Northern Ireland

Australian government issues protest warning to citizens travelling to Ireland

Easter Rising
Image caption Thousands attended the centenary of the Easter Rising in Dublin in March

The Australian government has issued travel advice warning citizens going to Ireland about the political climate.

In its online travel advice, it said "tensions between dissident republicans and unionists have increased in the lead up to the centenary of the Easter Rising".

It said citizens should avoid protests and demonstrations.

It added that those associated with Northern Ireland "may turn violent".

The advice was published by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in its Irish travel advice section on Monday.

Its advice in its UK section to tourists travelling to Northern Ireland, which was last updated on 17 February, warned tourists "to avoid all protests and demonstrations".

'Tensions'

"Instances of civil disorder can rapidly escalate into violence," it adds.

"You should avoid them wherever possible, including by carefully monitoring the media and following the advice of local authorities."

Its advice is also "to avoid parades during the marching season".

"We advise you to avoid the annual parades which occur in Northern Ireland during the months of April to August, especially the weeks leading up to the 'Twelfth' (also called Orangemen's Day) on 12 July when tensions may be heightened.

"These parades may turn violent with little warning. Australians could inadvertently be caught up in violence directed at others."

A spokesperson for the Republic of Ireland's Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport said it does not comment on "the travel advice of other governments to their citizens".

BBC News NI has contacted the Australian embassy in Dublin for comment.

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