Dublin, Ireland Report of what it's like to live there

Personal Experiences from Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland 07/28/16

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. Vilnius, Lithuania.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Amelia Island, Florida. Direct flight to Dublin from most major cities on the east coast, about 6-7 hours travel time, always arriving early morning.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Two years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

Diplomatic mission, love of cool weather, good beer, good music, great sports and ability to get anywhere in Europe easily and inexpensively.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Nice apartments or town homes for singles and couples or larger town homes or single family homes for families with kids. I have a 10-12 minute cycle to work which is easier in the summer when the kids are off school. Most singles have a 5-15 minute walk in whereas several single family homes are slightly further out. There is good public transportation (Dublin Bus, DART, LUAS) which should be taken advantage of. Traffic can be difficult during rush hours so walking, biking or public transportation is definitely best.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Grocery costs are on a par with the USA. Some items are a little cheaper and others a little more expensive. Virtually everything is available and for those few items that are not there's always www.amazon.com.



There are Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Marks and Spencer everywhere. We order almost all out groceries online with www.tesco.ie and have unlimited deliveries of quantities over 50 Euros, for a fee of 10 Euros per month. Order online and it comes right to your door within a 2 hour window that you specify - love it!

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

None really.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

There are plenty of restaurants for every type of taste and budget in and around Dublin and around the diplomatic mission. It's a very pedestrian friendly city and you can't walk more than a block without coming across a store, pub, or restaurant. Most pubs serve nice affordable lunches. Delivery food is very popular and most restaurants participate in delivery via www.just-eat.ie.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

None.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

Local mail is reliable and safe and faster than DPO if you are in a rush. If you are not in a rush DPO is fine and delivers packages every Thursday.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

It varies. Good nannies are hard to come by and are not inexpensive. You will probably pay $10-$15/hour for child-minding. We are currently paying 10 Euros/hour for 34 hours per week but we found someone good and are really happy. Nannies and other home help can be found on www.gumtree.ie. We have a cleaner come in once per week for 2-3 hours and we pay the required rate of about 13.20 Euros/hour through the agency (www.hassle.com).

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There is a small one at the mission and besides that they are all over Dublin. Moderately expensive but lots of personalized programs and those that use them seem very happy. I've never seen the inside of a gym and have no intention of changing that...there are loads of 'local' sports available, especially soccer if you want to join in.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, widely available and generally very safe. We were skimmed once about 4 months ago but CC company caught it and resolved painlessly.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Yep...you name it they have it. Dublin is also now home to the largest mosque in Europe.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

The local language is English but the accent can be difficult. Imagine falling out of the sky and landing in south Boston during rush hour...you know everyone is speaking English but you have no idea what anyone is saying. That only lasts a week or two though.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Not really.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Yes, quite affordable and safe. Taxis are a little pricier but not too bad. Great public transportation in general...don't forget daily ferries to Britain and France and Ryanair will almost fly you home from work these days.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Driving lanes and parking spaces are a bit smaller that the USA so don't bring anything you can't park but really there is everything here. Beware there is currently an issue with Clements and others terminating their coverage in Dublin as their underwriter (AIG) is no longer playing ball I believe. If this happens, getting your car insure here will be difficult and expensive. Do not disregard this. No left hand drive imports allowed anymore. US driving record does NT count when applying for insurance here...so in effect you will pay the same rate as a hormone-infested 17 year old, driving a Ferrari and holding an iPhone.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

100 Mbps - fast fast fast, usually comes in a bundle with telephone and internet for $70-$100/month. We use Eircom and have been satisfied with them. Don't forget to claim your VAT back if you are eligible (23%!!).

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Wide variety available and all affordable, we use Eircom also.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

No quarantine any longer. Vets everywhere and quite good - better than the doctors.

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Some spouses have found work on the local economy but most will work at a mission. Local salaries are comparable to the USA. There are positions available for those who want them generally.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

Generally the same as the USA.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

It's a lot safer than Washington DC but like anywhere, if you try hard enough you could find trouble.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Hangovers can be a pain but I generally drink a pint of water before I go to sleep and take three Tylenol, that seems to take care of everything.
There are plenty of doctors, hospitals and clinics available. Hospitals are not as fast as in the USA and you can spend a long time waiting to be seen. US insurance is not accepted up front. Vaccinations seem to be different than in the USA and antibiotics are generally frowned upon and not given with as much freedom as in the USA. Good pediatricians.



There are several VHI Swiftcare Clinics that will take you without an appointment after hours but will lecture you for not seeing your own doctor or for not having one if during regular hours. I have found one private place that is now my go-to place for almost everything - The Blackrock Clinic, private, no waiting, good doctors and nurses.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

The air is wonderful...you are on a beautiful island in the north Atlantic...the air should be bottled and exported abroad.

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4. What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

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5. Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?

There seems to be a compunction to get a little leprechaun tattoo halfway through your tour...ignore this urge. There is mental health support that visits from London about twice a year.


I will say that this is a great post, but there isn't a lot of camaraderie among mission staff. It could be very difficult for a spouse at home alone who is not working...I have seen this a a few times. Be sure to make friends outside the mission.

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6. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Very temperate, never too hot, never too cold. Can be grey and rainy, but nowhere near as much as the southwest of the country near Shannon. 80F is a heatwave here, winter may get down to 25F. It's an easy climate and one that I love. It's like Portland Oregon without the hippies.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There is an International School of Dublin but hardly anyone uses it. Most mission kids go to St. Andrew's College where the kids of Dublin's rich and famous attend. It's a good school, good academics, with music and sports programs. The junior school follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Because of the Irish educational system it would be VERY HARD for someone to transfer in here in their junior or senior year in high school.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, they are everywhere and they are expensive. We pay 700-800 Euros/month for 8-3pm for one three year old.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes - there is everything available (with the exception of American football and baseball).

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Quite large but everyone does their own thing. Few if any social events between employees. Everyone is left to their own devices but there is plenty to do if you go out and do it.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

I like to play poker here and there is a nice little scene but it's not for everyone. The bars and live music are ubiquitous...head down to the Temple Bar area and buy a drink...instant friends. There's plenty of cultural, music and sporting events. The Irish are a social race and if you have the personality to suit you will have a great time. Especially singles and couples. I would highly recommend going to a hurling or football game in Croke Park or watching a rugby game at the AVIVA stadium. There is a popular derby game here every year between Leinster (where Dublin is) and Munster a southern province. Apparently it's quite the rivalry and all the locals go hoping to see Munster get beaten, which rarely happens from what I hear.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

Yes for everyone, but easier for singles and couples. Families are spread out as there is no compound and socializing among families requires driving to someone else's house. It always requires planning so you can have house-bound younger kids depending on the neighborhood you are in.

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4. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

If you travel up to northern Ireland (Belfast/Derry) beware of the Catholic/Protestant divide. As an expatriate you won't be affected though but beware...especially if you got the leprechaun tattoo that I warned you about earlier.

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5. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

West Cork, the Beara Peninsula is magical. What an amazing landscape. Kerry is beautiful too, Ennis in Clare is a lovely little town. Great concerts in the O2 Arena, fantastic sports events, ferry trip to France was fun. Just hanging around in Howth, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey is a lot of fun on the weekends.

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6. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

All the little coastal towns down the Coast...just start driving and take a look. County Cork turned out to be a real find and a great escape, check out Cobh, Youghal, Kinsale, Clonakilty, and Schull. Full of history, color and fun things to do.

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7. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

If you work at the mission you get up to 23% VAT back on most purchases...there's plenty to buy if you are inclined.

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8. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

It's a major European Capital, English speaking, it's a major regional and European transportation hub. Easy back and forth to the USA and Europe. It's modern and friendly and there are no pests. They brew Guinness here and the climate is great.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

That you can buy a brand new car from a local dealer, get 23% back in VAT and sell the car 3 years later for exactly what you paid for it.



An Irish person will ALWAYS offer to buy the drinks...no matter how much they insist, make sure you buy every second round. It's expected. They will protest, but that it just part of the process...do not think "Gee, these people are really nice and want to pay for everything."



Learn to like tea...it just makes thing easier.



Keep all your receipts...the VAT returns can be huge every month.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Sure...this is a great assignment.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Sun tan lotion..fear of jaywalking.

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4. But don't forget your:

Sarcasm...it's the unofficial language. Without it you are missing the true meaning of everything.

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5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

McCarthy's Bar

The Road to McCarthy

Jaywalking With The Irish

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6. Do you have any other comments?

It's a wonderful assignment. Don't expect too much socializing with mission personnel. If you have kids, ask to be housed within walking distance of another family with kids the same age.



Ireland is an easy country to love.

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Dublin, Ireland 06/08/14

Background:

1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

No. London, Paris (non government jobs).

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

Washington D.C. If there are direct flights from IAD, it's 6 hours. Otherwise it's an hour or so to either NYC or BOS, then 5 hours to Dublin.

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3. How long have you lived here?

Lived there almost 4 years.

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4. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?

I am a Dublin native (but had been living in the United States and away from Dublin for more than half of my life). My husband is a U.S. citizen working corporate job in Dublin.

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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

We lived in a lovely part of town called Ballsbridge on the South side of the river. The American Embassy was a 2-minute walk from our apartment and we were a 15-minute walk from the city center. We loved living there. We have heard that U.S. Embassy families live in that same neighbourhood and if you're headed there with the Embassy, you will not be disappointed with the neighbourhood, although I can't speak for the actual houses themselves.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

You will pay more for groceries, without a doubt. Be sure to sign up for your local supermarket's reward program. We shopped at Tesco mostly and their reward system was great in that it sent you coupon cash so you'd get 5 Euro off your total, etc. But you'll pay more in general. However, there are plenty of Aldi and Lidl grocery stores and their prices are fantastic so take advantage of those as much as you can!

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

If we were there with the Embassy, I'd say bring peanut butter (the only peanut butter close to American PB is from Aldi). Ziplock bags & garbage bags aren't as good quality here. Craisins if you like those. If you eat gluten free, like I do, you'll have an excellent selection to choose from (in Ireland, there is a huge amount of people with Coeliac disease). You can get great clothes and shoes here but you'll pay more for them.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

Loads of fast food. All your typical American imports - McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, etc. Also, Ireland's answer to fast food burgers - Supermacs. Cost is similar to the States, perhaps a bit more. If you want a burger give the fast food ones a miss and go for one of the excellent gourmet burger joints that have popped up all over the city recently. Tex-Mex and SOCAL Burrito joints have also popped up all over the place (Pablo Picante was our favourite!). Lots of excellent restaurants to suit every palate.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

The worst you'll have to deal with are some house flies and small spiders. Really nothing to worry about at all.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

We used local post, which is fine but pricey.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

Available but not cheap.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

Yes, plenty of gyms. They're not cheap, but they're not that much more than what you'd pay Stateside.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Lots of ATMs available. In Ireland they use chip cards, which most of Europe uses, but they'll take swipe your debit cards like a credit card no problem.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

Plenty of Catholic masses, but there are also Church of Ireland, Methodist, Baptist. There are also some synagogues, temples, and mosques, too.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Everyone (obviously) speaks English so as long as you can understand their accent you'll be fine!

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

In recent years they have made a lot of advances in accommodating those with physical disabilities so I think it would be much more feasible than it used to be. Most places have ramps/elevators.

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Transportation:

1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

They are all safe. Buses are affordable, Luas (light rail) and the Dart (innercity train) are all affordable. The intercity/national trains are a little on the pricy side and inevitably you'll have the occasional loud group of "lads" on the way back from a party weekend. However, you can take an intercity bus (like GoBus) and they are very affordable with free wifi and onboard restrooms.

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

You'll see every type of vehicle on the roads there. In the city you can get away with minivans and SUVs, but in the country if you're driving around you might wish for a smaller car. Gas is also expensive so I'd go for a car with good gas mileage.

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Phone & Internet:

1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?

Yes. I think we paid about 80 Euro for our TV/internet/phone bundle, and we chose the fastest internet we could get.

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2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Bring an unlocked phone and buy a sim card there. We had contracts but lots of people do pay-as-you-go. Texting is much more commonly used in Ireland than it is in the States.

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Pets:

1. Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?

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Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:

1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?

Yes, although you'd need a visa unless you're married to an Irish or European passport holder who is working there already.

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2. What volunteer opportunities are available locally?

Plenty...depends on what you prefer to do.

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3. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?

For work it depends on what you do, but in public people dress much the same as they do in the States...perhaps a bit edgier and not very preppy.

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Health & Safety:

1. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

It's a city, so your typical city safety precautions are a good idea. But nothing to be concerned about.

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2. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

No health concerns. Medical care is good. It's different than the States, as it's a public system, but you can go privately if you are insured. I gave birth there and although it's a different approach to the American system, I received excellent care and labor and delivery were just fine. I would strongly encourage that you go private, however, as you'll be much more comfortable in your surroundings that way. The attention you receive is more individualised, too.

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3. What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Good. In the city obviously you have your usual traffic pollution but it's not really bad. Being right on the water brings that fresh air in. And you can't get better than the Irish country air.

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4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?

Oh the weather. Well, it does rain (that's why it's so green!). Winters are damp and cold - bring your thermal undies! It gets down to the 30s (F) in the winter, sometimes with a very small smattering of snow and ice. If you're lucky, it can reach the high 70s in the summer but that usually not common or consistent. For the almost 4 years we were there we had lovely weather in April and May and the rest of the summer was a bit of a disappointment weather wise. But don't dismay - sunnier European climes are a short, cheap flight away!

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There is an International School in Ballsbridge but I do not know anyone whose children have gone there. The local schools, however, are excellent. In general the standard of education in Ireland is fantastic.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I cannot speak to this, although I'd imagine that there are accommodations in place.

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3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?

Yes, but very, very expensive.

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4. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

Yes, lots. Most through schools and the Gaelic Athletic Association runs on neighbourhood clubs, I think.

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Expat Life:

1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

There is a big ex-pat community in Dublin. You can find groups of Americans who meet up socially and also there is the American Women's Club of Dublin who meet often. Morale is good - most expats love Ireland. You'll also meet tons of Aussies, Kiwis, and Poles.

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2. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

You name it, Ireland has it. The Irish are very fond of having "the one" drink after work, but be warned: one beer often turns into a full night out! There are plenty of cinemas around the city and a lively local theatre scene - Dublin does a great job of pulling in shows from London and around Europe.

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3. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

This is a great city for everyone - singles, couples, families. We moved here in 2007 as a couple and our social life was busy and vibrant. Then we had a baby and, while things changed a bit, there was still so much for us to do with a child, too. Singles love it here as well.

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4. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?

Yes, definitely. Although officially and politically conservative relative to the rest of Europe, the population is generally very open and welcoming to all.

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5. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not really.

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6. What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

So many highlights. Cultural events in Dublin (concerts, rugby matches, the all-Ireland finals in Gaelic football and hurling) are always a great time. There are some excellent restaurants and the pub culture is fantastic. You're also a short drive from anywhere else in the country - it's such a small space. Northern Ireland is stunning and not to be missed. Cork, Kerry, Galway - all reachable within 4 hours and stunning. There are plenty of holiday homes to rent quite reasonably and it's a lovely weekend away.

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7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?

There is something for everyone in Dublin. There are some great museums - Croke Park, Kilmainham Gaol, Natural History Museum, National Archives, etc) and art galleries. There is so much to do outdoors - you have Europe's biggest downtown park, Phoenix Park, as well as some other lovely parks scattered throughout the city, all of which have great playgrounds for children. There are also some excellent hikes not to be missed - the Wicklow mountains are a half hour drive away and the views are fantastic. Also, in Dublin don't miss the Book of Kells and the library at Trinity College Dublin - spectacular! There are also lots of walking tours: literary, pub, music - all lots of fun. And the hop on/ hop off tour buses are great as you can hit all the major sites in half a day.

There is a rich and vibrant music scene in Dublin (well, Ireland in general), so if you're hankering for some traditional music in a pub setting you're spoiled for choice, or if your taste is more classical, the National Concert Hall will have plenty of choices for you. The theatre scene in Dublin is very much a live with the Gate and the Abbey Theatres putting on top notch productions multiple times a year (many celebrated actors and actresses got their start on these stages and often return for a season). The Grand Canal Theatre hosts major touring shows from London/Europe so you don't feel like you're missing out.

If you're into sports, Gaelic Football, Rugby, and Hurling are your three huge sports here. Everyone gets really into it and a match at Lansdowne Road (Aviva) or Croke Park are a must! Most of the best Irish soccer players go tot he English premier league, so there is a big social scene around watching English and Scottish soccer in the pubs, even if the Irish soccer league is not well followed.

Restaurants, clubs, and bars abound. Go for afternoon tea at the Shelbourne or for a cocktail in their bar at night (it's the place to see and be seen). Kehoe's on Anne St is a great pub for a pint (plenty of well-known regulars frequent it). If you want to see the Leinster Rugby players pop into Searsons on Upper Baggot Street. If craft beers are your thing, don't miss Against The Grain and (THE SEVERAL) Porterhouse BREWING CO. The Winding Stair has excellent Irish cuisine, and The Pigs Ear (on Kildare Street) had excellent Irish "Comfort" food. I could go on and on...

EVEN A PASSING INTEREST IN IRISH HISTORY IS RICHLY REWARDED AND THERE ARE TONS OF GUIDED TOURS.

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8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Aran sweaters from the West of Ireland. Irish pottery and crafts. Buy some art from the streetside art "galleries" at Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green. Avoca and Kilkenny Design Centre are great for a wide selection of local crafts, but there are plenty of small shops carrying Irish-made souvenirs. Don't forget your bottle of Irish whiskey, too!

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9. What are the particular advantages of living in this city?

Plenty of cultural and social events to take advantage of (I'll discuss that later..). Access to the rest of Ireland is very easy via bus, train, or car. Also, Dublin Airport is an excellent hub for visiting the rest of Europe. Ryanair, though the bane of the airline industry in my opinion, offers dirt cheap flights to most major Euro destinations (but pay attention to their rules and fees). Just practice packing extremely light and you'll be fine. The people are lovely and their famous pub culture does, in fact, exist, but stay away from the more touristy areas (ahem, Temple Bar) and find your "local" one.

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10. Can you save money?

It will be hard to save money but if you don't travel and shop wisely, you might be able to.

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Words of Wisdom:

1. What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?

Things you might want to consider: You don't really need a car. We lived here for almost 4 years without one. The only times we wished we had one was to do big grocery shops at some of the bigger supermarkets outside of the city center and to take weekend trips, but we rented cars for those and it worked out just fine. We walked or took the bus/train everywhere. Buy/bring all your bedding from them States as the quality will be better. Also, talking and complaining about the weather is a national pastime :-). My husband also felt that the apparent pessimism of the people there can be quite jarring, especially given how great life in Dublin really can be.

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2. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?

Absolutely - we miss it every day.

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3. If you move here, you can leave behind your:

Vast summer wardrobe, unless you plan to travel. Giant SUVs, unless you love to pay through the nose for gas. Expectations of lots and lots of sun. Don't get me wrong, Ireland has sunny days and when it does there's nowhere you'd rather be, but it doesn't have a reputation for rain for nothing.

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4. But don't forget your:

Hiking boots, umbrella and raincoat, camera, and positive attitude (if you tend to get down after one too many rainy days).

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5. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:

Once,

The Commitments,

Michael Collins,

In Bruges,


Circle of Friends,

The Quiet Man (well, that's for Ireland in general),

Father Ted: The Definitive Collection (TV Series - hilarious and loads of people know it and quote it often).

And if you like Game of Thrones, those lush green locations are all shot in Northern Ireland, a short drive North of Dublin.

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6. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?

Dubliners (Dover Thrift Editions) (well, anything James Joyce),

Slow Dublin (Slow Guides),

Circle of Friends and anything written by Brendan Behan or Roddy Doyle.

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