Thankfully you won’t need to learn a new language to have a social life in Ireland, as Irish and English are both the official languages of Ireland, with Irish being the first national official language, and the language used in the EU. It is a Celtic language and a compulsory subject to study in school. Around 10% of the population are fluent in Irish, as English is the mother tongue for most Irish nationals. In the west you may find some, mostly elderly, people who only speak Irish. Erse is another name for Irish Gaelic. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia.
Road signs are usually in Irish and English (and until recently, kilometres or miles, which could lead to some confusion). TG4, the Irish language television station, has helped to rejuvenate Irish Gaelic, especially among young people. The Irish language also has a highly visible presence on the Internet. The Irish have a proverb, “a country without a language, is a country without a soul”. (more…)
Using the public health care in Ireland while having public insurance in other country works on the similar basis as pension system. If you are a pensioner, you need to inform the IPC (International Pension Centre) to prevent problems with your pension payments (tel: 0191 218 7777).
Ireland has double taxation agreements with the UK so you will not be taxed twice, provided you ensure that the tax offices are aware of your circumstances. You can arrange to have your pension paid directly into your Irish bank account, and still benefit from the increases as if you still lived in Britain. Contact HMRC and your pension providers well before you leave the UK.
If you’ve only worked, lived or are working abroad then you must claim the state pension through the relevant authority of the country where you currently live and have worked in. (more…)
It shouldn’t be surprising that living in Ireland is considerably less costly than it is in UK. The difference in prices is especially visible in rent and property prices. For instance – buying an apartment in the center of London will cost you £16000 per square meter, same kind of apartment in Dublin you can buy for £4000 per square meter.
Buying a House in Ireland
There are no restrictions to buying a house in Ireland. The process is similar to that in the UK, so the steps to follow are usually: (more…)
Ireland has three major airports, Dublin, Shannon and Cork, and a number of regional ones. There are frequent services to the UK. However the buses are the main method of transportation in Ireland; intercity connections are fast and reliable, although in rural areas, they may run less frequently. Trains are less frequent and more expensive on the whole.
Driving in Ireland
Driving in Ireland is very pleasant, but the stunning views may waylay you and make your journey longer. You are likely to find road distances in kilometres and miles, although the latter are being phased out. At least they drive on the left, and there are no rules about what you must carry in the car. It is not difficult to run out of fuel in the rural areas where petrol stations may be far and few. (more…)
Although neither Britain nor Ireland are members of the Schengen area, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton moving to Ireland from UK.
There are no restrictions on the amount of currency you may bring in; medication must be for personal use only. Alcohol and tobacco have some restrictions, and for firearms you need a European Firearms Pass and, in order to obtain a permit, you should contact the Department of Justice.
When you arrive in Ireland, you may be asked for valid official photo identification which shows your nationality. Your passport will suffice and proves you are a UK national. (more…)
St Patrick’s Mountain tempts you up — but beware! The path gets steeper and steeper, such that even a sheepdog takes one step back for every two steps up. The stones are a brilliant white, and very sharp edged. They are just rather the wrong size for scree-running. On arrival at the top, the chances are the mist will obscure the view. St Patrick didn’t hurl the snakes over the cliff (there never have been snakes in Ireland), and the cafe is probably closed. But do not worry. After a precipitous descent, it is good to see the statue of Our Lady at the foot, although some might prefer an orthopaedic hospital. (And there is a beautiful beach nearby.)
Ireland joined the European Union in 1973, but is not a member of the Schengen area, although the currency is the euro. Dublin is the capital city. (more…)