Moving to Ireland

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Until very recently, Ireland and its capital Dublin were the unlikely Cinderella success story of Europe. Expats suddenly looked at moving to Ireland as more than just an opportunity to discover a chance pot of gold. Yet of late, the country’s mushrooming economy proved to be a too-good-to-be-true fairy tale without a happy ending.

In 2007 Ireland enjoyed enviable economic growth, and became one of the wealthiest countries in Europe - earning the affectionate nickname of Celtic Tiger. The country became a sudden expat hot spot and a global player.

However, as a result of the worldwide recession, Ireland’s property bubble burst and its economic collapse was more drastic than that of many of its European counterparts.

Nonetheless, left over from the boom is a wave of multinational companies that relocated to Ireland. Lured by low business taxes, EU status and comparatively low wages, many American companies set up European hubs and even more contributed through direct investment. Many expats are surprised to learn that Ireland has stronger economic ties to the US than the UK, with nearly 500 US companies located there. Many American and British expats headed to Ireland during the peak period of economic growth, and scores still remain.

Expats considering moving to Ireland in the immediate future should be aware that they may have to fight through high unemployment rates and a competitive market. Furthermore, the cost of living in Ireland remains relatively high, particularly in Dublin, but has been declining over the past few years.

Grey forecasts, economic or otherwise, still don’t cloud a nation that values a relaxed way of life and an impressive natural aesthetic. Despite the clout the Irish have around the world, people forget the island is home to a mere four million people, about half as many as New York City proper. Thus, the charming and resilient culture and the strong ties to overseas companies continue to make Ireland a welcome job posting and expat destination.

Expats moving to Ireland can also expect excellent healthcare services and a good education for their children. Public schools in Ireland are free to all residents, including foreign residents, and many expats choose to send their children to public schools rather than the few expensive private and international schools. 

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