Living in Ireland - what is your experience?
Thread poster: Trans-Marie

Trans-Marie
Local time: 11:34
English to German
+ ...
Feb 28, 2017

Dear colleagues

I am an EU national living in the UK. Due to Brexit I am considering my options and one of them is leaving the UK. I love Ireland, so I wonder if that could be a possibility. Of course I have googled a little bit but I would like to hear from those of you who live and work as freelancers in Ireland.

I would appreciate ANY information you can give. Do you enjoy living there? Is it easy to set up a freelance business? What do you think about the quality of life? What about the education system?

And of course, my biggest concern is the health care system which is excellent in the UK in my view. I'm quite worried about losing it. I‘ve tried to find out about healthcare in Ireland but I‘m still unsure - it seems to be a mix of government funded and private insurance healthcare. I would be really grateful if you could share experiences. Best, Marie


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Irish Mar 1, 2017

Trans-Marie wrote:

Dear colleagues

I am an EU national living in the UK. Due to Brexit I am considering my options and one of them is leaving the UK. I love Ireland, so I wonder if that could be a possibility. Of course I have googled a little bit but I would like to hear from those of you who live and work as freelancers in Ireland.

I would appreciate ANY information you can give. Do you enjoy living there? Is it easy to set up a freelance business? What do you think about the quality of life? What about the education system?

And of course, my biggest concern is the health care system which is excellent in the UK in my view. I'm quite worried about losing it. I‘ve tried to find out about healthcare in Ireland but I‘m still unsure - it seems to be a mix of government funded and private insurance healthcare. I would be really grateful if you could share experiences. Best, Marie


I'm Irish. The Irish character is completely different from the Anglo-Saxon. Some people say we're "like Italians, but living in a cold, wet climate". Ireland is a highly civilised country where the quality of life is decidedly better than it is in the UK (if by "quality of life" you mean general friendliness and sociability). If you want to know about healthcare, go here:
http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/Find_a_Service/eligibility.html

I would add that the UK healthcare system is good partly thanks to the large numbers of Irish people working in iticon_smile.gif

Currently I am in London but like you, I am carefully watching to see how the British government deals with Brexit; particularly the question of the 500 km of land frontier between the UK and the European Union - in Ireland.

Starting a business: http://bit.ly/2lcfJj3



[Edited at 2017-03-01 14:15 GMT]


 

Trans-Marie
Local time: 11:34
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks Tom Mar 1, 2017

Hi Tom

Thank you so much for all this information, I find this very helpful. I was hoping to hear something positive like that but feared it may be wishful thinking...
I actually phoned the Health Service Executive’s helpline which can be found on the website you provided. The lady was very friendly and explained to me that basically healthcare in Ireland is means tested. If your income is below a certain threshold then you are entitled to a medical card and all the costs are covered. If not you will have to pay fees to your GP for consultation. However, if he refers you to a specialist, this will then be covered. I also understand you need to establish residency (one year) but there are services covered before that. She also said that for people coming in from the UK, emergency services are covered by the UK for a period of three months.

As to what our government is up to - I'm watching things as well but I don't have much optimism left. Whatever the so-called "deal" will look like, the European Union is a great achievement and living in a non-EU country is no deal for me at all.

Many thanks again and have good evening!


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 11:34
English to Italian
+ ...
My experience Mar 2, 2017

Hi Marie,

I'd like to add my experience as a non Irish living and working in Ireland as a freelancer.
First of all, starting a business is very easy, both as a sole trader and a limited company so no worries at all about that. There is also help, information and training available should you need it, see for example https://www.localenterprise.ie/DublinCity/

The best thing about Ireland is its people, it's not a clichè that the Irish are nice and friendly, in general they really are! But it's also a very multicultural place now, 1 out of 9 (or thereabouts) residents is not Irish

The quality of life very much depends on your financial situation and where you live though.
If you can afford to live in Dublin of course you have everything, the best schools, hospitals, colleges, culture and opportunities but rents are very high and there is a housing shortage in the capital at the moment, in the rest of the country you may have less choice in terms of amenities but also a much lower cost of living.

If you like the outdoors the nature is amazing, and even in a big, busy city like Dublin you can enjoy it, but you probably already know that.

As regards the education system I don't have children so I don't have first-hand experience of it.
However, you have different kinds of schools, catholic, protestant, non-denominational (called Educate Together), Gaelscoil (where all subjects are taught in Irish) so plenty of choice.
Most universities are excellent.

I'm not a fan of the healthcare system though (for example the treshold when you are means tested is very low so it probably wouldn't apply to you) but you have already collected some information about it.

In any case I've been living in Ireland for many years now so I must enjoy iticon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2017-03-02 14:25 GMT]


 

Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 12:34
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
EHIC Mar 2, 2017

Trans-Marie wrote:

emergency services are covered by the UK for a period of three months.



... it is *possible* that this is something the UK will ditch along with its EU membership...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:34
Member (2008)
Italian to English
.... Mar 2, 2017

...and its sanity.

 

Trans-Marie
Local time: 11:34
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Irish language Mar 2, 2017

Hello Flora

Thank you for sharing this! You mentioned Irish - is it still widely spoken? I believe there are more Irish speakers than speakers of Scottish Gaelic and Irish is even an official EU language which Scottish Gaelic is not. There are currently many efforts to revive the language in Scotland though (a lot of the funding comes from the EU of course, how ironic), especially in the North West of Scotland which is still a Gaelic stronghold. It is so incredibly different from English and really fun to learn.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:34
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My two cents Mar 2, 2017

I only lived in Ireland for three months a long time ago, when Ireland was just at the beginning of the tsunami of international companies rolling into the country. I was in Ireland for holidays only two years ago, and did not see a big difference from what I experienced many years ago: Irish people are great fun, they certainly like conversation, and pubs are packed with people enjoying a good company. Prices are perhaps higher than they used to be and very much compare to Spanish prices today.

From the point of view of personal relationships, Irish people are great to have around. The country is beautiful even if weather is not that good at times. The good news is that you can have sun, rain, wind, hail, and fog all in the same day, so you rarely get bored with the weather. If I was to choose an English-speaking country to live for some years, I would definitely consider Ireland.

(Edited to add this: I had forgotten that I had lived in Dublin for three months a bit earlier, in 1992. Back then I rented a flat in Rathmines, or "Flatland", and unsuccessfully tried to find a job in the localisation industry, of which I knew really very little. I returned in 1994, after landing a job with a Madrid-based localisation firm working for Microsoft. That is the reason why I was deployed in the Dublin area for three very busy months. Time certainly flies!!)

[Edited at 2017-03-02 21:10 GMT]


 

Flora Iacoponi, MCIL  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 11:34
English to Italian
+ ...
Irish language Mar 3, 2017

Trans-Marie wrote:

Hello Flora

Thank you for sharing this! You mentioned Irish - is it still widely spoken? I believe there are more Irish speakers than speakers of Scottish Gaelic and Irish is even an official EU language which Scottish Gaelic is not. There are currently many efforts to revive the language in Scotland though (a lot of the funding comes from the EU of course, how ironic), especially in the North West of Scotland which is still a Gaelic stronghold. It is so incredibly different from English and really fun to learn.




Hi Marie,

regretfully I don't speak Irish, it's on my wish list together with learning the piano but I may have to wait for my next life to fulfill it icon_smile.gif
Irish is an official language in Ireland and therefore is a compulsory subject in school, it's required for some University courses (for example History or Archeology but maybe others as well) and also for some jobs in the civil service. Although it's not as widely spoken as it could be, especially because it wasn't taught very well in school until a few years ago (maybe now they use a more modern method) I know that the Gaelscoils are very popular at the moment for many reasons. You can read about it in this article:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/why-is-it-so-hard-to-get-a-place-in-a-gaelscoil-1.2984851
The main reason seems to be that children who speak Irish will have more advantages when competing for a place in University or will be able to access civil service jobs more easily etc.

On the West coast of Ireland then you have the Gaeltacht, that is areas where Irish is spoken as first language.
It's quite common for children from Dublin to spend 2 or 3 weeks every summer on the West coast to practice the language.

I understand that you're studying Scottish Gaelic, that sounds great, as I said I'd love to try Irish, maybe if it becomes even more popular I'll even have to!

Flora

[Edited at 2017-03-03 19:35 GMT]


 

françois G.
Ireland
Local time: 11:34
English to French
It's not paradise Mar 4, 2017

As a French, i'm good at complaining. And as I've been living in Ireland for the last 20 months. In Dublin.
I won't sweet talk to you.

It is true that:
1- The people are great. Really, really cool.
2- The island is beautiful.
While Dublin is a European capital, you get this excellent countryside feeling. It's green, it's fun, it's lively, or calmicon_smile.gif

But, life is very hard unless you are wealthy.
-GP: 50 euros, and he starts to look at his watch... after 10mn. Their health system is FUBAR.
-There are only 3 things that work as public transportation in Dublin: Luas (tramway), Dart, M50 (well if you drive). I strongly suggest you live close to one.
-Income Tax is madness... (20% - 40%).
-Everything is F... expensive. Always compare prices, for everything.
-Housing market is crazy. Things have improved. For the next three years, the annual rent raise is capped at 4% max. Use daft.ie to get a feeling of prices.
-North and South Dublin are... very different.
-Creche cost between 1000-1200 euros a month for a kid.
-There is a very organized mafia on ticket sales for some sports events of concert.
http://www.thejournal.ie/u2-tickets-seatwave-anger-3189517-Jan2017/

Then again, if you are wealthy, life is great, but you really need to make some serious cash to live in Dublin.





[Edited at 2017-03-04 14:26 GMT]


 


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