Living in Ireland


Ireland is a wonderful country inhabited by 4.1 million people. Almost one third of the population live in Dublin or its suburbs. This modern European capital is a vibrant city set in a scenic location between the sea and the mountains. The smaller cities - Cork, Galway, Belfast (Northern Ireland) and Waterford - and over 800 towns account for the rest of Ireland's increasingly urbanized population.    
Ireland is renowned for its spectacular landscape, archaeological sites, music and literature, but it is the people who make the country unique. Creative, laid back, friendly and renowned for their irreverent sense of humour, the Irish are a charismatic bunch and make Ireland a terrific place to live and work! 


Trip Advisor and Condé Nast rank Dublin the friendliest city in Europe and the second-friendliest in the world! But that’s not all! Dublin is also is one on the most dynamic technology and business hubs in Europe. Some 300 multinational tech companies have their European headquarters in Ireland, including a large number of major global brands like Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn. Altogether they employ over 60,000 people in Dublin’s dockland area known in the industry as ‘Silicon Docks’


Ireland’s countryside allows for a broad range of outdoor activities and hobbies including: Hill walking, walking, rock climbing, cycle touring and bike hire, horse riding, fishing (salmon and trout. River and lake), golf, canoeing, sailing, and windsurfing, wildlife studies.


The Skellig islands featured in the recent Star Wars movie. The larger island, Skellig Michael, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts a wonderful monastery built by Christian monks in the 7th century. Visitors to the island climb the 600 steps to the terraced settlement to enjoy a magnificent view of the wild Atlantic ocean. 


Long before it was selected as the location for Game of Thrones, the UNESCO heritage site was famed for the hexagonal colums of layered basalt, which legend claims to be the outsized steps built by the mythical hunter-warrior, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, as a way to get to Scotland. The setting is dramatic, with crashing waves and a backdrop of towering cliffs. 


In general housing prices have increased considerably over the last few years. However it is still possible to obtain good-value accommodation. In Dublin, you can find a double room in a 4-bedroom house for €350-400 or a 3-bedroom house for ca. €1,600 monthly. It all depends on your personal needs. In Galway, Cork and Limerick, accommodation is considerably cheaper.

  • Furnished properties are readily available. Fully furnished and equipped will mean that kitchen equipment and utensils are supplied. In some instances bed linen and towels may also be supplied. 
  • Unfurnished would usually include built-in kitchen cupboards, large electrical appliances, floor coverings, curtains or window blinds, light fittings, bathroom fittings and built-in wardrobes in some bedrooms. 
  • Estate agents fees are charged to the landlord and so are not applicable to the tenant. 
  • Most commonly, the lease term would be 1 year. Shorter terms (3-6 months) can sometimes be negotiated in the case of apartment rentals. 
  • The security deposit is normaly equivalent to one month’s rent. A payment of the first month’s rent and any stamp duty applicable is due when signing the lease agreement.

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The standard of education in Ireland is very high both in fee-paying and non fee-paying schools. Finding accommodation needs to be very closely linked with finding school places.

There also are a number of schools catering to the interests of families of foreign nationals living and working in Ireland. These schools generally provide the curriculum of studies available in their countries of origin, offering their pupils the opportunity to remain on par with their friends or family back home as a forum to maintain and improve their native languages. The Ecole Franco-Irlandaise (French), the Sundai Ireland International School (Japanese), St. Kilians German School, Elians Spanish School all offer instruction to both foreign nationals and Irish students interested in a multi-cultural perspective.


Driving Licence

EU licence holders may drive on their EU licence or exchange their licence for an Irish licence. Non-EU nationals who are resident in Ireland and are applying for a driving licence will need to take a driving test.

If English is not your first language, you may have an interpreter to accompany you for the theoretical part of the test but they cannot accompany you in the car for the practical test.


Work and Residence Permits

  • EU/EEA nationals do not need permits to work in Ireland. 
  • If you are a non-EU resident and you wish to work in Ireland, your prospective employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf. You will need to prove that you have particular skills or qualifications required by your employer and that no Irish citizen or EU national could do that job in your place. You must have been issued with your work permit before you start work. It is an offence to work without one. At present, it takes approximately ten weeks to process an application. The permit may cover any period between one month and one year. 
  • EEA nationals who wish to reside in Ireland are entitled to apply for a residence permit, if they can prove that they are in a financial position to support themselves. A residence permit is normally valid for a period of up to one year, at which stage it must be renewed by the holder if they plan to remain in Ireland. 
  • Non-EEA nationals, who are staying in Ireland for more than three months, must register in person with the Immigration and Registration Office in Dublin, if resident in County Dublin, or for those resident outside the Dublin area, at their local Garda Siochana (Police) station.