Following on from a sun-drenched crowd-filled event in 2018, the Festival returns this summer to host a stellar lineup of Irish and international musicians, artists and performers in a range of unique and surprising venues and locations across County Sligo. Commenting on this year’s Festival, event director Tara McGowan said: “The Festival has been on […]
Living in the West
Cost of Living
Low Cost of living ensures high quality of life
You won’t find value anywhere else like you do out west. With a significantly lower cost of living than Dublin and several other regions in Ireland, you get so much for your money. Whether renting or buying property, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the value on offer.
Rental – average residential rentals in Dublin come in at around €1,290 while rentals prices outside Dublin and in the West average just €613 per month.
Buying property – if you’re interested in buying property, you’ll be glad to know there are many excellent properties for sale at very reasonable prices. For example, a three bedroom house in the Western Region can be purchased from between €90-120k.
Education a priority in the West of Ireland
At every stage of a student’s life in the West of Ireland, we offer the best of opportunities and facilities. From early childhood facilities to first class primary and secondary schools, education is a crucial part of life in the region.
These excellent schools are complemented by a solid network of colleges and third level Institutes of Technology which are dotted throughout the region.
With a pupil-teacher ratio of just 17:1, primary schools in our region generally have small classes which give all children an excellent start. This compares very favourably with Dublin and the east coast where the ratio can be over 20:1.
When it comes to secondary schools, the West boasts some of Ireland’s top schools with excellent results achieved in terms of both academics and college entry. In fact, a bigger percentage of young people from the West attend third level education than anywhere else in the country. Sligo and Galway have the highest admission rates to college in the entire country, with 72% and 68% respectively, compared to a national average of 56%.
Third level education contributes so much to life in our region. As home to one of Ireland’s oldest universities and a number of Institutes of Technology producing graduates in a huge range of disciplines. Most third level institutions have business incubation centres, business liaison offices and/or technology transfer offices. And they offer services for both start-ups and established companies including incubation space, training, facilitation of research collaboration and intellectual property advice.
Comprehensive healthcare environment in the Western Region
The substantial population in the West of Ireland depends on healthcare providers across a number of levels. From large hospitals right down to nursing homes and care for the elderly, healthcare services are available on a significant scale out west.
With larger regional hospitals in both Sligo and Galway, these are supported by general hospitals in the major towns of Letterkenny, Castlebar, Roscommon, Ennis and Ballinasloe. In turn, the hospital network is complemented by GPs in every town and village as well as purpose-built Primary Care Centres dotted throughout the region, including a number of private hospitals.
The older person has always held a respected place in Irish society and there are several care facilities with the older population in mind. From private and public nursing homes to specific care and support services, help is at hand for those of advanced years.
For more information on General Practices and Clinics in the Region, please visit WhatClinic.com
So many ways to relax in the West of Ireland
The West is truly alive and kicking and there is so much to entertain and engage you, helping you feel relaxed and refreshed. From the beauty of our native sports to the vibrancy of our arts and entertainment, there’s something for all. And not forgetting our wonderful shopping, great restaurants and our world-famous cultural heritage.
Sport – with our own national sports Hurling and Gaelic football, we can offer the visitor a cultural and sporting experience in one. And when you consider our incredible golf courses, passion for surfing on the Atlantic and the variety of sporting clubs and associations in the region, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice.
The Arts – Ireland’s West has always had a deep connection with the Arts. From the historic Druid theatre to the many arts festivals held every year in the region, the Arts are alive and thriving. We also boast literary giants like WB Yeats and John McGahern as natives and it’s fair to say the arts holds a special place out west.
Shopping and dining – from the thriving city of Galway the bustling county towns that dot the region, you’ll find all the global brands where you want them. Add to this our own legendary small business culture and you’ll find bargains in everything from organic products to custom designed jewellery.
The living tradition – home to Irelands largest and most vibrant Gaelteacht (or Irish-speaking region) the Western Region holds a special bond with the past and its own historical identity and this is known as the ‘living tradition’. It’s a combination of our landscape, traditions and identity which have made us what we are today. When you visit the west coast islands or experience the many culturally unique aspects of life in the West, you’ll soon realise what we’re talking about.
You’ll find our local landscape as rich and interesting as anywhere in the world. And with so much to do, we can assure you that there’s never a dull moment out west.
Access & Infrastructure
Easy to get here but you won’t want to leave
The West of Ireland boasts first-class transport links with both the rest of Ireland and indeed Europe and beyond. Taking advantage of an excellent motorway system, it’s also well served by a number of regional airports and international airports, even a transatlantic hub. Railways connect the West with every corner of Ireland and electronic connectivity in the shape of widespread broadband has revolutionised our business and technology infrastructure capabilities.
Within the last ten years, Ireland’s motorway network has been thoroughly overhauled and travel times have been significantly reduced and the quality of road surface transformed. Galway to Dublin now takes less than two hours and Sligo can be reached in under three hours from Dublin. Public and private bus services transports thousands both to, and around the region every day.
In the air, while Shannon has always been the transatlantic home of Irish aviation, Ireland West airport is in Knock, Co. Mayo and regional airports can be found in Galway and Donegal while the City of Derry airport lies just over the border.
The romance of the railway lives on in the West of Ireland with significant upgrades being secured in recent years allied to an increase in the number of trains running between Dublin and several urban centres out west. In fact, the Western Rail Corridor began in 2012, opening up a direct rail link between Galway and Limerick.
And to facilitate our growing status as a commercial region, broadband is universally available with data speeds increasing all the time. The Government’s commitment to fund an extensive fibre rollout to regional and rural areas includes over 1,000 communities, many of which are in the Western Region. The successful rollout of this scheme will have an enormous impact on both urban and rural business life out west.
Looking after the early years in the West of Ireland
With so many young families moving to the region, there has been a significant improvement in the variety and availability of childcare in the West. The early years are so important and both public and private solutions are widespread for children of all ages.
Our research tells us that so many of our new residents who moved here from other countries cited education and the availability of quality childcare as a primary reason. And a cost-of-childcare survey revealed in recent years that the cost of childcare was 50% less in the West than in Dublin.
Crèches, playschools or Montessori schools can be found in every urban centre and in many small villages too. Primary schools are in every town and village, and school places are readily available.
For more information on childcare facilities in your area, please see the list below.
County Childcare Committees in the West
Galway CCC Co-ordinator
, 9B Liosban Retail Centre,
Tel: 091-75 2039
Fax: 091-73 5701
Leitrim CCC Co-ordinator
, Laird House,
Tel: 071 964 0870
Fax: 071 964 0871
Roscommon CCC Administrator
, Arm, Castlerea, Co Roscommon
Tel: 094-962 2540 Fax: 094-962 0878