The Republic of Ireland is a short flight or ferry trip away, and yet offers a unique living environment and vast, rugged landscapes. The major cities in Ireland (Dublin, the capital, Cork and Galway to name a few) are far less built up than what we might see in the UK. Dublin itself is very picturesque, with the coast on one side, and the mountains of Wicklow on the other, and in the last 10 years or so, Ireland has become a hotspot for businesses looking to set up IT and service centres.
There is a strong culture for the arts and food in Ireland, with local suppliers often being favoured over the large supermarkets. Tesco has only recently opened stores in the last year for example. If you’re planning to relocate to Ireland, there are a few things that are useful to know.
Firstly, while Gaelic is still in use in Ireland, everyone speaks English. There are a few specialised radio and television channels that are exclusively Irish language only, but most of what is available in the UK on television can be found there also, so you don’t need to worry too much about culture shock. Generally, you will not be required to learn Irish, or have to speak it in day to day living or employment.
As Ireland is a member of the EU, you will be able to relocate there from the UK fairly simply, and will not need to apply for a visa. However, do note that if you plan on bringing a pet with you, your pet will need a valid EU pet passport. It’s a good idea to take your pet for a checkup with your vet before travelling.
There are two ways to travel to Ireland: By ferry or by plane. This is important to bear in mind when planning your relocation. It might be easier and cheaper, for example, to simply hire a container that can be shipped over while you take the car ferry. Removal companies will probably work out to be an expensive option in this case, but do check around, as there are a number that specialise in international moving. If taking your vehicle with you to Ireland, you will need to make sure you pay the vehicle registration tax, have insurance, and are paying motor tax. This is not very different from the UK, so should not cause any major problems.
There are some differences in the health service in Ireland that you might not be aware of when moving from the UK. There is no state funded health service, as everything is private. This means you will be required to have health insurance, although medical cards are available for people on low income or social security. Also, Ireland uses the Euro as its national currency, so make sure you are prepared for what the exchange rates are offering, and factor this into your moving budget so you aren’t caught short financially at the last minute.
You should also be aware that although, as an EU citizen moving from the UK, you are allowed to stay in Ireland for 3 months without any restrictions, you will be required to be economically active, or in education after this time, or be a member of the family of someone who is. You will also be eligible for any state benefits as an EU citizen, for up to 3 months.