Urban v Rural


I don’t have much time right now, but rural communities thrive when when the individuals have a strong sense of ‘belonging’. Individuals grow to rely on others, and to be relied upon. Whether that’s through volunteering to help coach a kids football team, being on the Parent’s Association or BOM of the school, being a First Responder, Community Alert coordinator, checking on your elderly neighbours, or contributing in some way towards local festivals, markets or fairs, promoting your community, finding solutions to difficulties, even helping out at the Church (if that’s your thing).

There are massive changes occurring through out the country but there is also an opportunity to have a hand in directing that change.


Thanks Coles.

Very interesting.


I value a short commute and jobs for me, at least, are mostly in outer suburbia. Theatres, concert halls and the like are in town and if I want any chance of reaching them after work, while having a chance to eat and maybe change in between, I don’t want to be too far away. Living out in the sticks would both dramatically lengthen my working day, while adding nothing to what I achieve there and destroy much of my opportunity for recreation. Also, I like the quiet anomie of being able to disappear into a disinterested population who aren’t constantly nagging me to “join in”, so the village life that Coles2 writes of simply wouldn’t suit me.


There’s a fantastic irregular poster, whose name has slipped my mind, but posts regularly on the broader advantages and disadvantages, costs and benefits to the individual and society of rural life. Emotionally I find it hard to agree with him/her but it’s hard to argue with the facts. Maybe someone else remembers. S/he has certainly opened my mind.

I live in the country in a similar situation to Coles2 and would agree with all he says.

I’d add that most places are not much with an hour from any major urban conurbation, so access to amenities is far easier than it was even five or ten years ago. Twenty minutes from a shop most likely makes you a blot on the landscape, and a burden on the environment if you plan to live a regular, non-hermit life. It’s costly in terms of time, energy, resources and money. It’s a serious choice to make to have a regular family life in a very rural area, ameliorated slightly if there are other houses around you with family of a similar age.


i would have an irrational fear that I wouldn’t “fit in” to rural living in ireland in an area i had no / distant roots. It can be very clannish and people sometimes seem to thrive on falling out with neighbours etc and aren’t keen on outsiders.


We grew up in a one off about 2km from the local village but on the main road, when my dad passed on my mum pretty quickly sold up and moved into the village…it was a really good move at that stage an she’s well settled in a manageable home now.

Personally I could see out my days where I am now in Sandymount

Our friends are just completing a one off in the back end of nowhere, it’s in a hamlet but schools, shops, pubs require driving and they had to fork out for a rugged vehicle lest we get a winter like 2010/11 again. Not for me


You get all sorts everywhere, one poster had a thread on that in the piston recently

If you’re building you need to have local roots anyhow


+1, and in addition, move to a rural community, get involved in helping with some things, and pretty soon you’ll feel you’ve lived there all your life. Easy living, many things can be half price if you choose the location right (mortgage, rent, wood heating, socializing, child care) and avoid the dysfunctional commuting lifestyle.

Obviously it helps to have served a number of years of commuting hell to appreciate this


Its a double edged sword, on one hand you will have to make an effort (such as learning about hurling in my case) to get stuck in, on the other, you are a big fish in a small pond, and you get a lot more respect for ‘who’ you are.


I used to have a romantic notion (being a bit of an introverted, artistic type :wink: ) that I’d prefer to live in the countryside in blessed isolation (far from the madding crowd and all that) but when I weigh up the pros and cons I think I’m really a city person at heart and always will be.

Countryside pros for me would include:
Lack of light pollution (there is nothing as restful as pure darkness, sigh), fresh air, nature, space, quiet, privacy from not living too physically close to others (though this one has a flip side - see city pros…), less scumbag behaviour to put up with (though I’m sure there is still some e.g. illegal dumping and speeding etc.)

City pros:
Public transport, short commute, more employment opportunities, the privacy that comes from the anonymity of being part of a crowd, opportunities for cultural recreation, being closer to real friends (and not just neighbours/ other villagers you’re forced to socialise with for geographic reasons but you might not have much in common with otherwise), proximity to airport/ travel opportunities, better services

It seems counter-intuitive in a way but I think you almost need to be an extrovert/ people-person to live happily in the countryside because you need and rely on your neighbours more and also, with not much else going on, there is that ‘valley of the squinting windows’ effect where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Some people love this but I don’t think I would. City living gives you more of a choice. You can socialise if you want, or withdraw into your own little cocoon when you don’t want to and people generally won’t bother you.


Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that city suburbia is the perfect environment for an introvert with a leaning to high culture. It’s very easy to get peace and quiet without feeling that you’re living in either an anthill or a goldfish bowl, while being within easy reach of the amenities that you do want, when you want them. In addition it is, if you work in some kind of manufacturing or technical services field, where your work is most likely to be, that being where most industrial estates are.


Long commutes/ bad traffic are a dealbreaker for me though. That includes outer suburbia as I work in city centre and probably always will (or close to it). But you can get an acceptable level of peace and quiet in some suburbs that aren’t too far from city centre. It’s just that the prettier ones are a bit expensive!


Am the same. I had a 1.5 hour commute each way a few years ago.

It basically destroyed my quality of life that day.

Never again.


I know, I appreciate how lucky I am that mid-outer suburbia actually gives me a short commute. Much of the time, I’ve actually been able to commute the opposite direction to the majority and for only a short distance at that.


thread from politics.ie
politics.ie/forum/culture-co … eland.html


The first thing about living in the countryside is that discussion is strictly non personal, apolitical, and nonreligious. If you want to have discussions about the meaning of life, keep it to people who you don’t have to live around and work with. Country people probably prefer introverts, as they don’t pry into your business, and broadcast the details to the four winds. At the same time, no country village is complete without a critical mass of quirky characters and mad hatters, as long as they are fairly harmless and jovial.


Very interesting. I grew up in Sandymount, we spent Summers in a small village and I always said I would hate to live there. However having been down there with my own kids im seeing the appeal. There have been 6 generations of my family in that house and i feel a great sense of grounding and community there that i dont get elsewhere. Where I am now, out in the burbs, everyone drives everywhere anyway and you never meet anyone, I think this whole walking/cycling everywhere, being near amenities applies more if you are within a few square miles of the city, it’s not like that in west Dublin anyway.
Having said all that, I’ve only ever spend Summer in the country and it was when I’m in holiday mode, I don’t think I could stick winter there. Im hoping to move to a nicer area of Dublin shortly and still have the county house, this is my ideal I think.


I find, in the case of the village I’m from, that the Catholic culture is far more pervasive than in the city- seeps into everything and can sometimes be suffocating for non-Catholics. There are more foreign nationals in the cities, a greater mix of religions. Those of a non-Catholic persuasion fit in better there.

P.S. I enjoyed my afternoon poncing around the café. Will go to a jazz concert this evening. Plenty to do on a rainy day in Galway City. :smiley:


It really depends on where you’re talking about in both an urban and a rural context. And I mean right down to specifics. For example, if you’re lucky enough to live near one of the many fantastic Dublin Parks (I’m talking Marley, Bushy, St Annes, Phoenix, Cabinteely, Killiney Hill etc.) then you can avoid that concrete jungle feeling and can almost lose yourself. (I’ve just been in one of the above for a stroll and it seemed like I had the place to myself.) It’s the same if you live on the edge of town near the mountains or on the coastline, e.g. Howth, Malahide, Greystones, Dollymount etc. - plenty of uncrowded open space to enjoy.)

Some, if not many rural locations are limited in terms of the freedom to enjoy the countryside. (i.e. all of the fields around you might be farms that are inaccesible.) On the other hand being near the sea or a national park would offer more opportunities for leisure. While I can definitely see the appeal of living somewhere like Kinsale, or Westport - in terms of culture and amenities I think the only place that would fit the bill would be somewhere not far from Kilkenny but in a rural setting.

Depending on where you live (and work) I think it’s well possible to have the best of both worlds in a place like Dublin.


Grew up in a rural area. Highly isolated until the age of nine. Moved at that age and had far more neighbours around (still a rural area). Commuted to secondary school, and initially too to 3rd level. Then moved up to college and lived in a city. Walked to everything. Haven’t wanted to live in the country since.

Country is handy if you want to keep an eye on kids I guess. Otherwise I don’t see the point. Isolated. Nothing to do. No decent broadband. Need a car for everything.

Big disadvantage of cities and towns is crime and anti-social behaviour, if you are unfortunate to live somewhere near that. Perhaps if you want to keep pets the country is good too. Me, I prefer people.

Dylan Moran sums it up for me…