US State Department warnings on Dublin crime ridiculous - Striking fear into tourists with tabloid headlines
Posted on Monday, August 08, 2011 at 10:34 PM
- Profile in Irish fighting courage - Heffernan’s campaign for respite care for families dealing with fatal rare illnesses such as Batten’s disease
- Senator Schumer says Irish deserve a separate deal for visas because of 1965 shutout - Says “Schumer visas” set to give Ireland 10,500 visas a year for the future
- Prospects for immigration reform bill are 50-50 say the pols privately - House seen as major obstacle as Senate gets closer to a vote
- Chilling testimony before congressional hearing on Pat Finucane death - New hearings told how informer was murdered before he could give evidence
- U.S. Tourism Ireland chief Joe Byrne says goodbye and hello again to massive acclaim - Popular Carlow native led tourist figures to Ireland to historic heights
|Dublin's busy Temple Bar by night|
The government is warning Americans to be aware of gangs "roaming the streets" of Dublin.
I've gone to Dublin, oh maybe 20 times these past four years and have yet to encounter a "roving gang".
No one else I have spoken to has either.
That is nonsense and a sensationalist approach more fitted to tabloids than serious government warnings.
The State Department also warned visitors to be on the lookout for criminals using electronic "skimmers" at ATM's, to be aware their drinks could be spiked, and to be especially vigilant around tourist attractions.
The warnings make Dublin sound like Tijuana,Mexico with drug dealers,killings and mayhem everywhere.
IrishCentral's top ten surprising facts about Ireland
Top ten must see places in Ireland - PHOTOS
Top ten reasons why the luck of the Irish is a myth
Yet they qualify the language quickly;
"There have been a limited number of assaults on foreigners and tourists, including violence towards members of racial minority groups," the Dept of State said in an updated crime assessment.
"There have also been several reported assaults in Dublin by small, unorganised gangs roaming the streets in the early morning hours after the pubs close, and a high incidence of petty crime in major tourist areas, mostly theft, burglary and purse snatching."
This is inflammatory nonsense of the worse kind. The number of American tourists attacked in Dublin or ripped off is minuscule and I'd bet far lower than many other capitals.
The State Department is really gilding the lily here at a time when such loaded language seems intent on scaring away much needed tourists.
Are there gangs and scammers in Dublin? Of course. like any other city in the world.
Are they running rampant through the streets/ No, definitely not.
Are they uniquely likely to attack American? No, not unless the American is very unlucky.
I don't know here the State Department gets these hysterical headlines from but they need to get a grip.
The State Department recommended that visitors leave their passports in a secure location "in case an incident occurs."
The department said that scams involving email, chat rooms and dating/social networking sites were on the rise in Ireland.
Visitors were also advised not to buy counterfeit and pirated goods and to not to break Irish laws, "including its tough drunk-driving rules."
All fine and well but turning what is routine crime into some kind of lurid emergency warning is pretty far over the top.
The State Department should know better.
Listen to Niall O’Dowd on Ireland’s Newstalk 106 on In Discussion with Eamon Dunphy here (31st July and 7th August)
- Top bishops clash over excommunication of...
- Irish leader delivers powerful commencement...
- Computer giant Apple avoiding $25 billion...
- Right-wing shock jock Pete Santilli slammed...
- Nigerian migrants send $653 million a year...
- Guinness summit? Obama and Putin to enjoy...
- Gay porn priest is appointed to new parish...
- Enda Kenny, not the Catholic Church, speaks...
- One in seven people on social welfare in...
- The top ten things I dislike about Irish...