Ireland, it’s been my home for nearly 10 years. As a Canadian Expat moving to a new country is a life-changing decision that comes with a multitude of factors to consider. Although there are many pros and cons to living in Ireland, often referred to as the Emerald Isle, the pros outweigh the cons. Ireland boasts stunning landscapes, a rich cultural heritage, and a good quality of life. However, like any relocation, there are both advantages and disadvantages to living in a new country. In this guide, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of making the move to this captivating country.
One last thing to remember is that this is a subjective list, and of course, people will view this country through their own lens. So, let’s start!
Pros of Moving to Ireland
1. Natural Beauty
Ireland’s breathtaking landscapes are among its most compelling features. From verdant countryside and dramatic coastlines to charming villages and ancient castles, the country’s natural beauty is unparalleled. Residents have easy access to hiking trails, scenic drives, and picturesque settings that provide a tranquil escape from urban life. If you want to get an idea of what locations have the best natural beauty it’s often the tourist spots. Take Killarney for example, with over 25,000acres its residents can enjoy a mountitude of walks year round and all the activities that come with a National Park. Along with the tourist scene you get high quality hotels and restaurants.
2. Vibrant Culture and Heritage
Irish culture is renowned worldwide for its music, literature, folklore, and warm hospitality. Residents can immerse themselves in a vibrant arts scene, traditional music sessions in pubs, and numerous festivals celebrating Irish heritage throughout the year. The country’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved castles, ancient ruins, and archaeological sites.
3. Strong Sense of Community
Irish people are known for their friendliness and sense of community. Moving to Ireland often means being welcomed into a close-knit society where neighbours know each other and where social connections are valued. This sense of community can make adapting to a new country much more accessible.
4. High-Quality Education and Healthcare
Ireland boasts a respectable education system with internationally recognized universities and institutions. Additionally, the country provides accessible healthcare services, including public hospitals and medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality care.
5. Thriving Economy and Job Opportunities
The Irish economy saw huge growth when it joined the EU and cut their corporate tax rate. In recent years there has been significant growth, attracting multinational companies and fostering job opportunities across various sectors, especially in technology, pharmaceuticals, and finance. The low corporate tax rate has made Ireland an appealing destination for businesses, creating employment opportunities for skilled workers.
Cons of Moving to Ireland
1. Cost of Living
One of the primary drawbacks of living in Ireland is its relatively high cost of living. Rent, utilities, and groceries can be expensive, especially in cities like Dublin and Cork. Housing shortages in urban areas also contribute to inflated rental prices.
Ireland’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. Rainfall is expected throughout the year, and the country experiences cool temperatures even in summer. The lack of consistent sunshine and occasional grey skies may be challenging for those accustomed to sunnier climates. The positive outlook here is that Ireland is located within the EU and as a small country you’re never too far from an airport if you feel the need to top up your sun exposure.
3. Housing Shortages and Competition
Finding suitable accommodation in Ireland’s urban areas, particularly Dublin can be a challenge due to housing shortages and high demand. Competition for rental properties is fierce, leading to increased rent prices and sometimes compromising living space. If you can try to find a job in another part of the country if this is a concern for you.
4. Traffic Congestion
Traffic congestion, especially in major cities, can be frustrating. Dublin, in particular, faces significant traffic issues during rush hours, impacting commuting times and overall convenience. Again, outside of Dublin this is rarely an issue. There are some cycle lanes in Dublin and public transport around the captial is getting better.
5. Bureaucratic Processes
Navigating bureaucratic procedures for visas, residency permits, and other legalities can be time-consuming and complex for newcomers. Understanding and adapting to the administrative processes may pose initial challenges. Here is a good place to start https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/.
Moving to Ireland offers a unique opportunity to embrace a rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a welcoming community. However, like any relocation, it comes with its own set of challenges, including a high cost of living, unpredictable weather, and housing shortages. Ultimately, the allure of Ireland’s charm and culture might outweigh the challenges for those seeking a new adventure in this captivating country.