Tuesday 19 September 2017

'Dublin life is unsustainable' - meet the professionals who left for the mid-west to enjoy 'a better quality of life'

Professionals are leaving the city for 'better career opportunities, shorter commutes, less traffic, and lower property prices and living costs'

Marie Aimee Giard
Marie Aimee Giard
Some 70pc now have a quicker commute to work since relocating to the mid-west Photo: National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas
Caroline Kelleher
Daniel Smith
The Mid-West attracts highly-skilled professionals with 96PC holding a third-level qualification Photo: National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas
Eoin O'Sullivan
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Professionals are leaving Dublin for the mid-west of Ireland as they say they have a better quality of life, shorter commute times and face lower living and property costs.

A new study, carried out by National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas, in conjunction with Limerick Chamber, shows that 93 per cent of professionals who move to the mid-west for career opportunities are much happier with their location.

Almost three-quarters (72pc) say they now have a better balance between their working and home lives and some 70pc now have a quicker commute to work.

Eoin O’Sullivan, Site Lead at Uber in Co Limerick said his work life in Dublin was "unsustainable".

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Eoin O'Sullivan

"I commuted from my home town of Limerick to Dublin for almost three years on a weekly basis, travelling up early Monday mornings and back late Friday nights.

"For me it was unsustainable. It wasn’t just the travel and being away from my family, it was the complete lack of work-life balance.

"The move back to Limerick changed my life completely. The pace of life now is much better and it has had a huge impact on my energy levels as I can use my downtime now to relax and recharge. It has allowed me to spend more time with my family but also has given me more free time and I’m back playing football; something I had to give up for years."

Eoin said that Limerick has "loads of great job opportunities", especially in recent years.

"I was talking to someone just last week who is in San Francisco and who wants to come home but he hadn’t realised how vibrant the Mid West had become.

"Companies like Uber have decided to locate in the mid-west and there are many more who are interested in doing the same. Someone recently said that we were almost at full employment in Limerick but when you take the amount of people from this region who want to move home, there are many more skilled workers available to the Mid-West. Like me, they are hoping to move back for a better pace of life and to finally have that work-life balance."

The Mid-West Relocation Survey also showed that while 45pc of those who moved back were originally from the mid-west region, some 42pc relocated from outside of Ireland.

When asked about the factors which influenced their move to the mid-west, 88pc cited a better quality of life while two-thirds referenced a reduced cost of living. The other main reasons given were: lower property prices, less traffic, career opportunities, beautiful scenery and a safer environment.

Some 70pc now have a quicker commute to work, with nine out of ten people having a commute that is less than 40 minutes. Some 61pc now have a commute of less than 20 minutes.

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Some 70pc now have a quicker commute to work since relocating to the mid-west Photo: National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas

Caroline Kelleher, Director of Public Affairs at the Shannon Group said that moving from Dublin to Limerick gave her back her weekends.

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Caroline Kelleher

"Both my fiancé and I are originally from Kerry and were working in Dublin for eight years when we decided to leave Dublin to be closer to our families.

"However, it was difficult for us to both get jobs at the same time so, in January 2016, we took a career break and went travelling around South America for 10 months."

Caroline said that when she returned home, she and her fiancé were surprised at the quality of life in Limerick.

"The quality of life is so much better here; the commute to work is shorter, there’s less traffic, less congestion, less noise, and there are also great career opportunities.

"The move to Limerick has allowed us to have more time with our families and we are no longer spending all our weekends travelling to see people, which took up a lot of our time.

"Now I have more time to do my own thing. I have every Friday evening free, instead of spending the evening travelling down from Dublin and, on weekends, I can take my nephews, who live in Clare, to Bunratty Folk Park or we all go out to Lahinch."

Daniel Smith, Professional Services Manager at Action Point moved back to Limerick after spending time in Australia during the recession in Ireland.

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Daniel Smith

"My intention when I moved to Australia at the end of 2007 was to travel and keep my options open but the timing could not have been better, considering what happened to the Irish economy shortly afterwards. I was very conscious of what was happening at home and decided to settle in Perth.

"After getting married in 2012, my wife, who is from Leeds in the UK, and myself started to feel the draw home. We decided to move to Limerick, as I am from Clarina, just outside the city, to be close to family.

"We kept an eye on the economic situation in the Mid-West to see what opportunities were there and around 2014, we decided it was the right time to move — and found out my wife was pregnant when travelling home."

Daniel said that there is a huge change in job prospects in the mid-west since the recession.

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The Mid-West attracts highly-skilled professionals with 96PC holding a third-level qualification Photo: National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas

"It is now an employee’s market. If I was in Australia right now, the outlook for returning home would be completely different as there are far more opportunities — in both a large number of multinationals and small businesses who are flying the green flag — so it is a great time to move back.

"I haven’t regretted a minute since returning home; our experiences have all been positive. We spend a lot of time with family while enjoying a great lifestyle and a much slower pace of life."

Marie Aimee Giard, Team Leader at Uber in Co Limerick moved to Ireland from France and was surprised by the job opportunities in the mid-west.

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Marie Aimee Giard

"Moving to Ireland from France was an important decision for me professionally.

"After a varied career in France, I was keen to progress one of my main professional goals, which is to improve my English so I can work my way further up the career ladder. I am eager to learn every day, challenge myself and grow within a company so my move to Uber in Limerick in June 2016 was perfect for me."

Marie added that her work hours allow her to enjoy a good work-life balance.

"My work hours really suit a work-life balance and, combined with a good salary, allows me to do a lot of travelling. I’m really happy that I made the choice to move to Ireland and I enjoy my life in Limerick. Although it is not a huge city, it is dynamic and you can enjoy a really good quality of life, and a nice lifestyle.

"It’s a friendly and welcoming city; I can only recommend it."

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