Rough guide Ireland
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Population: 4.2 million
Minimum Wage Rate: €8.62 per hour
Language: Irish (Gaelige) English
Other Languages: No
EU Member: Yes
Current Government politics and support for culture: See Cultural Policy for general objectives and principles of cultural policy
Who needs a visa to work there?:
All nationals of the European Economic Area are allowed to work in Ireland without a visa (with the exception of Bulgaria and Rumania which still have some restrictions attached). These countries are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland (*), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein (*), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway (*), Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. (*) These countries are not members of the European Union (EU)
If you are a national of a country which is not a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and you wish to work in Ireland, you will require authorisation to do so.
For most types of employment, a non-EEA national requires a Work Permit. For full information on work permits please visit the website of the Department of Enterprise,Trade and Employment
A visa-required national who has been issued with a Work Permit can apply for an Employment visa through their local Irish Embassy or Consulate. You will find useful guidelines and details of requirements for Employment Visa applications on the web site of the Department of Foreign Affairs
- Also try: FÁS is the national training and employment authority but if you want information on jobs in the arts and culture area check out: For further information on finding work in Ireland, please visit the FÁS website
Best places to look for volunteering and internships: For volunteering and internships a good place to start is Volunteering Ireland the umbrella organisation for volunteers in Ireland. Another good source of information is Volunteer Centres Ireland
Studying/Training & Mobility Grants/Bursaries
With regard to universities and colleges, the following links will give you information on available courses: http://www.ucd.ie/arthistory/postgraduate_ma_culturalpolicy.htm
Coolest places: Dublin is a young city (40% of the population under 30) and its night life reflects this. The centre of the city is where most of the action takes place and the weekends are particularly busy. There are many pubs, clubs, and restaurants. Dinner is traditionally from 8pm to 10pm and it becomes more difficult to find a restaurant after 11pm, although fast food can generally be found late into the night. Pubs are normally open until about midnight but there are many variations on this. Some pubs have licenses that allow for later opening, which can vary from 1pm to 3pm and occasionally later, particularly at the weekends. There are some traditional pubs left in Dublin but not that many. Try the Long Hall (South Great Georges Street), Grogans (South William Street), Toners (Baggot Street), Kehoes (South Anne Street) and Nearys (Chatham Street) and you will walk in the footsteps of famous artists, writers and drinkers. It is also had to find the genuine traditional Irish music pub session anymore but two great bars with often the cream of Irish traditional players are The Cobblestone (Smithfield) and Hughes (Chancery Street), both a little out of the centre but well worth the trip for genuine atmosphere and fantastic free music. For the more contemporary scene, the Globe and Hogans in South Great Georges Street offer a good mix of people and music, often with DJ's. Camdon street is also well known for its bars and music venues. One of the best is Whelan's, where there is always an interesting music programme. Clubbing is not that great an experience in Dublin, although there are many. Usually the clubs are expensive and a bit of a crush. It is sometimes better to find a pub with a late license, a DJ and impromptu dancing, such as Hogans on Georges Street or Sin é on Ormond Quay. There is also a funky bar called The Dice Bar, which is worth checking out. There are also two gay bars in the centre that can be fun - The George on Georges Street and the Panty Bar on Capel Street. To eat and drink the Market Bar is a hidden treat as they serve tapas (Irish Style) in a big warehouse space (entrance 14 Fade Street).
Places to avoid: Temple Bar gets all the publicity as Dublin's 'cultural quarter' and although there are some interesting centres to check out here (The Project Arts Centre, The Irish Film Institute, The Button Factory music venue etc), it is to be avoided at night. Here you find many tourists (including Stag and Hen parties from the UK) who think they have found the genuine Irish experience, drinking in pastiche Irish surroundings, listening to pastiche Irish music and having 'the crack'. Being hell bent on having the 'Irish' experience they are usually so drunk by early evening that things get messy. If you like this sort of thing then this is the place for you. Most Irish people avoid it like the plague.
In and around O'Connell Street/Westmoreland Street area is not that pleasant as the night progresses, particularly at the weekends. Very drunk young people lead to some ugly scenes and better not to get mixed up in this.
Outside of Dublin there are many small towns and villages, beautiful landscapes and amazing views. Almost everywhere in Ireland is worth a visit, if you like scenery and walking and traditional Irish pubs. But the West of Ireland is particularly beautiful and renowned for it's music. Galway city has a particular vibe and the Aran Islands (not Inish More, which is very touristy, but Inish Mean) are amazing and well worth a visit.
Weather: Bad and a continual topic of conversation. Ireland gets a lot of rain and the winters can be particularly hard (dark and cold). Best to say it is very mixed and the joke is that you can have all types of weather in the one day. This is because Ireland is a small island in the Atlantic and exposed to ever changing weather fronts. This can be very dramatic on the North, West and South coasts and results in amazing skies and cloud formations, much loved by poets and painters. Average temperatures: Winter 1C - 10C/Summer 15C - 22C.
Budget airlines?: Well, as the home of Ryanair, Ireland IS also the home of budget airlines. Although Aer Lingus, the national carrier, is competing now and offering good deals too, but not with the number of destinations that Ryanair has.
What to eat and drink: Some would say Guinness is both the eating and the drinking in Ireland and there is some truth in this. It is the national drink and is matched with the best examples of Irish food, such as muscles and oysters; fish cakes; smoked salmon and brown bread. Besides this, the Irish diet and cuisine is not known for its flair or finesse. Traditionally it is meat, veg and potatoes. Irish people like potatoes. But there has been something of a revolution in food over the past ten years and it is now possible to get very good food influenced by international trends. However, eating out is not cheap.
Cost of living examples:
- A Beer: €4.18 PRICE PINT
- A Cappuccino: € 2.50 - €3.50
- A litre of milk: € 1.30 - €1.60
- Renting a 2 bedrooms apartment in an average town: € 850 - €1,200
Ireland is fascinating as a country for a number of reasons but you have to realise that it is not always what it seems. The Irish are known for their hospitality and friendliness and this is certainly the case but there is also a deeper, darker part of the character that arises from hundreds of years of oppression, war, poverty, toil and harsh climate. This has resulted in great artists (Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Shaw, Heany, Van Morrison, U2, etc) and a culture that has punched above its weight, as it tries to come to terms with its past. Don't accept the superficial identity encountered on first contact and take some time to understand what is going on under the surface. Its complex and results in Ireland having a problem with drink, corruption and conflict. As Yeats so aptly put it it can be a 'Terrible beauty'. Ireland has strong forces at play and this is why it is so affecting.
Suggested reads and books
Ireland has a rich literary history, which has been very influential on world literature and drama. If you want to tackle Ulysses by Joyce or More Pricks Than Kicks by Beckett then you will get an insight into Dublin and how the culture and its people tick but it takes university departments to try and unravel the subtexts and I'm not sure even they get it. More entertaining and immediately enlightening are: McCarthy's Bar (Pete McCarthy), Round Ireland With A Fridge (Tony Hawks), The Commitments (Roddy Doyle) and the Lonely Planet guides. The Irish Times is the 'paper of record' in Ireland.