near the border and under construction from the border in tjhe Republic to Belfast. Some sections of motorway are also being developed as toll motorways. There are very good motorways around Dublin and Belfast.
The Irish hospitality is world famous and cuisine is very good, remember when you are in Ireland apart from drinking Guiness and Smithwicks, you are in the home of Irish whisky — Bushmills, Jameson & Paddy. Whilst you are sampling the excellent food and drink, remember the country is bursting with culture in traditional music, poetry and art.
Tourism in Ireland
Tourism Ireland works with the two tourist boards on the island, Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, who are responsible for product and enterprise development and marketing to tourism consumers within the island of Ireland.Tourism Ireland was established under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998.
Popular words you will see or hear in Ireland
Fáilte welcome — céad mile fáilte a hundred thousand welcomes.
An Lár the middle — centre (like city centre etc)
Sláinte Good health — used when toasting in a pub for example.
Garda short form of garda síochána — Police in the Republic of Ireland
Speed Limits/Distances — Over the past few years all new city, village and town signs in the Republic have had their distance stated in kms (kilometres) instead of miles. From January 2005 the speed limits have also been changed to kms and instead of a typical town speed being 30 mph it is now 50 kmh. SEE FURTHER DOWN THIS PAGE
All new cars will have their speedometer s only in kilometres. You will have to remember that if you rent a car in the Republic and take it across the border that the speedometer will not show the speed in mph if it is a 2005 model. Distances and speed limits remain in mph in Northern Ireland.
Mobile phones: It is illegal to drive a vehicle or motorbike whilst using a hand held mobile phone. Since September 2006 drivers caught using their mobile phones in a car. or about to use them face an automatic 60 fine and two penalty points on the driving licence. If the person does not pay the fine within twenty eight days the fine can be increased to up to 2,000 and penalty pointd doubled to four.
Voltage: The standard electrical voltage in Ireland is 240 v AC, 50HZ. A three square pronged adapter plug and/or electric converter for appliances is required.
Telephone Country Code: Republic + 353
Northern Ireland 048(this special arrangement is much cheaper than dialing through the UK using country code +44 028)
Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card.
Currency: Republic — Euro (€) Northern Ireland — Pound Sterling [United Kingdom Pound] (£)
Population 2006: 5,725,976 (Republic — 26 Counties — 4,015,676) (Northern Ireland — 6 Counties — 1,710,300)
Land Area: 84,123 (Republic — 26 Counties — 70, 280 Km2 ) (Northern Ireland — 6 Counties — 13,843 Km2)
Police in Northern Ireland PSNI — Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Public Holidays in Ireland
Tourists visiting Ireland during public holidays would be well-advised to plan ahead when it comes to reserving accommodation as Bank Holidays / Public holidays will often fall on a Monday which gives everyone in Ireland a long three-day weekend.
Republic of Ireland * January 1 (New Year) * March 17 (St Patrick's Day) * (Good Friday — Friday before Easter) * (Easter Monday Monday after Easter) * May Bank Holiday: First Monday in May* June Bank Holiday(Spring Holiday): First Monday in June * August First Monday in August (Summer Holiday) * October (Hallowe'en) Last Monday in October * December 25 (Christmas Day) * December 26 (St Stephen's Day)
Northern Ireland * January 1 (New Year) * March 17 (St Patrick's Day Holiday) * April 14 (Good Friday) * April 17 (Easter Monday) * May 1 * May (Spring Holiday Last Monday in May) * July 12 (Battle of the Boyne) * August (Summer bank holiday Last Monday in August ) * December 25 (Christmas) * December 26 (St Stephen's Day/Boxing Day)
Drink and driving: Blood alcohol limit is 80mg
Foglights must only be used in fog or falling snow.
You must not use a horn between 11pm and 7am.
The 'give way' signs are red triangles with the point at the bottom and the words 'yield right of way' or 'geill sli'.
Driving: Drive on the LEFT
Seat Belts: These must be worn at all times in the front and back of vehicles.
Irish Registered Cars
Road Tax: All motor vehicles must be taxed before the vehicle is used on a road and display a current circular road tax disc on the vehicle's windscreen (or holder if it a motor bike).
Insurance: All drivers must have insurance covering them to drive a motor vehicle on a public road. An up to date insurance disc must be displayed on the vehicle's windscreen.
The following vehicles do not need to by law display an insurance disc:
Motorcylcles (with or without a side car) - Vehicles showing a trade licence plate — Tractors - Vehicles owned or used by an exempted person as defined by the Road Traffic Acts — e.g. members of emergency services
Trailers: All trailers must be covered by third party motor insurance.
National Car Test: Passenger cars over four years old must have a valid NCT Certificate and the NCT disc must be displayed on the windscreen.These are for all four year old cars and Test Certificates will be valid for up to 2 years.
Certificate of Roadworthiness: Goods vehicles, goods trailers with a gross weight of more than 3,500kg, ambulance, buses, minbuses and coaches that are over one year old must have a valid Certificate of Roadworthiness.
Vehicle Registration plates: These are black letters on a white background for both front and rear of the vehicle with the IRL sign incorporated into the euro sign on a blue background on the left or top left hand corner of the number plate
Some Driving Tips In Ireland
N.B. Remember to Drive on the left in Ireland
Driving Laws and Regulations
Unless signs indicate otherwise, speed limits are:
40 mph is now 60 km/h (special speeds) mph equivalent 37
50 mph is now 80 km/h (regional local roads) mph Equivalent 50
60 mph is now 100 km/h(N National Roads- Green) mph Equivalent 62
70 mph is now 120 km/h (M Motorways Blue) mph Equivalen 75
Seat belts must be worn by driver and passengers at all times.
Local parking regulations and restrictions must be complied with which are signposted where applicable
In disc parking areas a disc must be clearly marked and displayed so that it is clearly visible from outside the vehicle.
In parking meter areas, the relevant fees must be paid before leaving the vehicle.
Where possible vehicles should be parked in attended parking areas.
When approaching a Roundabout look to your right. Always yield to traffic on the rondabout.
In the event of an Accident
Never admit liability or give a promise to give money to parties involved
Call the Police (Garda)immediately if any other party's guilt has to be ascertained or if persons are injured.
Do not drive the car unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
Contact the local office of the car rental company as soon as possible
This information has been supplied by a major car rental company in Ireland and is presented without responsibility for it's accuracy
h1>FURTHER READING See also
Tips and Topics in Ireland CLICK HERE
Private Residential Tenancies Board of Ireland CLICK HERE
Buy to Let Europe CLICK HERE
New Speed limits in Ireland in 2005 CLICK HERE
Change of Market for holidays in Ireland CLICK HERE
Googleland in DublinCLICK HERE
Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) CLICK HERE
History in some of the Districts, suburbs of Dublin and County Dublin CLICK HERE
Accepting Payments in Euros can prove Expensive CLICK HERE
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