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My Migration to the South East


As someone who had studied and worked in Dublin for 15 years, I was apprehensive about moving outside of Dublin in 2007, especially at a time when Ireland was about to be hit by a severe recession. Like many people, though, I was not in a position to obtain a house in an area where I wanted to live, and I didn’t want to work to merely repay a mortgage – I wanted a work-life balance. So I moved to the South East – Kilkenny, to be precise.

So, where is the South East?

The South East Region of Ireland refers to the counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. The region is well-connected by an extensive motorway that allows travel to Dublin in 1.5 to 2 hours, and to Cork in 1 to 2.5 hours.

The benefits of moving to the South East

The initial benefits were to my quality of life! My commute is now 20 minutes, not an hour like when I had to get across the city of Dublin. Back then, sometimes it was quicker to walk!

I had more disposable income in Kilkenny even though my salary had decreased! I now had time to shop more efficiently and cost-effectively. There is a different working culture here; people work hard within the normal working hours, but additional hours are more of an exception or personal choice than a requirement, as family life is equally important.

My mortgage was the same as I was paying for a one-bedroom apartment in Dublin, but in Kilkenny, I was living in a 4-bedroom house with a garden for my rescue dog! (which I had always hoped to have!)

So, since my move back in 2007 has much happened within the working environment of the South East? A South East Relocation Survey, carried out earlier this year found that:

  • Over three quarters of professionals who relocated have more disposable income.
  • 95% of respondents say their work/life balance has improved since moving to the South East.
  • 64% commute to work in less than 20 minutes
  • 75% find rental prices more reasonable.
  • The survey also found that highly-skilled professionals from all over the world are moving to the South East for a better work/life balance, career opportunities, shorter commutes to work, lower living costs and more disposable income.

However, what has also changed in the past 11 years is that employers have realised the cost of Dublin city centre offices and as a result have relocated outside of Dublin. Potential new start-up companies, especially within the service industry, are in a better position to grow if they can maintain reasonable rents and have access to a young and flexible highly-skilled talent pool.

Apart from being known as a cosmopolitan city with a rich medieval heritage,

Kilkenny is a gateway to other cities such as Waterford, Cork and Limerick – thanks to quality infrastructure via road and rail. Significant investments within Kilkenny such as the Abbey Quarter and Smithwick’s Brewery site are creating ideal opportunities for relocators, while Waterford has seen an investment of nearly €300 million coming from Saudi Arabia for development of the city.

In summary, think long and hard about the opportunities available within the South East region. Why not visit and experience the day-to-day atmosphere of the cities and towns?

If you have any queries in relation to career opportunities, feel free to pop in to Optimize Recruitment right in the centre of the city (10 Ormonde Street, 1st Floor, Kilkenny City) and we’ll provide a personalised insight into the many opportunities within the South East Region.

Tel: 056 7786631


Mary Young

Financial Controller

Optimize Recruitment