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New to Ireland

Coming to work in a new country is very exciting. In these pages you will find lots of information and links which will hopefully answer any questions you have. is also a great source of information.

The island of Ireland is about 302 miles long and 170 miles wide, and covers approximately 32,600 square miles.

Ireland has 32 counties. There are 26 in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in Northern Ireland.  The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy with a president as head of state.  Over 4 million people live in the Republic of Ireland.  Click on the links below to find out what the Lonely Planet and Rough Guides have to say about Ireland –

Irish culture has many different meanings. To find out more about Irish music, culture, arts and heritage go to the Culture Ireland website.

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day and it is the National Holiday in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day parades are held in most towns in Ireland and in a number of countries throughout the world to celebrate the national holiday.
Many people wear a plant called ‘shamrock’ on St. Patrick’s Day. It is an unofficial but perhaps more recognised symbol of Ireland.

Popular culture in Ireland is very similar to many other Western countries in terms of TV, cinema and popular music and literature.

Greeting people

Irish people have the reputation of being very friendly. Generally people will shake hands when they meet for the first time. Friends will hug or just say hello. Sometimes people will kiss on the cheek if they know each other well. People generally make eye contact because it is a sign of trust and that you are interested in what they are saying.


"Culture shock" describes the impact of moving from a familiar culture to one which is unfamiliar. It is an experience described by people who have traveled abroad to work, live or study; it can be felt to a certain extent even when abroad on holiday. It can affect anyone. This article  will help you understand culture shock a little more. 

Irish (or Gaelic from the Irish word Gaelige) is still “the first official language” of Ireland however English remains the primary language spoken on the island of Ireland. There are parts of Ireland where Irish is still spoken daily as a first language, these regions are known as the Gaeltacht. Keep your eyes open because you’ll be introduced to Irish almost as soon as you arrive, with all street and road signs in the Republic of Ireland in both English and Irish.

Irish weather can be unpredictable, so we like to talk about it. A lot. In spring (February to April), the average highest temperatures range from 8 to 12°C, with April considered particularly pleasant. In summer (May to July), the averages for highest temperatures are between 18 and 20°C. The warmest months, July and August, get about 18 hours of daylight and it gets dark only after 11pm. In autumn, (August to October) highest temperatures hit between 18 and 14°C. September is considered a mild, temperate month.

Tap Water - Ireland is fortunate to have safe and reliable sources of fresh, raw water that we can treat and use as drinking water. Water which comes out of your kitchen tap is fine for drinking however, bathroom water usually comes from tanks and can become stagnant, bathroom water is fine for brushing teeth.

Smoking - It is illegal to smoke in an enclosed place of work. So everywhere from pubs and restaurants, to shops, offices and public transport, are smoke-free. UL is now a smoke free campus. Smoking is prohibitate within the gates of the university.

Driving - We drive on the left side of the road

Cost of Living - The cost of living in Limerick is generally lower than that of Dublin.  Shop around - own brand items tend to be cheaper as do seasonal products. Don’t forget to bring your own bags as you will be charged every time you need one from the shop.

Entry requirements for bringing your pet to Ireland will depend on what country your pet is coming from. For example, if you're coming from the EU and want to bring your furry friend with you to Ireland, you’re going to need an EU Pet Passport. If you want to bring your pet to Ireland from a country outside the EU you must first check whether your country is a qualifying low-risk country or a non-qualifying high risk one. Check out the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's website for lots more information.

The Irish government provides free education at both primary and secondary level. Full-time education is compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. To enroll your child in school, you should first check the list of primary and post primary schools in your area. Unless you choose a Gaelscoil (Irish language school) your child's school will mainly be English speaking, however they will learn Irish as part of the curriculum.

Everyone is Ireland entitled to public in-patient and out-patient hospital services but some people may have to pay some hospital charges. Though the Government provides basic health entitlements, many people in Ireland also have private health insurance.

For full information about DRIVING, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, AND ACCOMMODATION please visit the following

TV, Broadband and Phone

You have lots of options depending on what is most important to you (e.g. speed of broadband, price etc). The main providers are Virgin Media, Vodafone, Sky and Eir. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal and ensure to read the small print. Remember you may have extra charges such as out of bundle costs, equipment fees or connection charges.

More information: 

Gas and Electricity

Again you have many options. You can choose to get each from different suppliers or bundle them together to reduce the amount of bills. Airtricity, Electric Ireland, Energia, Bord Gais all provide dual fuel bundles. You may like to prepay your energy bills with the likes of – these can work out more expensive. Shop around, and as with your entertainment providers, there will be small print such as €300 deposit if you do not set up a direct debit.

More Information: 


  • There are a lot of mobile phone providers in Ireland. Vodafone, Three and Meteor own their own networks with many other companies using their networks as virtual operators e.g. Virgin, Tesco. You can get information from each of these companies own websites or Carphone Warehouse will provide you with information on them all.
  • More information: 
  • Three
  • Meteor 
  • Vodaphone
  • Carphone Warehouse

Remember to shop around for the best deals and be on the look out for special offers. There is a website which helps you to compare all the packages available called, make sure you visit it before visiting any of the carriers' stores. 

Learn about the HEANET Member staff and student discount on their website.


Please see the New To Limerick section of our website to find out how to find somewhere to live in Limerick. 

Your liability for tax in Ireland can be affected by whether you are resident in the country and whether Ireland is your permanent home. There is a specific definition of residence for tax purposes depending on how many days you spend in the country. If you are not resident in a particular year, you can still be ordinarily resident in Ireland since this term refers to the country where you are usually resident over a number of years. The country that is your permanent home is known as your domicile. You can find more information in our document about tax residence and domicile.

Generally you will be charged Irish tax on your world-wide income earned or arising in a tax year during which you are resident, ordinarily resident and domiciled in Ireland for tax purposes.

For any tax year during which you are non-resident and not ordinarily resident in Ireland you will be charged tax on your income from Irish sources only. The extent of your liability to Irish tax may also be influenced by your domicile status and possibly by a double taxation agreement - see below.

In addition to income tax and the Universal Social Charge, social insurance, known in Ireland as PRSI (Pay-Related Social Insurance), is also deducted through the tax system by employers – see ‘Social insurance’ below. Self-employed people pay them directly to Revenue. You can find more information about this in the Revenue guide for those transferring residence to Ireland.
For more information, please click here.

New to Ireland | UL Induction


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