Security Concerns in Northern Ireland

After a targeted bomb attack killed a police officer in Omagh, Northern Ireland, last weekend, concerns over security and “The Troubles” have emerged among travelers. Anyone with worries or questions about safety when traveling Northern Ireland should read Ireland travel expert Bernd Biege’s post on the topic before pushing the panic button and changing their plans.

He echoes comments we heard from Belfast in Your Pocket editor Heidi McAlpin in our interview with her last fall. In short, these attacks are being carried out by a very small number individuals who are targeting law enforcement representatives. Overall, Northern Ireland is safe, and visitors should travel with the same precautions for their safety they would to any other location.

Speaking Out on Twitter

The atrocity has provoked outrage among residents of Northern Ireland who are unhappy with these actions.

A “#notinmyname” hashtag quickly emerged on Twitter from residents who wanted to speak out against the violence. In recent days, the comments using the hashtag have also become a place for a dialog about differing views within Northern Ireland and use of the hashtag itself. Some of our readers may find it interesting, so I’ve included a live feed of #notinmyname below.

Our prayers go out to the family of 25-year-old Ronan Kerr, the police officer killed in the bombing.

More #notinmyname on Twitter >>

Author: Corey

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  1. Very level-headed article by Bernard Biege. As bad as these events are for the local populace they generally don’t impact tourists visiting Ireland. Many people hit the panic button when events like this happen.

    On my forum in the past I even had someone living in the Republic of Ireland convince an American to completely change their itinerary and not go to Northern Ireland because of just such an event. The ironic thing is I was in Northern Ireland for a week shortly thereafter with no problems whatsoever. I had a great, peaceful time. So the Irish resident who sounded the alarm was not exactly accurate in their assessment of the situation.

    I am probably more at risk here in Atlanta if I go to a convenience store late at night or frequent certain parts of the city. Also, consider that news outlets tend to publish only bad news. Why? It sells! Take it all with a grain of salt, use common sense and don’t change your plans because one person (who is ill-informed) tells you to.

    I have survived traveling to Northern Ireland for 38 years. Never a scratch or an incident to report.


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    • The rest of the story is that while I am an adult and willing to make decisions about my own safety, and have spent some time in Northern Ireland, I was not willing to expose my beloved grandsons to the chance of their being collateral damage. Tourists have been killed from bombings in NI; no doubt not aimed at them but they are just as dead.

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