ShareRidge are proud to be a major employer in the West of Ireland and are embarking on a new large-scale recruitment drive in response to our significant growth. Our headquarters are based in Castlebar, County Mayo and the majority of our projects are based in the West of Ireland. Whereas this may once have been seen as a limiting factor to our growth, our location is now one of the main reasons why we attract the best talent from across Ireland.

On, Western Development Commission spokeswoman Karen Sweeney said:

“The West of Ireland is known for its creativity, beauty, lifestyle and, of course, that Wild Atlantic coastline – but also as a place where businesses can thrive and grow.”

Here are five reasons why professionals and their families want to move to the West of Ireland.

With a significantly lower cost of living than Dublin and several other regions in Ireland, graduates and professionals are now searching for opportunities in the West of Ireland.

Whether renting or buying property, there will be significant savings to be made when compared to Dublin. 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. New research from ECA International claims the average cost of renting a three bed home in Dublin is almost €3,500. In the last year alone, Dublin has climbed 35 places to the 26th most expensive city in the world to rent in.

Similarly, the West of Ireland offers much more reasonable prices when it comes to purchasing property. For example, a three bedroom house in the Western Region can be purchased from between €90-120k.

From a wide variety of early childhood facilities to excellent primary and secondary schools, education is a crucial part of life in the West of Ireland. These excellent schools are complemented by a solid network of Universities, Colleges and third level Institutes of Technology.

Parents often refer to the low pupil-teacher ratio of just 17:1 in primary schools in the West of Ireland as being a major advantage to raising a family in the West of Ireland. 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%.

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..

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. From private and public nursing homes to specific care and support services, help is at hand for those of advanced years.

The West of Ireland boasts an incredible atmosphere, scenery and landscape for all of the family to enjoy whether you value sport, nature or arts. Native sports such as Gaelic Football and Hurling are cornerstones of the cultural identity and current society in the West of Ireland.  But you will also be spoilt for choice with a broad range of sporting clubs and sporting associations including unique surfing, fishing and golfing opportunities.

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.

Traditional Irish culture is thriving in the West of Ireland with the country’s largest and most vibrant Gaelteacht (or Irish-speaking region), the Western Region holds a special bond with the past and its own historical identity, is known as the ‘living tradition’. It’s a combination of the unique landscape, traditions and cultural identity which attracts millions of visitors each year. When you visit the west coast islands or experience the many culturally unique aspects of life in the West, you’ll soon realise what a unique experience you have on your doorstep.

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.

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.