The five "best places to live" in Ireland have been revealed
Where will claim the crown of the best place to live in Ireland?
Clonakilty in Cork, Galway City, Glaslough in Monaghan, Killarney in Kerry and Waterford City have been named the five best places to live in Ireland by the Irish Times.
The paper's Best Place to Live in Ireland competition began in June when members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite place to live for the award.
Over the course of the summer, more than 2,400 members of the public nominated 470 locations in every county in Ireland for the title.
Two weeks ago, the long list of the Best 20 Places to Live in Ireland was published.
The long list included the villages of Abbeyleix and Ballinakill in Laois, Clonbur in Galway and Glaslough in Monaghan, as well as Derry City, Galway City and Waterford City.
It also included the Dublin suburbs of Cabra and Malahide and the towns of Blackrock in Louth, Bray in Wicklow, Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim, Celbridge in Kildare, Clonakilty in Cork, Enniskillen in Fermanagh, Gorey in Wexford, Killarney in Kerry, Monaghan, Rostrevor in Down and Tullamore in Offaly.
The long list was subsequently reduced to five, with the overall winner to be named next weekend.
Each nominated location was considered by a panel of judges on specific criteria, including community spirit, local services and amenities, diversity, transport links, housing supply, vibrancy of the local economy, cost of living, safety and "of course the unique X factor".
While the number of nominations was a factor in the selection of the five locations, the quality of the place itself was the chief consideration.
The panel consisted of five judges, including Mayo County architect Simon Wall, Monaghan GP Dr Illona Duffy, RTÉ Nationwide TV presenter Zainab Boladale and Irish Times journalist Rosita Boland.
The Chair of the Judging Panel, Conor Goodman, said the entries from people all over the island showcased the quality-of-life available here.
“While the competition is a celebration of the many great places this country has to offer, it also has a serious mission. We want to highlight good examples of community cohesion and local initiatives, in the face of challenges such as the housing shortage and the public health crisis," the Irish Times said.
Here’s what the judges said in brief about each of the top five picks.
- Clonakilty: “There are 12 beaches within 12 miles but community interaction is Clonakilty’s strong point. It has both a local and a commuter economy and housing supply is improving.”
- Galway City - “Galway’s core is commercially vibrant and the city is peppered with cultural assets. It is a culturally diverse city, and is a very desirable place to live”
- Glaslough - “Gorgeous, litter-free and festooned with flowers, the village has a symbiotic relationship with Castle Leslie, but also an exceptionally active and proactive community.”
- Killarney – “A stunning location, Killarney is a lively, bustling, friendly town, full of cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s easy to see why people are proud of the area.”
- Waterford City – “It isn’t perfect but what it lacks in certain areas, it makes up for with its rich history, walkability, liveability and the ease of access to outdoor amenities.”
The competition last took place almost 10 years ago in 2012 and saw Westport in Mayo crowned as the overall Irish Times Best Place to Live.
Due to its previous win, Westport could not be nominated for this year’s competition.