How bad is it to live in Ireland?
All people will have their views based on their reality of this beautiful country. To learn of Ireland's beauty please read some of the other answers herein. People do the country brilliant justice in their illustration of what is a really picturesque and vibrant landscape. Indeed how could we have spawned the likes of Joyce, Yeats and Beckett if we were not a beautiful and moral people.
Financially, Ireland is very expensive to live in. As I said at the start, other people will have their own points of view on this topic based on their own experiences of life here.
Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in all of Europe. A packet of Cigarettes here is heading for €13 now. A pint of beer in a local pub in Dublin is a minimum of €5.50.
Of course grocery shopping is also quite expensive too. Though we do have Aldi and Lidl here which are a bit more reasonable.
Due to Ireland shouldering 43% of all of Europe's debt after the global financial melt down a few years back, the country is broke. OK, the media will tell you different but the truth is that the country is indeed penniless.
People who had Mortgages before the crash suddenly found the banks getting away Scot Free with breaking the country's coffers. Indeed the people bailed out the banks and then the banks turned around and raised Mortgages and this led to people being unable to afford to pay. Mass evictions have taken place in the last three years and the amount of people homeless in the country is currently at a shameful level.
The public health care system in Ireland is a shambles. The list of people on trolleys awaiting beds in hospitals is into the many many thousands. Add to that the waiting lists for people to be seen by specialists, which is in the hundreds of thousands, and you get the picture.
The government in Ireland have continued to look after big business and high brow interests in the country at t he expense of 95% of the population. It is undemocratic and the police rule by force.
The media here are thoroughly propagandised to report only what the government want to feed to the people. Anything that is true but denigrates the current administration is not reported. Yes, like North Korea.
If you believe in God Ireland used to be the place for you. But it is not anymore. The levels of atheism in the country is growing exponentially. This is encouraged by many members of our government too. The Catholic Church in Ireland is coming under more and more attack by the day. It is sad to see.
The people of Ireland are very welcoming to holidaymakers and will make their stay very comfortable and wonderful. However to each other the people are a disparate bunch. We cannot agree on anything. Which is why we have not had a revolution here in the last few years probably. People like to tell stories about other people behind their backs. A lot of back biting going on here. However you will also find genuine and nice people here too. But not as many as the former.
I will possibly get replies to this post, some will be savage in their disagreement, but I suffer from honesty you see. I cannot give a glazed eye view of a turd. Ireland was once an idyllic and wonderful, good place to live in. Now it is becoming a cesspit of a nation.
Sorry for my honesty. I have to be honest.
Naturally Irish people (both in the Republic and in NI) would naturally tell you that this is a great place to live. And why not? This is their homeland after all. But let me tell you from the perspective of a relatively newcomer. It has been close to two years now
and I love it!
I love it despite increasingly patchy healthcare system. In a country with a per capita annual income of almost 70.000 Euro it is a shame that 75 year old patients lay on the emergency service gurneys for over 24 hours waiting for a doctor to finally see them. Now, over 1 million people of a nation with just over 4 million residents are on the hospital waiting lists. This is truly unacceptable. Still, I love this country, and I will tell why later but lets first power through the bad stuff.
I love it despite the housing problem. More than ten thousand people are homeless (and remember the total population is just over four million). Nearly a quarter of a percent of the population is without a home. And this is despite the fact that just in Dublin over 30,000 (thirty thousand) properties are kept vacant by their owners because they cannot be bothered with renting out the place (you pay up to 52 percent on rental income). When we first moved here everybody told us that we were very lucky to find an apartment within one week. I have a couple of friends who had to stay in a hotel for months before they could find a place to live.
I love it despite the tribal politics. Irish people do not like talking about politics and for good reason. Irish politics is archaic, tribal, and still quite corrupt. Some stories out of Dublin would even curdle the blood of Italian party bosses, even Berlusconi.
I love it despite the ridiculous immigration policies. But once you are settled it is great.
NOW, lets talk about the good stuff.
CLIMATE: Even the Irish people hate the climate but I really do not mind it too much. Having lived on the Mediterranean cost most my life I thought the climate would put me down but it is surprisingly mild. (I am talking only about Dublin) Yes, sunshine is limited and it rains every other day but it is very rarely colder than 10 degrees (Celsius) except for January and February in Dublin. And the rain is usually quite light, very rarely a real downpour. So, it does not interfere with your routine very much in summers it never gets really smoldering hot. For someone who likes cycling and running a lot Dublin has a great climate. Of course I could do with a bit more sunshine and longer days in winter but you cannot get everything you want. We compensate by taking our vacations in Winter and spend three weeks in Izmir.
NATURE: This is a gorgeous country. Coming from Turkey, this is saying something. This is a small Island but you can find something that is beautiful and interesting everywhere you go. Air quality (especially on the west coast overlooking the Atlantic) is fantastic (except for Dublin in winter, when many people burn these pressed firelogs that smoke and smell like burning tires).
Also Dublin is quite surprisingly organically connected to nature. I live by the small Camac river close to the Grand Canal and you cannot believe you live in a metropolitan area when a grey heron comes hunting in your little stream, a green headed flock of ducks take flight and you can fish for even pike in your backyard. Most of my friends back in New York, Istanbul, and Izmir reacts in amazed looks when I tell about this. Most of the people I meet in Dublin are hardly impressed. Such a connection to nature is not really reserved for the rural places or the rich suburban mentions with great estates.
Oh, and Phoenix Park is perhaps one of the greatest city parks in the world complete with a wild herd of deer.
PEOPLE: This perhaps is the best part. What I love about Ireland (, Republic of) is that people you meet are usually down for a good laugh and carry a good sense of humor. If you do not take them back to the ‘troubles' they can take a joke or two and pay you in kind. Most neighborhoods have a sense of community and it could be tough nut to crack as a newcomer and outsider but you eventually do and can really feel home. Believe me, having lived (not just visited) in more than a handful countries, I cannot state how important it is to feel welcome.
BUSINESS: Economy is recovering. So for the talented there are vast opportunities. Corporate taxes are low and government encourages employment creating investment. If we come unscathed from Brexit (the issue of a hard border with Northern Ireland is bothersome and lack of a customs union or a similar arrangement will hurt Irish exports a lot) next few years are projected to be even better. Economy is close to double digit growth rate without overheating.
I do not have children yet so I cannot speak from experience but education is quite diverse and of high quality. Universities also do not pull their punches in the international arena. 5 of the 9 universities are among the top 500 institutions in the world and Trinity College have only this year dropped out of top 100 (104). The funding cuts after the 2008 crisis are still effecting recruitment and research. But signs are positive and Ireland probably will have one or two top 100 universities before it is too long.
All in all, this is one of the best places to live if you can afford a least an upper middle class lifestyle. I feel at home here and so do many others who came from many cornets of the globe.
I live in Donegal which is in the Northwest of Ireland. We get a fair bit of rain and a lot less sunny days than we'd like, but without the rain we wouldn't have the truly amazing landscapes and beautiful rugged coastlines that makes Ireland and especially Donegal one of the most amazing places on the planet to live or visit. A walk along a country lane or fising at the local river can take your breath away and how many People have a choice of 20 different breathtaking beaches within a 1 hour car journey. The same journey time will take you to National Parks, mountain ranges, castles and beautiful Cities and Towns.
Local Towns are bustling so employment is plentiful, wages are decent and steadily climbing, most of the working Couples I know would have a joint household net income of between 55–70k a year. Property prices are rising but still very low in this part of Ireland at an average of around €120–150k for a 3-4 bed semi-detatched and €210–300k for a well finished 4 or 5 bed detached on a half acre site, more than 50% cheaper than many other parts of Ireland. Rents are also very reasonable a 3 bedroom semi or detatched will rent for €550-€600pm a 4 bed detatched around €650-€750pm.
Public transport in rural Ireland is terrible, so most working couples need 2 cars to get to and from work which is quite costly, but the upside of living and commuting in rural Ireland is, If; you have to drive 20km to work you can close your front door and still be clocked in within 30 minutes. I drove 30km across the border to Derry City for 7 years in a previous job and I never had more than a 45 minute door to door commute.
Most villages have at least 1 or 2 local pubs, 1 or 2 Churches and 1 or 2 cafe's, shops and takeaway food outlets. Most socialising is done through community sports events like Gaelic football, hurling and soccer, fundraising activities for cancer charities or sports clubs are always well attended, and everybody knows everybody in a small community like the one I live in, so nearly everybody attends the wake and funeral of a local who has passed away. All local Towns have a wide selection of Restaurants, bars and shopping facilities.
Social welfare needs reform as does the Health care system and there needs to be substantial immediate investment in social and affordable housing in the likes of Dublin and Cork and other major Cities in Ireland.
Despite the rain most of us who live in Ireland especially rural Ireland would say it's a great wee Country to live in.
Define ‘Ireland' ... I can only comment on the Republic of Ireland.
I've made it my home for nearly 19 years.
I've prospered in prosperous times, I've (almost) drowned when the Celtic Tiger lost its growl...
I'm still here. It was, for me at the time, a sensible move from my homeland of Scotland. We have similar cultures, so fitting in was relatively easy.
Public transport into/out of rural areas is poor, but road infrastructure is vastly improved upon, certainly in the last 10 years.
Cost of living is high.
Property price is high, rental in Dublin is prohibitively expensive for all but the highest earners, so many young people still live with parents...or rent at astronomical rates and have little free money (or big debt)...pay is commensurate with position and sector.
Taxation is high on those with a moderate income. Bank bail outs mean an imposed Universal Social Charge on all tax payers...on a sliding scale. Yet corporate rates are so beneficial to conglomerates/big business, that there is a moderately low unemployment rate...
The workforce is generally tech savvy, many pharmaceutical sites...growing month on month, if you have skill and want to work - you can. Training opportunities exist. The location is conducive to both industry from Europe and the Americas.
‘Troubles'...never encountered any.
For me there are more positives than negatives.
Weather is similar to my homeland, if slightly milder.
Not looking to move away anytime soon...
Ok I will list the bad points and then to be fair and balanced I will list the good points.
The drinking culture
Homeless in cities
Extremely high rent costs compared to other European cities
The people, diverse and friendly
The music and culture
The green fields, mountains, lakes, coastline, rivers, forests, canals
Beautiful cities, towns and villages. Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Derry, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Killarney and countless others. Buildings and monuments, some of which are thousands of years old .
The food and the diversity of it. Meat, fresh fish, exquisite vegetables and some of the finest dairy produce on the planet.
The motorway network.
Fun loving people who don't take themselves too seriously.
Very generous social welfare.
Good quality of life.
Good education with highly educated workforce.
A great place to live with troubles becoming a memory.
On balance I would suggest there are many more good things about Ireland than bad things and I have chosen to stay here for however long I have left.
Céad míle fáilte.
Who said it was bad to live in Ireland? If you are living in Ireland you have access to a very generous social welfare system, to free health care, to opportunities to get trained and work in many different trades and professions. You live in a generally tolerant society of both race, sexuality and religion. You can play a wider variety of sports. You can choose from a wide variety of the highest quality foods grown in good clean land. You can live safely without having to carry around a weapon to protect yourself or your family.
Are there problems, of course there are, it is as human and flawed a society as anywhere else. There are drug problems, there are housing issues, there is still a significant low paid work force who struggle financially. There are all the human problems you find in any society, people who are on the edge of poverty, children in particular. But, Ireland in 2019 is a place of hope, a place of tolerance and a society struggling to hold back the profiteering political class and pull up the lower class through education and opportunity. It is far from perfect but we are working on it :)