May 31, 2011

Some Good Reasons to Move to Ireland

Good Things About Ireland

Friendly People : -  Irish People really are friendly - it's not a myth. They are welcoming, and usually accepting. Sometimes they can have a ‘village mentality’ which occasionally means that they’ll know your business before you do. You can start up a conversation with a stranger in Ireland without getting strange looks. .

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, 97% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in a time of need - this one of the highest rates in the OECD. Nearly 59% reported having helped a stranger in the last month, also one of the highest rates in the OECD.

Nearly 3% of people in Ireland reported ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ spending time with friends, colleagues or others in social settings; this figure is much lower than in most OECD countries.

Another important aspect of work-life balance is the amount of time a person spends at work. Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardize safety and increase stress. People in Ireland work 1549 hours a year, lower than the OECD average of 1739 hours

When asked, "How is your health in general?", 84% of people in Ireland reported to be in good health, much higher than the OECD average of 69%. Despite the subjective nature of this question, the answers have been found to be a good predictor of people’s future health care use.

When asked, 73% of people in Ireland said they were satisfied with their life, above the OECD average of 59%.

Businesses :
the most positive attributes identified by US corporations considering Ireland as a location of choice for foreign direct investment (FDI) are its competitive tax regime, English-speaking and skilled workforce, ease of access, and Government incentives.

May 30, 2011

Cheapest Place to Live in Ireland

Where in Ireland is the cheapest place to buy a house ?

According to the most recent DAFT report - which looked at average asking prices in the first 3 months of 2011 - Leitrim has the lowest priced houses in Ireland.  Roscommon is not far behind.
The average asking price of a 4 bedroomed house in County Leitrim was €179000. In Co Roscommon it was €181000. The average price of a five bedroomed house in Roscommon was €225000.

2012 House Prices in Ireland Here

Here is a full list of the average 2011 asking prices of a 4 bedroomed house in the various counties of Ireland - showing the lowest priced area first.

asking price of 4 Bedroomed Houses in Ireland
or Area
Av Price
Leitrim 179000
Roscommon 181000
Longford 195000
Donegal 195000
Laois 205000
Mayo 208000
Cavan 208000
Co.Galway 212000
Sligo 213000
Westmeath 216000
Carlow 223000
Wexford 225000
Monaghan 226000
Kilkenny 231000
Offaly 231000
Tipperary 232000
Limerick City 236000
Kerry 243000
Waterford City 243000
Co.Limerick 254000
Galway City 255000
Co Cork 259000
Louth 262000
Meath 270000
Co.Waterford 296000
Cork City 301000
Dublin West County 302000
Kildare 308000
Wicklow 360000
Dublin North County 406000
DublinNorth City 416000
Dublin South City 471000
Dublin South County 552000

May 29, 2011

Breathe Clean Fresh Air in Ireland

Because of  Ireland’s location, weather patterns that supply predominantly clean air, the relative lack of heavy industry and the bans on coal burning in many urban areas since the early 1990s, air quality is generally very good.

Air pollution  is linked to a range of health problems, from minor eye irritation to upper respiratory symptoms in the short-term and chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer in the long-term.

PM10 is the name given to  tiny particulate matter small enough to be inhaled into the deepest part of the lung.
All  OECD countries monitor levels of PM10 because it can harm human health and reduce life expectancy.

In Ireland, PM10 levels are 12.5 micrograms per cubic meter,  much lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter.

Only New Zealand and Sweden had cleaner air  than Ireland. (11 and 12 micrograms)

The worst air quality was in  Turkey (37) followed by Poland ( 35) and Mexico (33)

Are People Happy in Ireland

Happiness can be measured in terms of life satisfaction, the presence of positive experiences and feelings, and the absence of negative experiences and feelings. Such measures, while subjective, are a useful complement to compare the quality of life across countries.

For Ireland, like throughout much of the OECD, self-reported life satisfaction has been rising over the last decade. In recent polling, 68% of people in Ireland were satisfied with their life . The OECD average was 63.4%

People from these countries all reported being more satisfied with life than Irish people: -
United States ,Israel ,Austria , Australia, Belgium , New Zealand , Switzerland ,Canada
Sweden , Norway, Finland ,Denmark ,Netherlands (91% satisfied)

The most unsatisfied were Chinese people (9.6% satisfied) followed by Indians (14.3%)

77% of people in Ireland reported having more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 72%.

Is Ireland a Safe Place to Live

Crime Rates in Ireland

Personal security is always an important thing to consider when you are thinking of moving to a new country .  You need to have an idea of the risk of  being physically assaulted or falling victim to other types of crime. Across the OECD, crime rates for conventional crime (theft, robbery, assault) have declined since 2000 . In millennium.
In Ireland, a recent survey found that 2.7% of people had reported being victims of assault over the previous 12 months. This was lower than the OECD average of 4%.
In Ireland - 27% of people reported feeling  unsafe on the street after dark - this was higher than the OECD average of 26%.

The murder rate in Ireland ( murders per 100,000 inhabitants) is a more reliable measure of a country’s safety level because, unlike other crimes, murders are usually always reported to the police. According to the latest OECD data, Ireland’s murder rate is 2  which is close to the OECD average . The UK murder rate was 2.6 and  the US was 5.2. Iceland came out with a zero murder rate.

Overall - Ireland scored 8.6 out of 10 for safety in the  OECD survey. (Compared to 3.4 for Chile  (the worst)  and 9.7 for Japan (the best) .

May 24, 2011

Full Speech by Enda Kenny to Welcome Barack Obama

This is the full text of the speech made by Enda Kenny to welcome Barack Obama and his wife to Ireland. Made on May 23rd 2011 in Dublin

"IF THERE’S anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our ancestors is alive in our time; who still questions our capacity to restore ourselves, to reinvent ourselves and to prosper. Well, today is your answer.
Because today, on this day, the President of the United States, Barack Obama and his first lady, Michelle Obama, come to visit.
To show that he believes in Ireland. To make that precious connection with his Irish family, his Irish roots, as thousands before him have done.
Today, the 44th American president comes home.
When Fulmouth Kearney started out on the long Atlantic crossing, he might have dreamed, but hardly imagined, that one day his great-great-great grandson would return as the President of the United States.
That boy said goodbye to a ravaged island. Millions had died or were leaving, packing their hopes and their dreams in beside the remnants of a life. Stepping onto ships which, for some, was like stepping into space.
Every one of them, and all their people, are our people: ár muintir féin.
Their past is our past.
Their story is our story.
This evening, my call is directly to those 40-million Irish-Americans. Whether you’re listening or watching in New York or New Haven, or in San Diego or St Louis. And whether you’re Irish by blood, or by marriage, or by desire. We, your family, your Irish family, are right here to welcome you. To follow your president home.
Last week, Queen Elizabeth came to our shores and bowed to our dead. The Irish harp glittered above the heart of the English Queen. With pride and happiness, and two words of Irish, we closed a circle of our history.
A cháirde
Today, with President Obama, we draw another circle – one in which we tell the world of our unique, untouchable wealth. Wealth that can not be accumulated in banks, or measured by the markets or traded on the stock exchange.
Because it remains intact and alive, deep inside our people.
In the heart-stopping beauty of our country and in the transforming currency of the Irish heart, imagination and soul.
It’s like the spirit of Leinster last Saturday in Cardiff. Never give up. Never give up and never say die.
This is what we call our Uaisleacht. It has sustained us over the centuries. We pass from mother to daughter, father to son – in our dreams and in our imagining, in our love for our country – our pride in who we are. Long into what must be, and will be, a brighter and more prosperous future .
The president and his first lady are an extraordinary couple.
President Obama is part of that proud past and part of that prouder future.
In 1963, the 35nd President of the United States stirred our hearts. In 1995 the 42nd president lifted our country’s spirits.
But the 44th president is different. Because ladies and gentlemen, he doesn’t just speak about the American dream. He is the American dream. And that is the American dream, come home.
So ladies and gentlemen, let your voices be heard around the globe as I’m honoured to introduce the President of the United States, Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama.
Let’s hear it."

Full Text of Barack Obama's Speech in Dublin

This is the full transcript of the speech made by US President  Barack Obama in Dublin on May 23rd 2011 - on the occasion of his first official visit to Ireland,

“Hello Dublin, Hello Ireland.
My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obama’s, and I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.
Now, some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English.
So here goes: "Tá athas orm bheith in Éireann." I’m happy to be in Ireland with so many a chairde.
I want to thank my extraordinary hosts – first of all, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his lovely wife Fionnuala, President McAleese and her husband Martin for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Lord Mayor Robert Green and the Garda for allowing me to crash this celebration.
Let me also express my condolences on the recent passing of the former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald. Someone who believed in the power of education, believed in the potential of youth, and most of all, believed in the potential of peace. Someone who lived to see that peace realised.
And most of all, thank you to the citizens of Dublin and Ireland for the warm and generous hospitality you have shown me and Michelle.
It certainly feels like 100,000 welcomes. We feel very much at home. I feel even more at home after that pint I had. I feel even warmer.
In return, let me offer the hearty greetings of tens of millions of Americans who proudly trace their heritage to this small island. They say hello.
Now I knew I had some roots across the Atlantic but until recently I could not unequivocally claim that I was one of those Irish-Americans. But now, if you believe the Corrigan brothers, there is no one more Irish than me. So I want to thank the genealogist who traced my family tree – thank you!
It turns out people take a lot of interest in you when you are running for president. They look into your past, they check out your place of birth – things like that. I do wish somebody had provided me with all this evidence earlier because it would have come in handy back when I was first running in my hometown of Chicago. Because Chicago is the Irish capital of the mid-west. A city where it was once said you could stand on 79th street and hear the brogue of every county in Ireland.
So naturally, a politician like me craved a slot in the St Patrick’s Day parade. The problem was not many people knew me or could not even pronounce my name. I told them it was a Gaelic name – they didn’t believe me.
One year a few volunteers and me did make it into the parade but we were literally the last marchers. After two hours, finally it was our turn and while we rode the route, smiling and waving, the city workers were right behind us cleaning up the garbage. It was a little depressing but I bet those parade organisers are watching TV today and feeling kind of bad because this is a pretty good parade right here.
Of course, an American doesn’t really require Irish blood to understand that ours is a proud, enduring, centuries-old relationship. We are bound by history and friendship and shared values. And that is why I have come here today as an American President – to reaffirm those bonds of affection.
Earlier today, Michelle and I visited Moneygall, where we saw my ancestral home and dropped by the local pub. We received a very warm welcome from all the people there, including my long lost eighth cousin Henry. Henry now is affectionately known as Henry the Eighth.
It was remarkable to see this small town where a young shoemaker named Fulmouth Kearney – my great-great-great-grandfather.
I was shown the records from the parish, the recording of his birth and we saw the home where he lived.
He left during the Great Hunger, as so many Irish did, to seek a new life in the new world. He travelled by ship to New York, where he entered himself into the records as a lay-boy.
He married an American girl from Ohio. They settled in the mid-west and started a family. It is a familiar story – because it is one lived and cherished by Americans of all backgrounds. It is integral to our national identity, it is who we are – a nation of immigrants from all around the world.
But standing there in Moneygall, I couldn’t help but think how heartbreaking it must have been for that great-great-great-grandfather of mine, and so many others to depart, to watch Donegal coasts and Dingle cliffs recede. To leave behind all they knew in the hopes that something better lay over the horizon.
When people like Fulmouth boarded those ships they often did so with no family, no friends, no money, nothing to sustain them but faith. Faith in the All Mighty, faith in the idea of America, faith that it was a place you could be prosperous, you could be free, you could think and talk and worship as you place, a place where you could make it if you tried.
And as they worked and struggled and sacrificed and sometimes experienced great discrimination to build that better life for the next generation, they passed on that faith to their children and their children’s children. An inheritance that their great-great-great-grandchildren still carry with them. We call it the American Dream.
It's the dream that Falmouth Kearney was attracted to when he went to America. It's the dream that drew my own father to America from a small village in Africa. It's a dream that we've carried forward - sometimes through stormy waters, sometimes at great cost - for more than two centuries. And for my own sake, I'm grateful they made those journeys because if they hadn't you'd be listening to somebody else speak right now.
And for America's sake, we're grateful so many others from this land took that chance, as well.
After all, never has a nation so small inspired so much in another.
Irish signatures are on our founding documents. Irish blood was spilled on our battlefields. Irish sweat built our great cities. Our spirit is eternally refreshed by Irish story and Irish song; our public life by the humour and heart and dedication of servants with names like Kennedy and Reagan, O'Neill and Moynihan.
So you could say there has always been a little green behind the red, white and blue.
When the father of our country, George Washington, needed an army, it was the fierce fighting of your sons that caused the British official to lament, "We have lost America through the Irish."
And as George Washington said himself, "When our friendless standards were first unfurled, who were the strangers who first mustered around our staff? And when it reeled in the light, who more brilliantly sustained it than Erin's generous sons?"
When we strove to blot out the stain of slavery and advance the rights of man, we found common cause with your struggles against oppression. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and our great abolitionist, forged an unlikely friendship right here in Dublin with your great liberator, Daniel O'Connell. His time here, Frederick Douglass said, defined him not as a colour but as a man. And it strengthened the non-violent campaign he would return home to wage.
Recently, some of their descendents met here in Dublin to commemorate and continue that friendship between Douglass and O'Connell.
When Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve our young union, more than 100,000 Irish and Irish Americans joined the cause, with units like the Irish Brigade charging into battle – green flags with gold harp waving alongside our star-spangled banner.
When depression gripped America, Ireland sent tens of thousands of packages of shamrocks to cheer up its countrymen, saying, "May the message of Erin shamrocks bring joy to those away."
And when an Iron Curtain fell across this continent and our way of life was challenged, it was our first Irish President - our first Catholic President - John F. Kennedy, who made us believe - 50 years ago this week - that mankind could do something big and bold and ambitious as walk on the moon. He made us dream again.
That is the story of America and Ireland. That's the tale of our brawn and our blood, side by side, in making and remaking a nation, pulling it westward, pulling it skyward, moving it forward again and again and again. And that is our task again today.
I think we all realise that both of our nations have faced great trials in recent years, including recessions so severe that many of our people are still trying to fight their way out. And naturally our concern turns to our families, our friends and our neighbours.
And some in this enormous audience are thinking about their own prospects and their own futures. Those of us who are parents wonder what it will mean for our children and young people like so many who are here today. Will you see the same progress we've seen since we were your age? Will you inherit futures as big and as bright as the ones that we inherited? Will your dreams remain alive in our time?
This nation has faced those questions before: When your land couldn't feed those who tilled it; when the boats leaving these shores held some of your brightest minds; when brother fought against brother.
Yours is a history frequently marked by the greatest of trials and the deepest of sorrow. But yours is also a history of proud and defiant endurance. Of a nation that kept alive the flame of knowledge in dark ages; that overcame occupation and outlived fallow fields; that triumphed over its Troubles - of a resilient people who beat all the odds.
And, Ireland, as trying as these times are, I know our future is still as big and as bright as our children expect it to be. I know that because I know it is precisely in times like these - in times of great challenge, in times of great change - when we remember who we truly are.
We're people, the Irish and Americans, who never stop imagining a brighter future, even in bitter times. We're people who make that future happen through hard work, and through sacrifice, through investing in those things that matter most, like family and community.
We remember, in the words made famous by one of your greatest poets that "in dreams begins responsibility."
This is a nation that met that responsibility by choosing, like your ancestors did, to keep alight the flame of knowledge and invest in a world-class education for your young people. And today, Ireland's youth, and those who've come back to build a new Ireland, are now among the best educated, most entrepreneurial in the world. And I see those young people here today. And I know that Ireland will succeed.
This is a nation that met its responsibilities by choosing to apply the lessons of your own past to assume a heavier burden of responsibility on the world stage. And today, a people who once knew the pain of an empty stomach now feed those who hunger abroad.
Ireland is working hand in hand with the United States to make sure that hungry mouths are fed around the world - because we remember those times. We know what crippling poverty can be like, and we want to make sure we're helping others.
You're a people who modernised and can now stand up for those who can't yet stand up for themselves. And this is a nation that met its responsibilities - and inspired the entire world – by choosing to see past the scars of violence and mistrust to forge a lasting peace on this island.
When President Clinton said on this very spot 15 years ago, waging peace is risky, I think those who were involved understood the risks they were taking.
But you, the Irish people, persevered. And you cast your votes and you made your voices heard for that peace. And you responded heroically when it was challenged. And you did it because, as President McAleese has written, "For all the apparent intractability of our problems, the irrepressible human impulse to love kept nagging and nudging us towards reconciliation."
Whenever peace is challenged, you will have to sustain that irrepressible impulse. And America will stand by you - always. America will stand by you always in your pursuit of peace. And, Ireland, you need to understand that you've already so surpassed the world's highest hopes. That what was notable about the Northern Ireland elections two weeks ago was that they came and went without much attention. It's not because the world has forgotten. It's because this once unlikely dream has become that most extraordinary thing of things: It has become real. A dream has turned to reality because of the work of this nation.
In dreams begin responsibility.
And embracing that responsibility, working toward it, overcoming the cynics and the naysayers and those who say "you can't" - that's what makes dreams real.
That's what Falmouth Kearney did when he got on that boat, and that's what so many generations of Irish men and women have done here in this spectacular country.
That is something we can point to and show our children, Irish and American alike. That is something we can teach them as they grow up together in a new century, side by side, as it has been since our beginnings.
This little country, that inspires the biggest things - your best days are still ahead. Our greatest triumphs - in America and Ireland alike - are still to come.
And, Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great, that we can't do something, that we shouldn't even try - think about all that we've done together. Remember that whatever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner.
And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: Is féidir linn. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Is féidir linn.
For all you've contributed to the character of the United States of America and the spirit of the world, thank you. And may God bless the eternal friendship between our two great nations.
Thank you very much, everybody.
Thank you, Dublin.
Thank you, Ireland.

May 2, 2011

Americans - Working Vacation in Ireland

Ireland has an agreement with the US Government that will enables US citizens to work and travel in Ireland   for up to 12 months. T
In order to qualify for the programme participants should be either in post-secondary education or have recently graduated (ie within the last 12 months).
This new programme is separate to the  Student Work and Travel programme which permits students from the US and Ireland to work and travel for several months every summer. This J1 programme will continue to exist as a separate, more limited programme.


American  citizens wishing to travel to Ireland under the terms of the agreement should make an application for a US Working Holiday Authorisation at the Irish Embassy  in Washington or the Consulates General of Ireland in Boston, Chicago, New York or  San Francisco.
See  here  for contact details.
A completed and signed application form (PDF 35kb)  should be presented at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, or at the Irish Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, New York or San Francisco together with:
  • Valid United States passport;
  • 2 recent identical passport photographs with your name on the reverse;
  • Current curriculum vitae (with references);
  • Original bank statement showing that you have access to €1,500 (or equivalent) plus a return ticket; or €3,000 (or equivalent);
  • Originals of any qualifications obtained or letter from school/college/university (where applicable)
  • The relevant fee of €250 or dollar equivalent as advised by the relevant Mission;
. The Working Holiday Authorisation will be issued on submission by the applicant of:
  • Return airline tickets;
  • Certificate of medical/travel  insurance valid for the duration of the trip (based on dates on tickets)
  • Valid United States passport that is valid for the entirety of the trip to Ireland ie for a full year after their ticketed date of entry.

Working Holidays in Ireland

If you want to live in Ireland for up to a year and you are a young person (aged 18 to 30) from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand or the Republic of Korea.  - You can apply for a  Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA).

These Irish Working Holiday schemes are intended for use by young adults who wish to stay in Ireland for an extended holiday and who may work casually in order to fund their stay.

Young people from  Argentina aged 18-30 who want to  come to Ireland should visit the website of the Embassy of Ireland in Buenos Aires for further information.

Australian citizens aged 18-30 can apply at the Embassy of Ireland in Canberra , 

Canadian citizens who are full-time third-level students students, or who are aged between 18 and 35 can travel to Ireland for a Working Holiday. Those interested should contact Student Work Abroad Programme, Ca  .  here.


For further information on the Working Holiday scheme for Hong Kong see the website site of Ireland's Honorary Consulate in Hong Kong.

 Young Japanese people to visit Ireland for an extended period of up to one year and to work and study while here. Young Irish people can also visit Japan as part of this programme. For further information visit the website of the Embassy of Ireland in Tokyo.

For further information about the scheme  visit the website of Ireland's Honorary Consulate in Auckland.

South Korea
Citizens of the Republic of Korea who are between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive) can travel to Ireland for a working holiday for a period of up to 12 months.    For further information on working holidays in Ireland visit the website of the Irish Embassy in Seoul at 

Green Peaceful and Relaxed

Three words that describe living in the Irish countryside.  Green , Peaceful and Relaxed
After 2 months in the UK - I noticed how green and peaceful it is here in the West of Ireland. Open space, green fields , Quiet roads - maybe a few tractors now and then. The bleating of lambs and the cattle mooing can be heard above the gusts of wind which is strong today.
Another dry day - the farmers will need rain soon to get the crops growing.

The local farmer is out planting a new whitethorn hedge and I call over for a chat - about the weather , the economy and local news. Another neighbour drives by and stops to say hello  - then another farmer pulls up his tractor to chat for a while . The roads are not usually this busy round here. The work gets done  - but there's no big rush , no clock watching. If it isn't finished today - it can be done tomorrow.

Life goes on unrushed - as it has for many years. The green grass keeps growing (and the weeds too!) .

Life in Ireland