As one of Europe’s foremost globalised economies, Ireland is home to an extremely large migrant population. People are drawn to Ireland for its high-quality of life, countless personal and professional opportunities (Ireland is home to many of the world’s leading tech companies), amazing scenery and vibrant culture. However, before to move to Ireland there are some things you must know
1. Ireland is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world
Ireland is known globally as the “Emerald Isle” due to its lush, green and picturesque landscape. The Irish landscape truly is out of a fairy-tale, from roaring cliffs to small, vibrant towns and even white sandy beaches, the country truly is an oasis of beauty. Moreover, coastal scenic routes such as the Wild Atlantic Way have gained recognition worldwide for their stunning beauty. One thing is for sure, come to Ireland and you will be blown away by the scenery!
2. The weather is… unpredictable
The weather in Ireland is highly changeable. It can be beautiful and sunny one minute, and in the blink of an eye change to a downpour. Moreover, in Ireland, summer days are extremely long with up to 17 hours of sunlight a day. However, the flip side of that is that winter days are very short with only a short window of brightness – usually from around 8am to 4pm… apart from this it is very dark.
However, when the sun is shining Ireland is up there with the best places in the world. Weekend trips to beautiful, traditional Irish villages such as Killarney and Dingle are a must on anyone’s Bucket List!
3. Irish people are incredibly friendly
If you are worried about how you will be received in advance of your arrival to Ireland, don’t be! Irish people are among the friendliest in the world and are hugely welcoming to all nationalities. The openness and friendliness Irish people display is one thing that sets them apart from many other nations. For example, Irish people always thank the driver when stepping off public transport. Moreover, if you are lost or need help, rest assured that anyone you ask will do their utmost to send you on your merry way.
4. Ireland has a long history of producing famous literary and musical artists.
James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, W.B Yeats, Oscar Wilde, U2, Enya, The Cranberries, Thin Lizzy... The list goes on. For a small country, Ireland punches well above its weight in terms of producing artistic talent. Ireland’s artistic produce has touched the world from one of the most famous literary works of all time – “Ulysses” by James Joyce, to the famous, tragic song, the “Fields of Athenry” by the Dubliners. No matter where in Ireland you go, you will get a sense of the proud artistic history.
5. The property market in Ireland (Dublin) is fierce
If you are relocating to Ireland, and in particular Dublin, you should know that property prices in Dublin are quite high and that competition among buyers is fierce. The lack of affordable housing in the capital has caused housing prices to skyrocket, leaving many would-be buyers frustrated. Be prepared to spend a long time searching and viewing properties before finding your dream house within your budget. However, certain websites such as Daft.ie allow you to view available properties in various areas and at various price points.
6. Cars drive on the left side of the road
This can be quite confusing when you first arrive in Ireland due to the fact that in most countries, cars drive on the right side of the road. In Ireland however, people drive on the left on motorways, primary and secondary roads, with the steering wheel being on the right-hand-side of the car.
7. Healthcare in Ireland
The healthcare system in Ireland consists of two distinctive parts – private and public. The public system is governed by the Health Act 2004 and all persons resident in Ireland are entitled to receive health care through the public health care system, which is managed by the Health Service Executive and funded by general taxation. Subsidised fees may be available depending on age, income, illness and so on. There is also a highly developed private healthcare system in Ireland with private companies offering healthcare plans with carrying degrees of cover.
8. Education in Ireland is world-classSimilar to the healthcare system, there are both public and private schools in Ireland. The primary difference between these schools is that private schools are fee paying whereas public schools in Ireland are free. Other differences may include class sizes and modules offered. All children residing in Ireland are required to attend school between the ages of 6 – 16. Typically, children attend school in the locality of their home, therefore when choosing a place to live it may be beneficial to simultaneously look at both public and private schools in the locality. A final point to note is that education in Ireland is of an extremely high-level with a high percentage of students going on to study in one of Irelands 7 internationally recognised universities.
9. The Irish love having the “craic” (Entertainment)
Having the craic simply means having fun. Generally speaking, entertainment in Ireland is usually focused around one thing…. Drink. No, not soft drinks or juices, but rather alcohol. The Irish are known globally for being fond of a pint or five of Guinness. Irish drinking culture has become so synonymous with laughter and joy so much so that in practically every city around the world you will find an Irish pub. Irish pubs are unique in that people of all backgrounds and age group congregate in one place to chat, laugh and have fun. When you visit Ireland, a trip to a traditional Irish pub for a “céile” (traditional Irish group dance) is a must do!
10. And last but not least… the culture
Although primarily Gaelic in origin, Irish culture is an amalgamation of various cultures, notably Anglo-Norman, English and Scottish. Irish culture is widely known and loved the world over, with our food, music, history and even national sports (GAA) garnering a large following globally. Moreover, the Riverdance has become one of the international symbols of Ireland.
Another important point to note is that Irish culture is hugely based on relationships between people and this has permeated every area of daily life from the way people greet each other to business relationships.