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Driving in Ireland

Harvel, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 posts
7 reviews
Driving in Ireland

My husband and I are traveling to Ireland March 13-23, 2011. We have visited before as part of a group tour but now are going on our own. We fly into Dublin on the 13th for two days and then on to Killarney for St. Patrick's Day and from there we are still undecided. We have relatives who live in Athy and plan to visit them as well. I would love to drive but am a bit apprehensive- especially with the turnabouts. I would appreciate any suggestions for drives from Killarney to other parts of Ireland that may be better for the first time Irish driver - Limerick, Galway, Wateford??? Thank you very much!

Donnellson, Iowa
Level Contributor
1,012 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Driving in Ireland

I am interested in this as well. Am planning a trip end of May. Itinerary includes 2 days each in Dublin, Killarney, and Galway, then back to Dublin. I would really rather drive than do the trains as I have much more flexibility. Only other country I have been to is Mexico and would not feel safe driving there. But I am hoping Ireland is different. I understand the roads are much different than in the US. But I think we will see more of the country side this way. Thanks

Ireland
Level Contributor
12,652 posts
127 reviews
2. Re: Driving in Ireland

Allow plenty time and you will be fine. From Killarney,you can visit Dingle easily and see the beautiful Slea head. Going to Galway or Waterfor for a day trip in March when days are still short is a bit much. I suggest that you head for Kilkenny from Killarney on your way to Athy. Or you could spend a night in Cork city and then to Kilkenny ands finally Athy.(Is it tthe town of Athy or a surrounding area?)

Harvel, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Driving in Ireland

Thank you so much for your suggestions. Our family lives outside of Athy as they are farmers.

Dublin
Level Contributor
3,297 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Driving in Ireland

If you look at the "How do I get around Ireland" topic in the Top 20 Questions about Ireland on the TA Ireland Forum, you will get good general advice on driving in Ireland.

In your case, I would avoid driving in Dublin, as it can be confusing and stressful for the uninitiated. Driving in Ireland is different from the US but is generally quite safe. In 2009, fatal road accidents were circa 12 per 100,000 population in the US and about 6 per 100,000 in Ireland - I appreciate that statistics do not give a full picture of the situation, but I think that they do support the fact that driving here is relatively safe, even for visitors.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
2,821 posts
43 reviews
5. Re: Driving in Ireland

Indeed road falatities in the Republic fell 12% in 2010 to a rate of about 5.2 per 100,000 and astonishingly fell by almost 50% in the North. So about two thirds of the fatality rate in Illinois and one third of some US states, and one quarter of Mexico. Ireland is not especially intrinsically dangerous to drive in, but one member of the party has to concentrate on the road (perhaps missing things) and avoid drinking alcohol to be safe.

Nebraska
Level Contributor
516 posts
6. Re: Driving in Ireland

In the US we travel the speed limit plus 5 mph almost everywhere because of the width of the road, shoulders, etc. In Ireland, at first I felt compelled to drive the speed limit but soon learned the conditions often didn't allow it (hills, turns, width, traffic, etc). Once I recognized I should drive at a speed I was comfortable I was fine. I am quite looking forward to the experience once again.

County Tipperary...
Level Contributor
6,893 posts
1 review
7. Re: Driving in Ireland

Have a look at this site for dealing with roundabouts www.drivingschoolireland.com/roundabouts.html

Remember even if you are ultimately turning right you always go left onto a roundabout. Check out which lane you are supposed to be in on the diagrams on the link. You must give way to traffic coming from the right, but if the way is clear you can filter onto the roundabout without stopping.

My daughter was just back on holiday from the US and was driving my car, as we negotiated a series of roundabouts she said in a heartfelt way - 'I do like roundabouts!' Once you are used to them they are a great way of dealing with junctions.

Donnellson, Iowa
Level Contributor
1,012 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Driving in Ireland

How funny. I guess it is what you are familiar with. I checked out the site about the roundabouts, and was thinking stop lights would be much easier. Too bad I could not practice before going.

Donnellson, Iowa
Level Contributor
1,012 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Driving in Ireland

Do most rental cars have GPS or do I need to bring one? I can upload Ireland map on my Garmin, but it is going to cost me about 70 USD to do so.

Thanks

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
16,758 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Driving in Ireland

you can pay extra for a gps but i think most folk say it isn't hat helpful as there are so many little roads not in the system...also unless you have addresses it would be difficult.....

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