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Thinking of relocating to Ireland?
Relocating to a new city or country can be a big step especially when you have a new job to face as well. You can only really get a good feel for a country when you have been there, but please keep reading our guide on Ireland to give you an overview of this country and what it has to offer, from the essentials to the desirables...
Ireland is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. To the east of Ireland, separated by the Irish Sea, is the island of Great Britain. Politically, the state Ireland covers five-sixths of the island, with Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, covering the remainder in the north-east.
Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging 6% in 1995-2007. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services. Although the exports sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, remains a key component of Ireland's economy, construction has most recently fuelled economic growth along with strong consumer spending and business investment.
Property is mostly freehold with some leasehold for apartments. A deposit, usually 10%, is paid to the vendor's solicitor at the time of exchanging contracts which binds you to completing the purchase. The fees for buying a property in Ireland will normally total between 6-10% of the buying price. New properties will also incur VAT. Stamp duty is charged for buyers who have bought before or buy a previously owned property.
There are three distinct levels of education in the Republic of Ireland: primary, secondary and higher education. In recent years further education has grown immensely. Growth in the economy since the 1960s has driven much of the change in the education system. Education in Ireland is free at all levels, including university.
Irish, or Gaelic, is the official first language of Ireland, yet it is not widely spoken on a daily basis, even though much of the population can speak it.
Ireland's second official language is English, which is spoken by almost everyone and in most situations you will not need to know any Gaelic.
The Euro (currency sign: € currency code: EUR) is the official currency of fifteen member states of the European Union (EU). The states, known collectively as the Eurozone and also of eleven further states with formal agreements.
The exchange rate to the British Pound Sterling is around €1.20 to £1.00 as of December 2008. Due to the fluctuations of world currencies, this should be used solely as reference and currency conversion rates should be checked with a currency exchange provider or your bank.
The best means of travel is by car but public transport in the form or air, bus and rail is available.
Ireland has a temperate climate and is cold and damp much of the year. Summer (May to September) is the warmest and driest season. Winter is characterised by short, wet, foggy days and long nights, but the temperature rarely gets below freezing due to the tempering Gulf Stream winds that buffet the west coast of Ireland.
Citizens of full European (EEA) Member Countries are able to live and work in Ireland without a visa or work permit. Citizens Of New EU Member countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) are welcome to live and work in Ireland on the same basis as nationals of existing EU States. If you are from a country that is not a member of the European Union you must obtain a work visa or permit to work in The Republic of Ireland. Nationals of certain countries can visit Ireland for up to three months without a visa but will need to be granted a work permit to take up employment.
- According to the most recent census, there are now more Polish people in Ireland than there are native speakers of the original language of the isle, Gaelic.
- The famous Guinness Brewery at St.James' Gate, Dublin has a 9,000 year lease.
- Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland. She was followed by Mary McAleese. This is the only instance in world history where one female President was replaced by another.