General Information


Ireland

is an island on the north-western edge of Europe. It is 486 kilometres long and 275 kilometres wide. Ireland has 3,172 kilometres of coastline – the longest coastline per head of population in Europe. The Republic of Ireland occupies three-quarters of the island and its capital city is Dublin. Ireland, with its beautiful scenery, offers a range of attractions to the tourist including ancient archaeological sites and monuments, a variety of sporting activities such as fishing, riding and golf, as well as traditional dancing and music.

Population
5.5 million, over 1.5 million live in Dublin.

Dublin
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is built on the River Liffey and is also situated beside the sea, yet close to both the countryside and mountains. A city of fine Georgian buildings, Dublin has been influenced by its Danish, Norman and English antecedents. It has excellent stores and shops, museums, antique shops and a range of pubs and restaurants. Among the goods for which Ireland is particularly well known are tweed, knitwear, linen, glass, lace and silverware. These can be purchased from most department stores or specialist handcraft shops. It has four major theatres, including the world famous Abbey theatre, concert facilities, art galleries and cinemas. There is a wide variety of sporting facilities including golf courses, sailing and racecourses.

Climate
Ireland enjoys a temperate climate with mild winters and relatively cool summers. Mean daily temperature in June and July is 18 C. Dublin enjoys reasonable sunshine and rain belts reaching the east coast are frequently light and generally clear quickly. However, it is always wise when travelling to Ireland to pack a rain mac or umbrella.

Documentation/Passports
Everyone entering Ireland must have a valid passport, or in the case of European Union Member States, a national identity card. Visas are required for visitors from some countries. Delegates should check with their local Irish consulate or embassy. A valid driving license is required to drive in Ireland.
Please note that it can take up to 8 weeks to process a visa application, and early application is recommended. The Congress Organizing Committee, or its agents, cannot accept any responsibility for visa applications. Where a delegate is unable to attend because of failure to obtain a visa on time, the normal cancellation policy for registration fee will apply. Please contact clare@conferencepartners.ie if you require a letter of invitation for your visa application. You may also request such a letter by fax.

Shopping
Dublin has a busy city centre shopping area around Grafton Street and Henry Street. There is a huge range of products to bring home – from traditional Irish hand-made crafts to international designer labels. Things to buy: woollen knits, tweeds, crystal, Claddagh rings, pottery, silver and music. Shopping hours are from 9.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Saturday, with shops open until 8.00pm on Thursdays, and many shops open from 2.00pm – 6.00pm on Sunday.

Insurance
The Conference Organising Committee, its agents, and the Society will not be responsible for any medical expenses, loss or accidents incurred during the conference. Delegates are strongly advised to arrange their own personal insurance to cover medical and other expenses including accident or loss. Where a delegate has to cancel for medical reasons, the normal cancellation policy will apply. It is recommended that citizens from EU countries bring with them a current E111 form.

Tax Refunds
Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 21% on most goods. Cash back is the simplest and most widely used VAT refund service that issues cash refunds on departure for a handling fee. Ask for cash back forms when you make your purchase.

Tipping
A small tip is appreciated for good service. Tipping is not usual in pubs and bars. Tip cabs 10% and porters 60c per bag.

Currency
The currency in Ireland is the Euro.

Credit Cards
Major credit cards are widely accepted.

Smoking Policy
Under Irish law smoking is not permitted in pubs, restaurants, hotel lobbies and all enclosed public buildings.

Electricity
220 volts

Time
From March to October, Ireland operates on Greenwich Mean Time + 1 hour.

What to Pack
For Conference sessions, business casual dress is recommended, and business suit/national dress for Closing Conference Banquet. Include casual wear for free time, and jacket and tie for restaurant fine dining. Rainwear and comfortable shoes are advised.

Tours
A number of tours both private & public will be on offer to you for your visit to Dublin. Further details can be found on the conference website. Tours can be booked as part of the registration process.

Access to Dublin
Dublin is easily accessible from the UK, Continental Europe and the east and west coast of the USA.  There are more than 36 scheduled airlines flying into Dublin Airport, which is located 12 km from the city centre.  Dublin Airport serves 7 domestic, 29 UK, 36 Continental European and 9 international destinations. For more information please visit www.aerrianta.ie

Access from Dublin Airport to Dublin City
There are a number of private and public bus services that operate from outside the airport arrivals terminal:
Aircoach, a privately run bus service, operates between the airport and a number of city hotels and locations, this is the most efficient service on offer. 
www.aircoach.ie
Airlink (bus 747), operated by Dublin Bus, will bring you directly from the airport to Busaras, the central bus station, located in the city. 
www.dublinbus.ie
There are also a number of other public bus services operating between the airport and various destinations
It is also possible to get to Dublin by ferry via Holyhead, Liverpool and Isle of Man ports in Britain.  Dublin has two ferry terminals – Dublin Port, located in the city centre, is serviced by bus and Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal, south of the city, is easily reached by a 20 minute car or DART train journey

Useful Websites
Tourist: www.discoverireland.com
Visa & Embassy Info: www.gov.ie
Weather: www.met.ie
Entertainment listings: www.entertainment.ie
Venue: www.dublincastle.ie