Ireland is one of the most popular destinations for Americans vacationing in Europe, both due to its mythical appeal, as it is known for being the birthplace of leprechauns and numerous other folktale creatures, and close historical ties to the States.
This makes Dublin, the Irish capital, a highly sought-after destination for U.S. arrivals, as it hosts numerous Transatlantic flights departing from several airports across America, other than being described as a lively, Bohemian European city.
Regrettably, Dublin’s been getting some bad press lately due to a staggering increase in crime, leading the U.S. Embassy in Dublin to issue a concerning warning for Americans visiting:
What’s Happening In Dublin Right Now?
Dublin has a reputation for being one of the safest capitals in Europe, having reported lower violence than other Irish cities, such as Limerick, and high levels of urban safety. Strangely, it seems to be backtracking in its advancements, following attacks on tourists recently.
Stephen Termini, a 57-year-old male from Buffalo, New York, ‘saved every penny’ for years for his dream trip to Ireland, where he has ancestry from, only to be viciously attacked by a group of youths some days ago on Dublin’s Store Street, being left in intensive care with life-changing injuries.
While the exact cause of the attack has not yet been established, it was strongly condemned by Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Taoiseach (equivalent to a Prime Minister), who admitted Irish cities have ‘deteriorated’ during the pandemic and ‘have never really come back to the level of safety that they were‘.
As reported by the BBC, ‘several other people’ have been victims of violent attacks in Dublin only this week, including a woman who was assaulted in the Temple Bar area, the city’s busiest and most touristy district.
A man was also hospitalized after being ‘seriously injured’ and robbed in Jervis Street on Tuesday; these events have all taken place in traditionally-safe zones of Dublin, where tourists often frequent. Temple Bar is where the capital’s nightlife is almost entirely centered.
Crime Rising In Central Dublin
Dublin’s Old Town, where little winding streets lead to decades-old bars, and home to the now-iconic red-colored corner bar, is never not jam-packed with visitors, particularly at weekends, when pubgoers flock into its alleyways, Guinness in hand, looking to socialize.
This is particularly worrying, as all of these attacks have taken place within Dublin’s central core, so it’s no surprise the U.S. Embassy is urging Americans to be more cautious when visiting – but what exactly is their advice?
As the alert notes, Americans must avoid ‘walking alone’ in Dublin, and they are encouraged to keep a ‘low profile’ as a wave of violence rocks the city.
Though Ireland continues to be a Level 1 destination, at least according to the U.S. State Department, Embassy officers seem to believe violence has increased significantly to warrant a warning.
New Safety Advice For Dublin
Similarly to advice that applies to destinations in the Global South, such as Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa, they are now asking Americans to be ‘aware’ of their surroundings, ‘especially when traveling in unfamiliar places’, crowded locations such as Temple Bar, as well as empty streets.
These must be particularly avoided during ‘hours of darkness’, and Americans must refrain from wearing or displaying expensive jewelry – including watches – or carrying unnecessary valuables that can be safely kept in a hotel: large amounts of cash, their passports, and other important documentation.
Additionally, they should not place passports, money, cell phones, or any other valuable items in outer pockets of backpacks, nor purses, nor leave them exposed on tables in public places, as crime in Dublin skyrockets, with the local police now set for a huge funding boost.
Lastly, they must avoid staring at their phones while walking on the streets and limit headphone usage when out. Being ‘mindful’ of the booze, which may make them more vulnerable to aggressors and muggers, and keeping a low profile is advised, as well.
Is Dublin Safe To Visit In 2023?
For the most part, yes, though more caution is urged. Other than the shockingly high prices for pints and the unpredictable weather, prone to turn ugly with very little warning, tourists often have nothing to worry about regarding their well-being.
Though crime has increased and Dublin is no longer as safe as it once was, a majority of tourists continue to fulfill their trips stress-free and return home to America feeling nothing but love for Ireland, its hearty cuisine, friendly locals, and stunning nature.
As long as you practice general safety advice and follow the safety advice described by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, you should be just fine.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com