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U.S. Embassy Issues Safety Warning for Ireland

U.S. officials in Ireland warn visitors to remain vigilant.

The U.S. Mission in Ireland has issued a security advisory urging Americans to “exercise good personal security practices when traveling.”

The security advisory comes in the wake of an incident widely reported in the Irish media. On July 19, an American visitor was left with “life-changing injuries” following an attack on Store Street in Dublin’s inner north city neighborhood.

The attack is the latest in a string of violent incidents that have shaken the city in the past few months—many of which have left their victims in the hospital with serious injuries, and have had city counselors calling for an overhaul in law enforcement. Just days after the attack on the tourist from New York, three separate incidents were reported in which victims required hospitalization.

The U.S. Embassy cautions visitors to safeguard valuables such as credit cards and passports, and to refrain from carrying or flashing large amounts of cash. The Embassy further advises visitors to be aware of their surroundings, especially in unfamiliar or crowded locations, empty streets, or at night—in particular warning against walking alone during hours of darkness.

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Other suggestions include looking up locations before traveling, to avoid the urge to stare at a mobile phone while walking in public areas. Travelers are also warned to limit the use of earbuds or headphones to help maintain situational awareness, keep a low profile, and be mindful of alcohol consumption. Baggage is also a frequent target, and the embassy advises against leaving bags unattended in restaurants, pubs, hotel lobbies, and parked cars, noting that thefts typically occur at crowded tourist sites, airports, car rental offices, buses, trams, trains, and railway stations.

The advisory issued by the U.S. Embassy does not mention specific areas in Ireland where travelers should exercise increase vigilance, but it’s worth noting that all of the violent attacks reported in Irish media have taken place in Dublin. However, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar made comments referring to similar events in other Irish cities during talks on how to increase police presence, hiring more officers, and whether or not to arm existing ones (specific law enforcement task forces in Ireland are armed, but, similarly to many European countries, patrol officers are not).

While Irish citizens make up the bulk of the attack victims, Varadkar also noted that the violence against foreign nationals—the American and three Ukrainians—have received increased attention from global media and have brought the uncomfortable implication that Ireland has become less safe.

In the days following the attack on the American tourist, additional incidents were reported, including a violent assault during a robbery attempt at a tram stop that landed the victim in the hospital. In another incident, an attempted robbery of a woman took place near midday close to the O’Connell Bridge in Central Dublin. On the same day, there was also a report of violence between two groups in Central Dublin, and another assault and robbery attempt in the city’s northern suburbs at a shopping center in the early evening hours.

American citizens who are victims of violent crimes while traveling abroad should alert local authorities as soon as is feasible. U.S. embassies and consulates can assist U.S. citizens with finding legal representation and give general information about local legal processes. U.S. embassies also monitor for reports of crime perpetrated against Americans that help formulate security advisories like the most recent one from Ireland.

Although the U.S. Mission to Ireland has issued a local security advisory, it’s worth noting the U.S. State Department has not changed the advisory level for Ireland. Ireland’s rating remains at Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions. Many other European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands are at Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution.

Ireland welcomes nearly 11 million visitors per year. A recent study by Irish tourism promoter Fáilte Ireland found Irish tourism businesses reporting increases visitor volumes across the entire Island of Ireland so far in 2023, particularly from the Untied States and Continental Europe.

OllieCromwell August 10, 2023

Scott Laird's article is one of the fairest that I've read in the last few weeks over the heightened state of tension in Dublin regarding this increase in street crime.Like all cities Dublin has its fair share of sketchy areas but perhaps unusually these tend to be slap-bang in the middle of the city close to tourist areas. Think housing projects a hundred yards from 5-star hotels.Post-lockdown things have got much worse and attacks much more violent.In the main it's drug-related ( crack has established a strong hold im the city ) - Ireland has the highest consumption of cocaine per capita anywhere in Europe.But also it's gangs of feral youths with little concept of law and order and a propensity fo casual violence.However, and it's a big however, my Dublin is still a great place to visit. But you need to exercise caution at all times. Check with your hotel exactly which areas and indeed which streets nearby are safe. If you're staying around O'Connell Street or near the Liffey avoid walking the streets after dark. Take a cab if you're not sure even for short distances.And do your research.Search ' Dublin attacks on tourists ' in the mainstream news such as RTE, irish Times, Irish Independent but also upstart organisations such as and for more news on this.Most importantly - enjoy your trip !

shaunpeoples August 1, 2023

Thank you for updateing us.  Some of us want to stay safe, also I work for an agency that doesn't allow travel at this time to Ireland.  It did earlier this summer, I don't know what happened. 

JacksAtl July 29, 2023

Again you are relaying mis-information.  Ireland is still at a level 1 according to the Embassy - use usual caution.  We have traveled to Ireland numerous times and have never felt safer in a country.  Stay to travel recommendations for hotels etc and stay out of any other topics while ill-informed

alicek1343 July 29, 2023

We visited Ireland in the beginning of July 2023. My husband had his cell phone stolen on one if those "hop on, hop off" buses. He placed it on the empty seat beside him, and another passenger sat down on it, and took it with him when he stood up. While I blame my husband for being careless, Dublin is a large city with lots of people from all walks of life, and you have to take the same precautions there as in any large city like New York or London. The Irish were otherwise very warm, welcoming, and helpful to American tourists.

jpsartre3207 July 29, 2023

Are the perpetrators any one in particular - young Irish gangs, immigrants, homeless people acting alone, men, women, older, teenagers?  More info would be helpful.