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There are establishments where for 2 punts a half hour you can use the internet and email.
It can be cold (cool) in Ireland. But it can also be hot. It is a good idea to pack for any eventuality.
Climate and Clothing
[To get the Irish Punt "�" do Alt 156 -
i.e., hold down the Alt key and type 156 on the numeric keypad,
then release the Alt key.]
You don't need checks in punts. All you need to do is buy your travellers' checks from your bank. If you get Amex checks there's an Amex office in Dublin where you can turn them in for a better rate. The airport rate is lower than a bank though so only cash a few there and drive to a bank.
You can't get travelors checks in some currancies any more because they only issue them in Eurodollars. You exchange them in the country you're visiting, at a bank. In some remote corners of some countries they perport to have not ever heard of the Eurodollar at the banks and refuse to cash them. So get them exchanged while you are still in the capital.
The UK (including NI) still uses sterling (pounds). The Republic uses punts (Irish pounds) and is converting to the Eurodollar.
Do NOT cash all your travelers' checks as soon as you get there. If you are going to be spending all your time in the countryside you might be safe, but if you are going to be in any of the major cities--they're just like the big cities in the States. They have their crime problems. You will have no problem cashing your checks as you travel in larger cities--banks are the best places. It has been suggested that before you leave you go to a place like Thomas Cook and convert about $100.00 into Irish punts (maybe $200.00 if you are going to arrive on a "bank holiday") to get you started.
Your bank card will work there, too, in fact it is a good way to buy the things you will want to bring home. The bank card company does all the work on translating the punt to Eurodollars to dollars. Take both Visa and MasterCard as someplaces take one and not the other. American Express is accepted in Ireland although MC and Visa are more popular. Do not rent your car on Amex Gold as it no longer covers the CDL in Ireland--use Visa or MC gold for your car.
When you are in the Kerry area pay close attention to the signs - the first one is in English the second one ain't! :-o While the Gaelic road signs (and they're not just in Kerry but throughout the West) can be confusing, if you have a good road atlas and good navigator, you will have no problems. And the folks are super friendly and helpful to the lost American.
DrivingMIND YE NOW STAY ON THE LEFT! :-)
Be careful to stay on the left. It seems the most likely (and dangerous) times are when you come out of something like a gas station or shopping strip. You naturally pull to the wrong side of the road.
The roads leave a lot to be desired. One traveler turned up a sheep path that looked better than the highway they were on!
Food is fairly good but not universally cheap. If you're eating pub-grub that's OK, but if you occasionally want a good meal in a class restaurant (especially in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Belfast, etc.) be prepared to pay. Go to the pub for lunch - the food is excellent, CHEAP and you learn alot.
FIANNA does NOT endorse any specific commercial venture. That said:
There are many forms of lodging, one of the most interesting is the Bed and Breakfast home. For some information, the following off site pages are interesting:
Bed and Breakfast Information
or go to Town and Country Homes Association and search for accommodation by county. Select County first, and pick out towns which are close to your target area. Each home in the selected town is presented, one at a time, with a photograph, details of accommodation and cost, and contact information.
If you're going further afield:
"A San Diego-based company, European B&B & Apartments (TEl: 800-872-2632; Paris B & B or Rome B & B or London B & B depending on your interest in London, Paris, or Rome) has double room rates ranging from $65 -$115 in Paris; $90-$120 in Rome; and $125-$150 in London. The firm represents private residences in each city, all run by English-speaking families. Properties can be previewed on the Web sites"
"BritRail (888/274-8724) is now good for 2 months instead of one. Adult prices start at $275 2nd class and $350 1st class for 4 days of rail travel and $340 and $510 for eight days. Most BritRail passes are now accepted on the new Heathrow Express trains linking that airport with Paddington Station."
Call the Irish Tourist Board at 1-800-223-6470. Ask them to send you information about the area you're interested in and ask for their Bed and Breakfast Guide to Ireland. It is excellent. Gives most of the places in all given areas. If you order it in the USA, it is free, you will pay a few pounds in Ireland for it.
GoIreland, the National Tourism Sevice
General Research Tips - GENEALOGY :)PLAN AHEAd !!!!
Check for all the addresses, some of the phone numbers and hours you'll need.
From the Tourist Board shop in the AIRPORT you can buy an ordnance survey map for the area you are interested in; it is very detailed and shows cemeteries.
While the 1901 and 1911 Census records are open to the public in Dublin, the 1911 one is not available to the public in Belfast - though you can see the 1901 census there. On the other hand, in Dublin, you can only see certain church registers if you have a permission. See our page on church records for more information. In Belfast you can see all the church registers.
When you go to Dublin, you can spend 12 punts (pounds) at the General Registry Office. The amount is worth it if you get there when it opens. It closes for lunch and then closes for the day at 4 p.m. You can search the books of death, marriages, and births since 1864, by surname, and then order the certificates.
If you know the townland, then the Deed Office on Henrietta Street (across the Liffey River, in another part of Dublin) would be a good place. They have books of land transactions, including major leases, by surname back to the 1700s and by locality. The staff is very helpful and will explain the system.
The National Library, an architectural treasure, houses the parish books and the newspapers. The staff there is helpful. If you ask for Bernard, he might let you into the Genealogical Office next door, to see the microfiche on the Rosemary ffolliott biographical notices for Munster papers, from 1798 into the 1800s. It is alphabetized but seems to mention only what prominent people thought newsworthy back then.
The National Archives holds Griffiths Valuations and Tithe Applotment book microfilm, as well as Will Perogative books and Marriage License indexes.
Now that you've put in a week of solid research it's time to go on out into the country side, see some highways and byways, walk about where your ancestors trod, perhaps meet some kin! Take the risk to make friends, you KNOW you'll be back! :)
Many people are interested in Irish citizenship, and wonder about getting it, and an Irish passport. You can learn about how to obtain them at our page about dual citizenship.
I want to stay forever, or DUAL CITIZENSHIP
There is an old saying--"There's no Guinness on earth like the Guinness in Ireland; and there's no Guinness in Ireland like the Guinness in Dublin." Don't prejudge the dark stuff--it's heavenly. If in Dublin go to the brewery for the tour--very entertaining and you can have a taste right where it's brewed.
Among the Finer things ;)
Traveling Around Ireland
More general information at the Wild Irish Rovers