Bringing your Gun to Ireland
All overseas visitors must have an Irish Fire Arms Certificate which will specify the gun(s) they are to use. Your hosts will provide the necessary application forms or these can be downloaded from the Garda (Irish Police) website, www.garda.ie
You will need to complete the application form, making sure it is duly signed and witnessed, and return it to them complete with the original of your EU firearms pass (assuming you are an EU citizen), a copy of the gun licence issued to you by your country of residence, and the appropriate fee. Processing then takes at least six weeks so it is essential that this is all done in good time.
Remember some airlines, particularly Ryan Air, no longer permit firearms on their planes so UK visitors may find it simpler to travel by car. This allows you to bring your dogs, if you wish to do so.
Guns and Cartridges
Only double barrel (side-by-side or over and under) shotguns with automatic safety catches can be used. If you use a Trap or Skeet gun, you should check that your safety catch complies with this requirement. Most shoot owners provide cartridges for sale (or can do so by arrangement) and many insist on paper cases and felt wads, for environmental reasons.
Safety is always of paramount importance and all shoots have high safety standards. Guns that shoot dangerously will be sent home without re-imbursement and could cause the entire shoot to be cancelled.
All guns must have a valid up-to-date insurance policy, providing public liability cover for at least €3,000,000 in the event of an accident. This can usually be arranged by joining BASC or the Countryside Alliance, which is strongly recommended to avoid confusion. Remember, if you cannot produce proof of insurance you may not be allowed to shoot.
Deer are a protected species in Ireland under the terms of the Wildlife Act, 1976 (as amended) and it is a serious offence to hunt them without a licence. The wild deer population in Ireland, which consists of red, fallow, sika, muntjac and hybrid deer, is managed by conservation rangers employed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The NPWS is part of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The number of wild deer hunting licences issued by the NPWS varies from year to year, depending on demand, and the management of the deer population. The open season in Ireland also varies from year to year depending on the location and species of deer. Outside of the open hunting season, landowners can apply for a Section 42 licence to control deer on their lands if damage is being caused.