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Relocation Series: Transport in Ireland

In the tenth instalment of our relocation series, Clarity is excited to guide you through the intricacies of public transportation in Ireland. Whether you are contemplating a move to the Emerald Isle or just curious about the transport options, this comprehensive guide will help you make informed decisions about your journey.

The Importance of Planning Your Transport

When considering relocation, one crucial factor that often takes a back seat in your preparations is transportation. The choice of your new home—rural or urban—can significantly impact your daily commute. Ireland offers a diverse range of transport options, so let's dive into what you need to know.

Urban vs. Rural Transport

One of the first decisions to make is whether you're settling in an urban or rural area. In the city, public transportation is generally more accessible and reliable, while rural areas might have limited options. Your choice will depend on your lifestyle and work location.

Public Bus Transport in Ireland

Ireland has an extensive public bus transport system with many government plans on expanding in the future. This has been shown through new public transport between villages in rural Ireland called the "Local Link". There are big plans for a metro like system in Dublin with construction estimated to begin in 2025.

If you have any questions on how you will get around in Ireland our recruiters will be happy to give guidance.


Dublin Bus

Dublin Bus offers many routes to easily get around the city. Pic: ABD/Shutterstock

TFI: Transport for Ireland

The Transport for Ireland (TFI) network provides a variety of transport options for getting around the country. Whether you prefer buses, trains, trams, or taxis, TFI has your journey covered. Here's a closer look at the different modes of transportation within the TFI network:

Bus Services by Various Operators


  • Bus Éireann: The primary provider, offering services like local and city buses (Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford), town services (Athlone, Balbriggan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan, Sligo), commuter buses (Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway,Waterford), and even school transport services.
  • Dublin Bus: Serving the capital and its surroundings, Dublin Bus provides an essential link to the city's various areas.
  • Go-Ahead Ireland: Operating services in the Greater Dublin Area, Go-Ahead Ireland ensures smooth commuting within the city.
  • Route 139 (JJ Kavanagh): Connecting key destinations, including the airport, JJ Kavanagh provides a convenient service.
  • Local Link Bus: A vital link for rural areas, ensuring better connectivity.

Train Travel in Ireland

While trains might not be the most common mode of transport in Ireland, they are still a reliable and cost-effective for traveling around the country. Irish Rail, a state-owned company, manages rail services.

  • Intercity Services: Operating between Dublin and various destinations, including Belfast, Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Cork, and more. Europort and Iarnród Éireann jointly operate the Dublin to Belfast Enterprise service with Northern Ireland Railways.
  • Regional Services: Covering routes like the Limerick to Galway line, Cork commuter network including the new Cork-Midleton line, Limerick Junction to Waterford, and Limerick to Ballybrophy (via Nenagh) services.
  • DART Service: Operating within Dublin, connecting places like Greystones and Howth/Malahide.
  • Commuter Services: Ensuring convenient travel around the Dublin area between Gorey, Drogheda, Maynooth, and Kildare.
  • LUAS Service: Two tramlines in Dublin covering the north to south of the city.

Paying for your Journey - Leap Card

Paying for your journey is hassle-free with the Leap Card, an excellent option for regular commuters. While most public transport accepts cash, and sometimes card payments, it's recommended to purchase a 'Leap Card' as it covers nearly all methods of public transport, plus offers reduced rates, making it a cost-effective choice.These cards can be purchased at newsagents, shops, and topped up at stations or online.


In urban areas, taxis offer a quick and convenient means of transportation. Apart from hailing a taxi from the roadside or at a taxi rank, there are also several apps, such as Free Now and Bolt, that make it easy to book a taxi. However, it's important to note that taxis can be expensive and less reliable in rural regions.

LUAS Dublin

Commuters can use the LUAS to easily travel around Dublin City

Getting an Irish Driver's License

If your driving license was issued in a country that is not in the EU, EEA or the list of recognised states, and you hold a national driving licence and an international driving permit from your own country, you can drive in Ireland for the duration of your temporary visit (up to 12 months).

If your stay in Ireland will be more than 12 months, you can apply for an Irish driving licence but you will need to go through the full driver licensing procedure. Understanding the process of acquiring an Irish driver's license is crucial. Here are the key steps you need to follow:

  • Pass the Driver Theory Test: This is a written exam that tests your knowledge on the rules of the road, risk perception, eco driving, hazard awareness and good driving behaviour. The test has 40 questions of which 35 you must get correct to pass.
  • Get a Learner Permit: After passing the theory test, you must apply for a learner's permit, allowing you to practice driving on public roads. You must always have this with you while driving.
  • Practice Driving: Before taking the driving test, you need to complete 12 one-hour driving lessons with a certified instructor.
  • Pass the Driving Test: Once you've completed the mandatory lessons, you can apply for a driving test online. Passing the test will grant you a full driver's license, enabling you to drive unaccompanied. Due to COVID-19, there is currently a backlog of those applying for their driving test, with some centres having waitlists as long as 7 months.

Need Some Help?

If you're considering a move to Ireland, our team is here to help! Whether you're a pharmacist, nurse or GP, please get in touch! Our dedicated EU Recruiter, Lara, will be happy to discuss the requirements and process and inform you of the amazing opportunities available.

Contact Us

Want to Learn More?

Check out the rest of our relocation series at the link below, or have a browse of our open roles!

Relocation Series View All Open Roles

Posted on 27 October 2023 by Molly Roche
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Molly Roche

086 128 0841
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