Apr 29, 2015

Ireland - a Country with a Good Sense of Community

Humans are social creatures. The frequency of our contact with others and the quality of our personal relationships are thus crucial determinants of our well-being.

 Helping others can also make you happier. People who volunteer tend to be more satisfied with their lives than those who do not. Time spent volunteering also contributes to a healthy civil society. According to an OECD report - On average, people in Ireland spend 8 minutes per day in volunteering activities, one of the highest figures in the OECD where the average is 4 minutes per day.
Around 64% of people in Ireland reported having helped a stranger in the last month, much more than the OECD average of 49%. These high scores suggest there is a strong sense of community in Ireland.

 A strong social network, or community, can provide emotional support during both good and bad times as well as provide access to jobs, services and other material opportunities. In Ireland, 95% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need, one of the highest rates in the OECD where the average is 89%.

 There is no difference between men and women. While gender has no impact on social network support, there is a clear relationship between the availability of social support on the one hand, and people’s education level, on the other. In Ireland, around 87% of people who have completed primary education report having someone to count on for help in times of need, compared to 97% for people who attained tertiary education.

Jan 26, 2015

People Moving to Ireland - Some Figures from 2014

Students from outside the EU:
Ireland continues to attract non-EEA students to study at degree level and also for English language training. For the period January to end November 2014 almost 49,500 people  were given permission to be in Ireland  as students. This compares with 45,800 for the same period in 2013.

All non-EEA nationals remaining in Ireland for longer than 90 days are required to register with An Garda Síochána. (Police Force)  The provisional 2014 year end estimates of non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the State is approximately 95,000, compared to 107,000 at the end of 2013.

The current top 6 registered nationalities which account for over 50% of all persons registered are :

Brazil (12%)
India (11%)
China (9%)
USA (7%),
Nigeria (6%)
 Philippines (5%).

The majority of persons with permission to remain in the State are here for work or study purposes. · Overall in 2014, approximately 172,000 new applications (i.e. visa, residence, protection and citizenship) were received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS); decisions were issued in almost 179,000 cases -

Jan 16, 2015

Skills Shortages Ireland

These are the 10 job types that employers in Ireland have the most difficulty in getting workers.
The reasons for these jobs being harder to fill are varied.  A shortage of qualified people is a major factor in most jobs - but for jobs such as Labourers - it is probably the poor pay and conditions that make the job unpopular.

If you want to make yourself wanted by Irish employers - these are the jobs that you need to consider getting qualified to do.

1 Skilled Trades (Carpenter, Plumber etc)
2  Engineers
3 Management / Executive (Management/Corporate)

4 Chefs / Cooks
5 Labourers
6 Technicians
7 Drivers

8 Nurses

9 Sales Managers

10 Doctors and Other Non-Nursing Health Professionals

Moving Your Business to Ireland

Ireland is an attractive  destination for global companies and was recently awarded the top spot in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business list.
Ireland continues to attract companies from a variety of sectors including ICT, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Engineering, Digital Media, Computer Gaming and Social Media

Ireland can give companies a strategic European base from which they can achieve their global vision.  With  English as the main language, it is easy to set-up and operate in Ireland.
Due to its young native  population and large numbers of  multilingual talent from across Europe, it is easy to access and service other European countries from Ireland

 Many multinational corporations that originally located in Ireland because of the low rate of corporation tax have continued to expand their activities in Ireland because of the availability of a skilled workforce and the technology infrastructure. 

Ireland also has a  flat corporation tax rate of 12.5% for companies. The Irish tax regime is open and transparent and complies fully with OECD guidelines and EU competition law. Due to such attractive tax, regulatory and legal regime, combined with its open and accommodating business environment, Ireland’s status as a world-class location for international business is well established and prompted Forbes to rank Ireland 1st in the world for best place to do business in Dec 2013.

U.S. firms invested $129.5 billion in Ireland between 2008 and 2012. It represented a greater total than had been invested in the previous 58 years combined. Ireland was the fourth-biggest recipient of U.S. foreign direct investment last year and attracted almost as much U.S. investment as all of developing Asia.

Companies like Google, Intel, Microsoft, Pfizer are among the world’s leading corporations that have set up in Ireland. Some of India’s best known companies also have operations in Ireland including HCL, Wipro, Wockhardt, Reliance Life Sciences, Ranbaxy, Crompton Greaves and TCS.

There are now more than 1,000 overseas companies with a presence in Ireland and they employ 150,000 of the nation’s 1.9 million workers. Dublin has already established itself as a location for multinationals, so it has the necessary infrastructure for other companies to easily move into the country and set up shop.

Dec 4, 2014

Top Secondary Schools in Ireland 2014

There are no official statistics published by the Irish government about the performance of secondary schools in Ireland.
It is hard to compare schools without any data to use . The Sunday Times (Irish Edition) usually compile a League Table of schools based on the numbers of pupils getting into Third Level courses.
It's not an ideal method of comparison - but until teachers and the government agree on publishing exam results it's all we have.

Here are the top 20 "Best" Schools in Ireland - based on the percentage of final year pupils getting a place at University.  The figure on the right is the percentage of students getting a place at Universty in 2014

1 Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ, Sth Circular Rd., Limerick     Girls 88.7 %
2 Glenstal Abbey School, Murroe, Co. Limerick      Fee Paying (Boys) 88.3%
3 Colaiste Iosagain, Booterstown, Co. Dublin  Girls 88.2%
4 Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin 6      Fee Paying (Boys)  87.4%
5 Mount Anville Secondary School, Goatstown, Dublin 14  Fee Paying (Girls)  84.7%
6 Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin Fee Paying (Girls)  84.6%
7 Presentation Brothers College, Mardyke, Cork   Fee Paying (Boys)  84.6%
8 Colaiste na Coirbe, Tuam Road, Galway     Mixed 81.8%
9 Scoil Mhuire, Sydney Place, Cork  Fee Paying (Girls) 81.6%
10 Holy Child School, Killiney, Co. Dublin  Fee Paying (Girls)  80.6%
11 Mount Mercy College, Model Farm Rd., Cork  Girls 79.0%
12 Colaiste Ide, Dingle, Co. Kerry  Girls 78.9%
13 Colaiste an Phiarsaigh, Glanmire, Co. Cork     Mixed 77.7%
14 Loreto College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 Fee Paying (Girls) 77.6%
15 Colaiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Mixed 77.3%
16 Rathdown School, Glenageary, Co. Dublin  Fee Paying (Girls) 76.7%
17 The Teresian School, Donnybrook, Dublin  Fee Paying (Girls) 76.5%
18  Christian Brothers College, Sidney Hill, Cork  Fee Paying (Boys) 76.4%
19 Castleknock College, Castleknock, Dublin 15  Fee Paying (Boys) 76.1%
20 Colaiste Eoin, Booterstown, Co. Dublin Boys 76.1%

Twelve of the top 20 schools are private (fee paying) schools.
The best "free" schools are  highlighted in Bold.

Jul 29, 2014

Quality of Life in Ireland

    The results of a recent survey  of all EU countries  found that most Irish people are happy with their quality of life.

    The survey results showed that 94% of Irish respondents were satisfied with the quality of life in their area (EU average 85%).

    Accommodation:  95% of Irish respondents were  satisfied with their house or flat (EU average 89%).
    Health :  92% of the Irish surveyed were satisfied with their state of health (EU average 82%).

    Irish respondents were also more positive about their personal job situation (60%) than the EU average (56%), and also more positive about the quality of life in Ireland (68%) than the EU average  (56%).

    43% of Irish respondents thought that  the economic situation in Ireland will be better twelve months from now compared to just 24% of people across the EU as a whole (when asked about the country they lived in)  ;

    The survey was called the Eurobarometer and was carried out in May / June 2014

      Jun 1, 2014

      Top 20 Towns in Ireland - according to Retail Excellence

      The results of a survey organised by "Retail Excellence" - ended up with this list of the top 20 towns and cities in Ireland. The survey was based on answers to questiona about things such as facilities, shops, restaurants,

      Westport  County Mayo   score 85.61%
      Killarney  - Kerry 84.58%
      Swords  - Dublin 83.92%
      Ashbourne  - Meath 82.28%
      Dungarvan - Waterford 80.40%
      Carrickmacross  - Monaghan 80.10%
      Clonakilty  - Cork 79.31%
      Malahide  - Dublin 78.07%
      Skerries  - Dublin 78.06%
      Listowel  - Kerry 77.55%
      Kilkenny City  - Kilkenny 76.54%
      Castleknock -  Dublin 76.50%
      Tramore  - Waterford 75.06%
      Galway City  - Galway 75.02%
      Tullamore  - Offaly 74.48%
      Wexford  - Wexford 74.04%
      Ratoath -  Meath 73.99%
      Carrick on Shannon. -  Leitrim 73.00%
      Cobh  - Cork 71.80%
      Kinsale  - Cork 71.45%

      The top 2 towns - Westport and Killarney are major tourist destinations.  The survey results may be biased because many of the respondents will be involved in the tourist business  and are probably more likely to give positive results

      The key questions in the survey were :

      1. Is there an abundant number of car parking spaces available?
      2 Is car parking competitively priced?
      3 Has the town/city a unique and attractive streetscape?
      4 Is this town/city well presented and maintained?
      5 Has this town/city a large number of quality retail stores to choose from?
      6 Has this town/city a large number of quality restaurants & pubs to choose from?
      7 Is there a lot to do and see in this town/city?
      8 Do you feel safe and secure when you visit this town/city?
      9 Is this town/city family friendly?
      10 Is this town/city my first choice destination for shopping?
      11 Is this town/city my first choice destination for dining & entertainment?
      12 Are there many events and promotions being run in this town/city?
      13 Does this town/city have a unique and positive image?

      The bottom 10  towns in the survey were
      Limerick City(91st)
      Tipperary (100th)