General Safety in Dublin City Area for New Expat. Looking to Relocate.

Hi Folks,

I'm new to these forums.  I'm a mid-thirties American currently living and working in Czech Republic for the past two years.  I am looking to relocate to the Dublin area but had some concerns after reading quite a bit on forums and the web about problems with heroin addiction, street crime (mugging/buglaries etc) and a higher-than-normal disposition to violence than where I currently live. 

On the other hand I've spoken with a few colleagues who live in Dublin and they said things are fine so long as you avoid the times pubs let out in certain areas, and most street crime is gang related and doesn't affect most normal citizens.

I've visited Dublin only once for about 2weeks in 2009 and stayed near the Smithfield area.  I've spent a lot of time in NYC, Prague and other large metropolitan areas and generally have an awareness of my environment and "spider sense" but I didn't feel completely safe at (mostly at night) walking around DCC and surrounding areas.

I realize you can't believe what you always read, and to take things with a grain of salt.  I realize there are bad areas in ever city and they are best to be avoided, but is Dublin in a bad spot (better or worse) in the past 5years?  Is there some serious concern with someone moving there by themselves, albeit initially alone?  I enjoy pubs, nightlife, live music and especially comedy so surely that might take me to some colorful areas as it always does.

What are other Expats experiences about Dublin, areas to avoid and general demeanor of things I should know about?
Have things improved since 2009, and are the local Garda taking more of an active stance to clean up the centre area?

That said I am looking at the Rathemines area, Stoneybatter or D4 but open to any suggestions.  I'm a technology professional not tied to an office or geographic location so I can live pretty much anywhere and work remote.

Thanks in advance.

Dublin has a bad Heroin problem in the city and subarbs. There are now record numbers and they regularly congregate in cities. Other Irish cities are also in the grip and crime is rampant at the moment. It would probably be less safe than the Czech Rep right now if rating it in terms of personal safety. There is a huge amount of information out there in regards to crime.

Agree with the above speaker. I did not feel very safe in Dublin and made sure to not walk alone in the dark, including from the bus stop to my apartment. We lived in D1 / D7 (Broadstone) and had a huge problem with heroin addicts. On a weekly basis I saw cars with their windows smashed in, youth gangs on bikes terrorising neighbour hoods by vandalising property, trying to break in, burnings stuff etc.. Other areas might feel safer but even when going out there was some form of violence involving very drunk people (Temple Bar, Harcourt Street). Gardai seem to be hopelessly understaffed.

Regarding Rathmines: I've only heard great things. Generally the south seems to be better and safer. I have not lived in CZ so I can't really compare but I did not feel safe in Dublin. Add to that a growing housing crisis, low standard of housing in general and depressing weather at least 10 months of the year, I wouldn't recommend moving there. However if you have a great job offer and it's not forever then go for it and enjoy the partying scene for a while (I miss that in Malta!)

I'm an American and have lived in Dublin for the last year and a half. I find Dublin just as safe as any other city. Granted, I live in a nice south side area (Dublin 18). I have never felt unsafe, even when leaving a pub at night. This past weekend I walked alone through Trinity back down to the Luas at Stephen's Green and was not at all concerned. I used to work off of Camden Street, and never had any issues walking to and from work either.

My husband is a Dubliner and typically we err on the side of caution. We don't spend much time on north side, to be honest. I certainly feel safer in Dublin than I did in most cities in the US (I lived in Chicago, Phoenix, and Kansas City at various times). I guess everyone has a different barometer for these things.

As for the city itself, I adore Dublin. It's a very cool place with lots of great culture (especially music) and you can't beat finding your local and having a long evening out with friends.  I have found people very friendly. You mentioned that you like music and comedy. I can't speak about comedy, because I haven't been out to see any of that yet, but Dublin (and the whole country, really) have loads of festivals and concerts and live music is everywhere.

Hi, you're right to have some level of concern as the is more antisocial behaviour here these days. I hate to say it, but a lot of it is based over on the north side - the difference between the north and south sides can feel like two different cities sometimes. But if you learn the areas best avoided and use common sense you should be fine. For example, I'd take a taxi as opposed to public transport if I was alone and it was dark. Especially if I had been drinking. Dublin city centre streets are pretty busy though so if I'm in a crowded area I've never felt threatened at night. If I felt remotely vulnerable I'd hop in the nearest taxi, but I'd do that no matter where I was.

I've never and don't know anyone else who has had a run in with a junkie - they don't usually want to draw attention to themselves or have a run in with the Gards, so although it's really sad to see them on the street they're actually far better behaved than the groups of men who come here for stag parties! I have a few I know by sight now and always say hello and ask how their day is :)

We live on the South side just past Ranelagh (very cool little suburb, definitely recommend to anyone moving here) and in three years have never had an issue with anti-social behaviour near our home. There are sometimes groups of teenagers hanging around, but they're harmless and just bored so are usually kicking a football or having a sneaky can of beer. If they're in my way I just say hi to them and carry on walking - they're always polite in return but because they're in a group they could seem intimidating to some people I suppose.

Heading out and about we've never had any major issues - have had my purse pinched out of my (open) handbag but I take some responsibility for that too as my guard was down and I wasn't looking after my belongings properly! I've noticed an increase in scammers and dodgy story-tellers on the street but I'd just avoid eye contact and carry on walking. They're just looking for money so if you don't look like a soft target they'll leave you alone.

All in all, it's a nice wee city, loads of fun to be had but yes, definitely has it's share of anti-social behaviour. Just practice common sense and you'll be grand.

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