In yesterday’s newsletter round-up of 12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today, I included a story from Scripps News about how “a New York man was brutally attacked while on a trip to Dublin, Ireland. 57-year-old Stephen Termini of Buffalo was assaulted by teenagers near the Store Street police station in a central part of the city.” Here’s Stephen’s family’s GoFundMe.
A 14-year-old boy from Dublin’s north inner city was arrested and more arrests are expected. According to Irish Central, Irish politicians blame the fact that there’s not enough police presence in the inner city. “We have fallen below 14,000 Gardaí in the state. But we still have to allocate that provision of Gardaí based on where we need the most,” he said. “I can’t imagine a place where we need more Garda presence than in the central part of our capital city. At a very minimum people have a right to go into the city center for whatever purpose they may need, and feel safe,” Dublin City Councillor Niall Ring said that the attack on the tourist has “appalled everyone in the area.”
FYI: Gardaí or “the Guards” is the national police service of Ireland. The official name is the Garda Síochána.
I’ve been to Ireland and Dublin, specifically, many times and have always felt safe. But this incident and the fact that there’s not enough police presence is obviously a cause for concern. In fact, it’s enough of a concern that the U.S. Embassy in Dublin just issued a travel warning for “security awareness” to tourists visiting Ireland.
The Embassy says: “With a number of recent incidents reported in Irish media, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin reminds U.S. citizens to exercise good personal security practices while traveling. Travelers should safeguard valuables, such as credit cards and passports, and refrain from carrying large amounts of cash. The U.S. Embassy Dublin encourages all citizens to be aware of their surroundings, especially when traveling in unfamiliar places, crowded locations, empty streets, or at night.”
The U.S. Embassy website offers valuable information to tourists, which should be followed no matter where they’re planning on traveling to, whether internationally or within the United States. Here’s what they recommend:
Be aware of your environment
-Avoid walking alone, if possible, especially during hours of darkness.
-Do not wear or display expensive jewelry or watches and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
-Avoid placing passports, cash, cell phones, or other valuables in the outer pockets of backpacks or purses or on tables in public places.
Be cautious of your surroundings
-Be vigilant. Pickpocketing, mugging, and “snatch and grab” theft of mobile phones, watches and jewelry can occur.
-Look up locations before you travel to them.
-Do not leave bags unattended in restaurants, pubs, hotel lobbies, and parked cars. Most reported thefts occur at crowded tourist sites, at airports, car rental agencies, on public buses, trams, and trains, and at the major railway stations.
-Avoid leaving baggage alone in a car, including in a closed trunk.
-Avoid staring at your phone while walking in public areas.
-Limit earbud/headphone use when in public.
-Be mindful of your alcohol consumption.
-Keep a low profile.
But, let’s not kid ourselves. The U.S. is way more dangerous than Ireland. Here are some statistics from NationMaster.com.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t think twice about visiting The Emerald Isle. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are in the world and to take reasonable precautions to keep yourself, your travel companions and your belongings safe.
–12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe
–12 Things You Never Knew About Italy
–7 Things to Do in Naples, Italy
–12 Things to Know Before Going to Paris
–19 of the Best Off-the-Beaten Path Things to See and Do in Paris