Important News for Tourists Visiting Ireland

Those Over 75 Can Now Rent Cars in Ireland

A man in his 70s has won a settlement against Irish Car Rentals in Ireland. Previously those 70 to 75 had to pay a large surcharge per day to rent a car. However, Irish Car Rentals has abolished the surcharge. They have rescinded their ban on drivers over 75.

Older drivers may have to  fill out a Driver Safety Assessment Form. Terms of the rentals can be found here.


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The M50 toll road that rings around Dublin now has barrier-free tolls. That means you will no longer stop at a toll booth to pay. Traffic will move freely but all car tags will be photographed and you must pay the toll by 8 pm of the day after you use the road. If you do not pay you will face penalties. If payment is not made by 8 pm of the next day a €3 administrative fine is imposed. There is a fine of €40 if not paid within two weeks. After 56 days and additional fine of €100 is added. After that legal proceedings start.

The section of the M50 that is tolled is between Junction 6 (Blanchardstown exit to N3) and Junction 7 Lucan exit to N4.
The toll for cars is €3.

How Tourists Should Pay:

  • Phone 1-890-501-050 to pay with a credit or debit card.
  • Online with a credit or debit card at Eflow.
  • Pay with cash or debit and credit card at 2,000 Payzone outlets at newsagents, service stations, etc.
  • There are kiosks at Dublin Airport where the toll can be paid. Extra time will be needed when departing if you need to pay a toll.

You will need your vehicle registration number to pay. Save your receipts

Ireland to USA
Customs & Immigration

Passengers traveling from Shannon & Dublin Airports to the United States will now clear customs, immigration and agricultural inspections in Ireland. This will allow flights to land at smaller US airports that don't have those facilities. Arrive early to have enough time for the procedures.

Read an excerpt from
Michele Erdvig's
Ireland Dream Trip:

Dublin City Center:
Free Ecocab Rides

To lessen traffic and emissions Ecocabs is offering free rides every day from 10 am - 7 pm with their fleet of covered passenger tricycles. Drivers are paid by company sponsorship so it really is free! ecocabs.ie

House of Waterford Crystal

Newly opened in the heart of Waterford City on The Mall is the new Waterford Crystal showroom, café and factory tour. Smaller and more compact than the old factory, the walk-through tour shows the entire crystal-making process - from raw materials, to glass blowing to cutting, polishing and etching.  The new establishment is signposted throughout Waterford with small signs depicting the Waterford seahorse symbol. Parking is available behind the building.

Irish Times Now Free
to Read Online

Keep up to date with news in Ireland. The Irish Times has changed from a subscription service to being free online.

Passports: Apply Early!

Your passport should be valid for six months past your departure date. Apply early to avoid problems.

More info: US Passport Office

Giant's Causeway Parking

Parking at the Giant's Causeway is limited to 89 spaces at the Causeway Hotel and 65 at Innisfree Farm. The parking fee is £6. 

A new Giant's Causeway Park & Ride shuttle bus service has been implemented because of limited parking on site. Those visiting the attraction should park in Bushmills village 1.5 miles from the causeway. Buses depart every 15 minutes.

Round-trip bus fares are:

£1.75 for adults
£1.00 per child
£5 family (2 adults and 2 children)
National Trust Members free

More Info...

Road Signs in Irish Gaelic

Road signs in certain Irish speaking areas of Ireland called the Gaeltacht are being changed over from bilingual English and Irish to Irish only. These areas are mainly in the west of Ireland and include the Dingle peninsula. Over two thousand villages and towns will be affected.

Official maps of Ireland must now change to reflect the new law. Tourism Ireland will be offering a map for tourists with the names of towns and counties in both English and Irish. However, it is not yet available.
Instead get Michele's up to date book: CLICK HERE

Children in Pubs

Officially children under 18 are not allowed in pubs after 10pm from May-Sept & after 9pm in the winter. Those 18 or over should bring a photo ID or passport in order to be served drinks. The drinking age in Ireland is 18. Those wondering about bringing children to music pubs should know that each pub sets their own rules. Well-behaved children eating a meal with their parents may be overlooked at official children's closing time.

No Smoking in Ireland!

Smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces including pubs, restaurants, public transportation, etc. Smoking is only allowed outside. Some pubs and other establishments have set up covered areas for doing so. Those who sit inside by open doors or windows may get some second-hand smoke blowing back in at them.

Lodgings in Ireland can choose to have some smoking bedrooms. However, more and more B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels are going totally no-smoking. Dining rooms, pubs and other areas of hotels and lodgings are smoke-free.

Ireland Goes Metric

In 2005 Ireland's speed limit signs changed over to metric. Distance signs reflect the changes, although you can find some of the old mile markers way out in the countryside and on very rural roads. Once Ireland completes the changes, the UK will be the only country in the EU with road signs that are not metric. For more info: www.gometric.ie

$49 Cell Phone   *  Cheaper than a Rental!

Own an international cell phone with no monthly or annual fees.
Works in over 150 countries. 60 day money back guarantee.

Listen to Irish Radio Live!

Click on radio to listen to broadcasts direct from Ireland's national radio RTE. Listen to Michele's favorite show Ceili House. A computer media player is necessary to access the sound. If it does not work the first time try again. The Internet is not perfect yet!

Click here for RTE radio

Midwest Irish Radio

Click to listen to broadcasts direct from Ireland. Midwest Irish Radio is one of the best.

Click here to get free answers
from Michele!

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