Tuesday 21 February 2017

Australia issues Irish travel warning due to 1916 centenary 'tensions'

Travel Advice

Published 14/04/2016 | 09:34

Sydney Opera House and bridge, Australia. Photo: Deposit
Sydney Opera House and bridge, Australia. Photo: Deposit

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice on Ireland to warn of "tensions" ahead of the Easter Rising centenary.

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"Tensions between dissident republicans and unionists have increased in the lead up to the centenary of the Easter Rising (24-29 April )," it says.

"You should avoid all protests and demonstrations, including those associated with Northern Ireland, as they may turn violent," the advice continues.

"Instances of civil disorder can rapidly escalate into violence and you should avoid them wherever possible, including through careful monitoring of the media and following the advice of local authorities," according to its smarttraveller.gov.au website.

In general terms, the level of alert has not changed for Ireland, with its government advising Australians to "exercise normal safety precautions".

However, the advice also says conditions "can change suddenly".

Ireland's official State commemorations of the 1916 Rising centred on Easter, but the calender anniversary itself falls between April 24-29.

Separately, Australian travellers are warned that car theft and break-ins are increasing, especially in Dublin and tourist locations, and rental cars are particularly targeted. Credit card and ATM scams are becoming more common, it says.

The incidence of serious, violent crime is listed as "moderate".

A spokesperson for the Irish Department of Transport & Tourism said it doesn't comment on travel advice issued by other countries.

“When compared to the number of tourists entering the country, Ireland is a very safe destination and the rate of crime against tourists is quite low," it added.

Fáilte Ireland's most recent Visitor Attitudes Survey saw 92pc of tourists list safety and security as one of their top reasons for visiting Ireland.

207,600 visitors from Australia and New Zealand came to Ireland in 2015, according to the CSO, up 9pc on the previous year.

Independent.ie Travel has contacted the Australian embassy for comment.

Read Australia's full travel advice on Ireland here.

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