Ireland day 0204. Wednesday 20 April 2022- Rubicon

Ireland day 0204. Wednesday 20 April 2022- Rubicon
Today’s summary Finally did the driving licence exchange then went into Dublin for meeting with tax accountant
Today’s weather Dry and sunny all day.   Very light wind.   About 11C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(No GPX today)

Apparently when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river in BC 49, it set him on an irreversible course toward civil war which ultimately led to him becoming dictator of Rome.   Today we took a step which hopefully won’t lead to such dramatic consequences, but which felt like the most irreversible move we made since coming to Ireland.

After quite a lot of internal debate and some anguish, we finally gave up our UK driving licences – which in my case I have held for 46 years – and started the process to get new Irish ones.   This is a consequence of the UK leaving the EU – after you’ve been here a short while, UK licences are no longer valid and so it is a legal requirement to swap them for Irish ones.   The process is time consuming and bureaucratic – but I have already whined on about this so I won’t repeat the details again today.

Anyway, today we reached what I hope will be the final stage.   Armed with our eye test reports and a million other bits of paper (thank goodness for our printer, again), we dutifully headed down to the National Driver Licence Service office in Clare Hall for our interviews with the NDLS officer.   We obviously said the right things, and our papers seemed to be in order, because we were duly photographed and relieved of our UK licences (and €55) and were given a bit of paper which proved (temporarily) that we were still allowed to drive.  With any luck, new Irish licences will arrive with us in the next two weeks (“though it could take up to twelve”) and in the meantime we can’t drive anywhere outside the Republic – not even to the North.   So now it’s just a question of waiting and hoping for the best.   And checking the postbox every day.

We didn’t think that was enough trauma for one day, so we arranged to see our accountant in Dublin in the afternoon.   As we are tax resident in Ireland now, we have to pay Irish tax.  More particularly, since Irish tax rates are generally a bit higher than UK ones, we will have to find some extra money.   The purpose of today was to try and find out how much extra, and what the process for sorting it all out would be.   It’s especially complicated for the next year of two which are transition years when we spent some time in the UK and some in Ireland.   The fact that the tax years don’t coincide just adds an extra layer of complexity.  Anyway, every journey starts with the first step and at least we have taken that now.   But I suspect this saga is likely to run on for a good few months more yet.

But our visit to Dublin did have its enjoyable moments too – a brief step into Trinity College for lunch (always an oasis of calm) and then into Arnott’s department store at the end of the day.   Even though shopping isn’t my thing, and I think that “retail therapy” must be an oxymoron, I did have to admit that it was a pleasant spot.   And it does have a nice café where we had an excellent cup of coffee before heading out to the station for the trip back to Malahide.

Now it’s time to reflect on a hard but well spent day and on where the next steps in our journey might take us.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

We were heading to the third floor but on balance I think the second sounds more interesting In Trinity College.   A real oasis from the hustle and bustle of now-busy Dublin
We took a quick look into the student dining hall and wondered if we could pass as mature students? Well who knew we would find this to the west of St George’s Channel?
Actually John Lewis is only a small outlet brand in the huge Arnott’s department store.   Arnott’s was quite nice actually, even though I’m not a fan of shopping, and we paused here for a cup of coffee after our draining day dealing with driving licences and tax The brand new departure board at Connolly station.  It looks impressive but it seems to be a bit selective about what trains it actually displays.   The 19:17 to Malahide, which we caught, was not shown, for example.
Heading out of the Trinity oasis into the busy-ness of Dublin.   The transition from inside to out is really quite remarkable.   Both sides have their merits, depending on how you are feeling
Interactive map

(No map today)

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