How safe is Northern Ireland?
Hostility and terrorism are terms you easily connect to the Middle-East, but nowadays it seems like they have reached Europe once again. Recent weeks, threats and attacks in Northern Ireland have been front page news.
Does this mean you will have to cancel your plans to visit Northern Ireland? Or is there a way to stay safe in Northern Ireland?
A long history of violence
The history of the feud between Ireland and Northern Irelandhas been a long and complicated one. In short, Northern Ireland is part of the UK, along with England, Scotland and Wales. The Republic of Ireland, on the other hand, is a separate nation, which has its own laws, currency and religion.
Although Northern Ireland is part of the UK, there are two types of self-identified groups: the minority Irish nationalists Roman Catholics and the majority unionist/British Protestants.
These groups have had a long history of violence since the ’60s, which resulted in riots, murders and bombings. In other words: senseless violence. Even though both groups have some agreement of ‘peace’ since 1998, threats and violence have occurred now and then ever since.
Is Northern Ireland safe?
As mentioned above, acts of violence still occur in Northern Ireland as a result. Even, the nation has been a safe destination for tourists to visit. There is no longer border control between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
However, travel advice for going to Northern Ireland comes with some warnings. It is advised to be vigilant when using public transport and visiting tourist attractions.
When Not to go?
While the section when to go is oft-recurring subject in travel articles, we think it’s important when not to go to Northern Ireland. Avoid July 12th, as this is the day the annual Orange march through Belfast takes place, an event that provokes Catholics as the march (organized by protestants) passes catholic neighbourhoods. Needless to say, this is the riskiest time of the year to visit Northern Ireland.
Why you should go?
Northern Ireland manages to cram a lot of cool sights in a small area. It is the kind of place that reminds you of how beautiful and how strange this earth is. The strange basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle and the Carrick-a-Rede suspension bridge to name a few.
Even in one day, you can visit many of the highlights of Northern Ireland. And be sure not to forget to visit the Titanic museum in Belfast.
Get Travel Insurance
No matter the destination you travel to, having travel insurance always is worth the money. Whether it’s to get a refund for your flight, accommodation or in case you get sick abroad. AA Ireland’s insurance is amongst the best you can get for your trip to Northern Ireland.
We hope that we were able to answer your question ‘Is Northern Ireland safe’ and that you will have found your peace of mind when booking your next trip to Northern Ireland.