Return to Ireland?

Ok folks - here goes…

I’ve been out of Ireland for some time (about 8/9 years). I’ve spent this time in 2 different Countries. Married with one child (another on the way).
Given my advancing age, expanding family situation and overall maturing outlook on life I am thinking about moving home in 2015. I don’t want my kids to grow up as non-Irish, I’ve little attachment to the Country I live in and all things considered I do like Ireland and I miss it. Also, the education (for all its faults back home) is generally better.
To do this move I would have to find a new job back home, as would the wife. I’m fully expecting this to be a long and painful process but we’re lucky that there are roles in our respective industies in Ireland. I won’t have the earning potential that I have currently but money is not a motivator for me. I don’t own a house so I don’t have to deal with selling to relocate. We would look to buy when home at some stage but its not a decision for the short term. We’d look to rent.
Has any pinsters made the move back home recently or even thinking about it? How long should I give myself to achieve this (12 months??)

Any thoughts / hints would be very gratefully appreciated!

Dublin or elsewhere?


Your child won’t be missing anything and will be “Irish” if you move back to Ireland before they are 11 or 12 years old.
My tandem partner is Russian-German and moved to Germany at age of 12.

Some of my Colleagues see their time in Germany as a time in which they can broaden their children’s horizons before returning home. One in particular is certain that they want their kid to experience the German pre-school system.
Make a list of what is positive about the country you are in and the experiences from which your Children would derive benefit.
Ireland and International banks can only keep throwing money at Ireland’s problems for so long so I’d wait until the cash injections stop flowing.

A year or two in to new government might be a good time to re-assess. At the moment they are trying to pump the good time vibe.

We moved back when our first was 6mths old, that was nearly 9 years ago :open_mouth: I don’t regret it, we went back to London for a week a couple of months ago and while I miss the life we had there I feel it was a different life, without kids, child care etc. We have almost all our extended family here and it is great to have them all together for birthdays and big occasions. Your holidays are your own, not spent catching up with relatives. Things about Ireland deeply frustrate me but we are very happy generally. We had a soft landing as we bought before we came over, have subsequently sold mind you and still renting! Husband took a couple of months to find a nice job, I was at home with the little 'un. Have a bit of liquidity to afford you that luxury of taking your time to search, I think it would have been bad if he’d rushed into the first job offer (it would have, that place went belly up not long after! :slight_smile: ).
Good luck with whatever you decide

Thanks for the replies. There are always going to be political / structuaral problems with Ireland and they are not going to change regardless of whether I move or not. It’s one of those emotive issues, where logic plays little or no role.

How we compare according to these maps.

Higher average national IQ scores in UK ( and Mongolia) though…

The short answer:

Dublin had a startling drop in relative cost of living between 2007 and 2012. I’m benchmarking against other mid-sized north European cities, some capitals, some not. So if you’re working in an industry that’s internationally traded this can mean your wage is set on a global market but you pay local prices. This improvement in costs is beginning to reverse though, particularly due to the rising cost of housing. Other prices (in relative terms everybody) compare favourably.

Dublin actually has very low levels of crime and anti-social behaviour. People are friendlier here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, and I’ve lived in more places than most of you. Ireland has very high levels of social cohesion (as measured, not just anecdotally). People are more likely to trust a stranger, volunteer for their community, and not to dislike foreigners, etc. I think this is one of the best things about living in Ireland and is seldom appreciated by us natives.

As for education it’s hard to say. The quality of provision doesn’t vary much from place to place or by social class. Teachers are all trained and paid the same. The quality may be on the slide in relative terms though. There is a massive complacency and reluctance to innovate within the educational establishment. Ireland has not fared too well in the OECD’s PISA rankings or survey of adult competencies recently. That said, if you take your own child’s education seriously you can probably fill in the gaps.

My standard response to “should I stay or should I go to Ireland” threads is don’t, stay


Shitty Health System
Shitty Education system
Grossly over inflated welfare system
Incompetent Governance
Immature electorate who believe in Fairies and Money Trees.
Tiny minority pay most of the tax

Stay away.

Experience of living in three other countries… Ireland is by far the worst, and it is in no way friendly, another canard pushed by propagandists, in fact it is one of the most hostile places for an expat to live in.

I’d like to make the move back for sentimental reasons more than anything, but cost of living is the biggest concern. Now I’m able to sock away half of my income and my wife doesn’t even work and I have a couple of kids. Rents in Dublin have gone really high, over double what I pay now, not counting the massive disparity in transport costs and sales taxes and health care fees and yes higher in income taxes in Ireland. the public health system is far better here, advanced modern public transportation, extremely safe…it just drops down on the ‘Craic’ index and is far from Ireland of a Christmas Eve.
So I reckon a move to a UK regional city or Irish regional city (less likely due to jobs) is the best or perhaps only option in terms of a ‘move back’. UK is not ideal either with the poll tax and pay seems not too great these days but there are far more job opportunities there.

Incompetent governance or government?


We’re on a similar trajectory, added incentive of my wife wanting to retrain in something not available in Ireland. We visited one of the potential cities for her course and was really impressed. I’m actually looking forward to the move.

I returned back to Dublin about 6 months ago after 16 years away in multiple countries. The main reasons for returning was for the sake of my primary age school kids (born overseas), reconnecting with aging family and some etheral “craic”, which I felt I was missing. I had a house here and found a job, which solved a lot of issues and I count myself lucky for such a soft landing. Ireland is a strange little country, but its my country, so coming back was quite familiar. Its far from perfect, with a daft (sic) property market, some dodgy economic indicators, a lousy “me fein” political class ( Jimmy Feenihan as Minister for Diaspora - The Minister for Kerry as he is un-affectionately know in the US, did not represent me - Jesue Wept !!), and a cabal of vested interests screwing the middle ground taxpayer. I am seriously thinking of running for politics, if only to allow me to vent in a (more)public forum…

For any outsider, I would disagree that Ireland is a particularly friendly place. We do "hail fellow / well met " better than anyone, but we are not inviting you in for dinner. !! We are friendlier than most North Europeans, but thats not a particularly strong benchmark.

It’s going to take me at least 12 months to get used to this place again, and its harder than any of the last 5 moves I have made. The dream of the omni-present “Craic” is not the reality, as everyone is struggling to survive. However, as outlined at the start, this move was for my kids, not really for myself.

Governance. Its not only the government that is incompetent.

I too blame the Irish education system for the question posed.

Where is this mythical Dublin you speak of? I’ve known Dublin for more than 40 years and what you describe bears no relation to the city I know. For as long as I’ve known it Dublin has been a nasty little inward looking small regional city, a glorified village of one million people, which does not compare well with most of its peers in Anglophone countries or Western Europe.

Maybe if you have only lived in places like Karachi or Caracas or Cali Dublin might look good in comparison but as someone who has either lived in or knows well about a dozen cities the size of Dublin in six other countries it compares poorly on pretty much every front. Dublin friendly, safe, welcoming and trustworthy? You must be joking. Apart from family I cannot think of one good reason for even visiting the place. Let alone live in it. It has about as much going for it as Dusseldorf.

People return to Ireland, and stay returned, for only one reason. Family. All other reasons are flimsy rationalizations.

And for those with kids who think that their children under 11 will automatically become “natives”. That’s not my experience. Toddlers yes, but after that the majority of kids in my experience dont. So far more likely to move on once they become adults.

So the choice is, if you move back you will be spending more time with your family in the short term but in the long term you are less likely to be spending time with your children, especially when they grow up and have their own kids. Because they will have emigrated. You’ll have to get on a plane to see your grand-kids. Once or twice a year.

Because, pretty much like clockwork, once a generation Ireland runs its economy into the ground. The next self inflicted economic collapse cycle should be starting just around the time the young children of the current batch of returnees reach early adulthood…

It is a tough one for me, job, pay, lifestyle is all way better here. Definitely miss and cant replace family and friends back home.
If I could somehow make a living in the west of Ireland and be comfortable I would`nt trade that for anywhere in the world!

We are comparing subjective experiences here. Yours is as valid as mine. You feel Dublin is ‘nasty’. I do not.

Can you afford to buy back in to that part of Dublin on which your opinions are based? Most can’t.