Mayo

Whether you are a culture vulture or an adrenaline-fuelled adventure sports enthusiast, Mayo is a pretty special place to live and work and it’s a county that can cater to every interest.

 

23

Minutes is the average commute

157

Full-time weekly childcare fees

256k

Average house price

744

Average rent per month

Not a lot of people will know this, but Sligo isn’t the only county that can boast a link to the hit TV series ‘Normal People’: Castlebar in Mayo is the birthplace of the author Sally Rooney.

Mayo has a rich and wild tapestry: Achill Island is one of many locations in the county that offer a wide range of water activities, including surfing, diving, snorkelling and paddle boarding.

And all of these activities can be on your doorstep if you choose to live and work in a county that has much to offer by way of exciting opportunities with clear possibilities of career progression.

Even if you prefer a gentler way of life, Mayo can cater to you. Its rugged landscape and scenic beauty are easily accessible for walkers and cyclists. Mayo is host to some of the leading international companies operating in the pharmaceutical, medtech, software and business services sectors, and the county lends itself to combining a rewarding career with a rich quality of life.

That quality of life is made all the richer by the fact that Mayo residents enjoy an average commute to work of only 23 minutes, while spending considerably less on childcare and housing than their counterparts in the east of the country. Those factors add up to a compelling opportunity to really enjoy life, whether that be by enjoying great food and music in pubs and restaurants or taking a trip to the ancient past by visiting the Céide Fields neolithic site.

An ideal place to rear a family, Mayo also offers good primary and secondary schools and access to third-level within the county or in neighbouring Galway or Sligo. It also has the benefit for both work and holidays of access to international travel from Ireland West Airport in Knock. Indeed, the easy experience of flying from Ireland West will make you disinclined to travel from larger airports in the future. Mayo is also well served by rail and road.

So, let’s take a look at the key Mayo stats:

In common with some of its neighbours in the West, Mayo has been highly successful in attracting foreign direct investment in recent years making it a county that can offer high-value jobs in an ideal location. Castlebar, Ballina and Mayo are the main employment hubs and a suite of international companies operating in the pharmaceutical, medtech and software sectors, to name but a few, are always on the look out for talented people looking to develop their careers. Allergan, Baxter, Hollister, Meissner and Lionbridge are just some of the major companies with operations in Mayo.

Housing

Getting a foot on the property ladder is significantly easier in Mayo than it is in many Irish counties. Buying a house in Mayo comes in more than €100,000 cheaper than the average Irish house price. The national average house price was €256,338 while the Mayo average was €153,934 when the latest Daft Property Report for Q1,2020, was published. This makes it possible for people with relatively modest incomes to own their own home, and renting is also an affordable option – rent in Mayo averages out at €744 per month compared with €1,402 nationally, according to Daft’s Q4 2019 rental report.

Childcare

As every parent in Ireland knows to their cost, childcare bills can seriously limit your disposable income. Mayo, however, is one of the cheaper counties when it comes to paying to have your children looked after. Data collected by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs in November 2019 shows that the average weekly full-time childcare fee in Mayo is €157.48, representing a considerable saving on the €246.03 forked out by parents in Dublin Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown.

Clare Island, Beach
Clare Island, Beach

Going Out

Mayo can square up to any county in Ireland when it comes to offering opportunities for adventure sports or beautiful scenic walks or cycles. It can also offer fine food, music and dance in a wide range of towns and villages, but there is no doubt that Westport and Achill Island are the jewels in the county’s crown. As well as being a popular holiday and short-break destination, Westport was voted the best place to live in Ireland by readers of The Irish Times in 2012. A highlight of any evening in the town is a visit to Matt Molloy’s pub for a pint and music. But don’t limit yourself, it is one of many great pubs and eateries in Westport.

Westport Town Clock
Westport Town Clock

Commuting times

Those who relocate to Mayo from the east of the country will appreciate the benefit of reduced commuting time. Census figures released in 2017, show that commuters in Mayo spend only 23.3 minutes getting to work, more than 10 minutes less per journey than commuters in Wicklow or Meath. With its beautiful, unspoilt beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way, Mayo offers exceptional opportunities for quality of life. People can choose to live close to the ocean while still enjoying a short commute or they can opt to make their home in or near one of the county’s many charming villages or towns.

Education

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) offers courses in Business, Engineering, Heritage, Outdoor Education, Nursing, Health Sciences and Social Care or Technology in Castlebar with other courses available in campuses in Galway. In addition, students from Mayo are not far away from Institute of Technology Sligo or National University of Ireland Galway. Along with IT Sligo and IT Letterkenny, GMIT is in the process of a joint bid to become a Technological University. Mayo also has a wide range of primary and secondary schools.