Doing Business In Ireland

Visa Information

UK nationals don’t need a passport to visit the Republic, but are advised to carry one (or some other form of photo identification) to prove that they are a UK national. It’s also necessary to have a passport or photo ID when changing travellers cheques or hiring a car. European Economic Area (EEA) citizens (that is, citizens of EU states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) can enter Ireland with either a passport or a national ID card.
Visitors from outside the EEA will need a passport, which should remain valid for at least six months after their intended arrival.
For EEA nationals and citizens of most Western countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, no visa is required to visit either the Republic or Northern Ireland, but citizens of India, China and many African countries do need a visa for the Republic. Full visa requirements for visiting the Republic are available online at ; for Northern Ireland’s visa requirements see
EEA nationals can stay for as long as they like, but other visitors can usually remain for up to three months in the Republic and up to six months in the North. To stay longer in the Republic, contact the local garda (police) station or the Garda National Immigration Bureau (01-666 9100; ; 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2). To stay longer in Northern Ireland contact the Home Office (0870-606 7766; ; Immigration & Nationality Directorate, Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Rd, Croydon CR9 2BY, UK).
Citizens of member states of the EEA do not need a work visa to work in the Republic. Non-EEA nationals are allowed to work for up to one year in the Republic, if they have a specific job to come to and their employer has obtained permission from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Although you don’t need an onward or return ticket to enter Ireland, it could help if there’s any doubt that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Ireland.

Business Etiquette

Meeting and Greeting
Irish businesspeople are generally less formal and more outwardly friendly than in many European countries.
Shake hands with everyone at the meeting.
Handshakes should be firm and confident.
Shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings.
Make sure to smile!
The Irish are generally rather casual and quickly move to first names.
Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions without formal ritual.
Many businesspeople do not have business cards, so you should not be offended if you are not offered one in return.
Communication Style
The Irish have turned speaking into an art form. Their tendency to be lyrical and poetic has resulted in a verbal eloquence. They use stories and anecdotes to relay information and value a well-crafted message. How you speak says a lot about you in Ireland. 
The Irish appreciate modesty and can be suspicious of people who are loud and tend to brag. They dislike a superiority complex of any sort. So, for example, when discussing your professional achievements it is best to casually insert the information in short snippets during several conversations rather than embarking on a long self-centred outline of your successes. 
Communication styles vary from direct to indirect depending upon who is being spoken to. There is an overall cultural tendency for people to view politeness as more important than telling the absolute truth. This means that you may not easily receive a negative response. When you are being spoken to, listen closely. A great deal may be implied, beyond what is actually being said. For example, if someone becomes silent before agreeing, they have probably said “no”. They may also give a non-committal response. This may be due to the fact that the Gaelic language does not have words for “yes” or “no”. There is a tendency to use understatement or indirect communication rather than say something that might be contentious. 
Generally speaking they do not like confrontation and prefer to avoid conflict, which they attempt to avoid by being humorous and showing good manners. 
Business Meetingsbusiness culture in ireland
Company or organisational cultures differ widely in Ireland. As a result you may find meetings vary in their approach and substance. In one setting the purpose of a meeting is to relay information on decisions that have already been made, whereas in another it may be the time to get feedback and input. 
Following on from this, meetings may be structured or unstructured. In most cases they will be relaxed. It is customary to have a period of small talk before the actual meeting which is when a rapport is built to take forward into the meeting. 
Meetings may occur in several venues, not merely the office. It is quite common to conduct a business meeting in a restaurant or pub. This allows all participants to be on equal footing. 
Expect a great deal of discussion at meetings. Everyone is expected to participate and they do, often at great length. The Irish like to engage in verbal banter and pride themselves on being able to view a problem from every angle. 

General Business Hours

The standard business hours are generally the same for both the Republic and Northern Ireland and are shown below, with any variations noted:
Banks 10am to 4pm (to 5pm Thursday) Monday to Friday
Offices 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Post offices Northern Ireland 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12.30pm Saturday; Republic 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday. Smaller post offices may close at lunch and one day a week.
Pubs Northern Ireland 11.30am to 11pm Monday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 10pm Sunday. Pubs with late licences open until 1am Monday to Saturday, and midnight Sunday; Republic 10.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, 10.30am to 12.30am Friday and Saturday, noon to 11pm Sunday (30 min ‘drinking up’ time allowed). Pubs with bar extensions open to 2.30am Thursday to Saturday; closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Restaurants Noon to 10.30pm; many close one day of the week.
Shops 9am to 5.30pm or 6pm Monday to Saturday (until 8pm on Thursday and sometimes Friday), noon to 6pm Sunday in bigger towns only. Shops in rural towns may close at lunch and one day a week.
Tourist offices 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday. Many extend their hours in summer, and open fewer hours/days or close October to April.