Ireland Country Report
Despite the fragmented political landscape that resulted from the inconclusive 2016 general election, it is likely that the centrist minority Fine Gael-led government will remain relatively stable. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's administration recently managed to secure continued support from the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, which has agreed to an extension of their so-called confidence and supply deal. This renewed pledge reduces the risk of early elections, but Fine Gael stated in January 2019 that they intend to proceed with precautionary preparations for a potential election campaign towards the end of the year. The Irish economy is expected to continue its strong recovery in 2019. However, Brexit poses major risks due to the strong trade partnership between Irelandand the UK.
Ireland’s business environment is efficient and the infrastructure network is reasonably well-developed. Dublin and Cork are particular magnets for foreign investment. One disadvantage is that consumer prices are among the highest in the Eurozone, undermining business competiveness. Although the position of public-sector trade unions remains strong, barely any mass industrial action causing serious business disruption has taken place over recent years. Despite the widespread public perception that corruption is prevalent at the local level, corruption is not a hindrance to everyday business activities.
Although there is no precedent of major jihadist activity, there is nonetheless a moderate risk of low-capability lone-actor attacks perpetrated by radicalised individuals sympathising with non-state armed groups such as the Islamic State. Jihadists may attempt to use Ireland as a staging post for attacks against the UK – regarded as a more high-profile target – because of the lower capabilities of Irish security forces and the current ease of travel between the countries. Similarly, there is a threat of dissident republican groups using Ireland as an operating base, but mainly to carry out attacks in the UK region of Northern Ireland.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Many ferry services run between Ireland and the United Kingdom; delays and cancellations due to adverse weather conditions sometimes occur, particularly in winter months.
Adverse winter weather conditions have also been known to disrupt road and air travel.
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, and the drivers' seat in local cars is on the right-hand side of the car. The road network is very well-maintained, except in the countryside where roads can be very narrow with poor lighting. Speed limits are 50 km/h (30 mph) in urban areas (with the exception of Dublin where a speed limit of 30 km/h [20 mph] has been introduced), 60-100 km/h (40-70 mph) outside urban areas according to road signs, and 110 km/h (70 mph) on highways. Traffic wardens are very strict about parking; it is advised to refer to the official Rules of the Road before driving in Ireland.
Public transportation is efficient and safe. Most major cities are well-served by an extensive bus network. Dublin has two train stations, Heuston Station and Connolly Station, each linking the capital to western/southern regions, and to northern regions (including Northern Ireland) respectively. Dublin International Airport (DUB), as well as Cork (ORK) and Shannon (SNN) airports, offer regular flights to most European and American cities throughout the year.
Dublin counts around 13,000 taxis; they all feature yellow "for hire" signage on the roof that reads "taxi" or "tacsi." Most of them are equipped with meters. Although it is considered safe to hail a taxi off the streets, it is recommended to book one in advance from a licensed taxi company.
Ireland has a typically oceanic climate, moderate and humid with frequent rain showers. Summers are mild and winters are rarely very cold (temperatures seldom fall below 0°C). During the winter months the country sees a lot of rain. July and August are the hottest months while May and June are the sunniest.
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