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Life in Ireland

Ireland is a small country that has re-invented itself over the last forty years through the combined force of sheer determination and growing, vibrant ambition.

Ireland is a dynamic, lively, modern country with a young population and a successful, technologically orientated economy, but it also remains a country where music, conversation, culture, traditions, time to relax, listen and make friends are important. A country with cultured, cosmopolitan cities renowned for its beautiful, unspoiled countryside and scenery.

The population of Ireland is approximately 4.5 million which includes a sizeable multi-ethnic populace.

 

Living in Ireland

Housing

The Irish economy has slowed down after several years of massive growth meaning that house prices in 2011 have fallen by about 40% from their peak. The average price for a house in the Dublin is now €237,480 (2010) whilst the average price for a house outside of the capital is €174,570 (2010).

Prices of rental accommodation vary depending in what part of Ireland you wish to rent with Dublin being the most expensive place in Ireland to rent accommodation where a 2 Bedroom Apartment costs approximately 750 Euro per month.

Education

Education is compulsory for children in Ireland from the ages of 6 to 16 or until students have completed three years of second level education. The Irish education system is made up of primary, second, third-level and further education. State funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution.

Ireland has a long and noted tradition in education. As a result of a sustained investment in this area Ireland now has one of the highest educational participation rates in the world - 81% of Irish students complete second-level and approx 60% go on to higher education. Ireland is renowned for excellence in education from the traditional, cultural and literary learning to leading-edge, 21st science and technology.

Healthcare

Ireland's health system is run by regional health boards which are all centrally controlled by the Department of Health and Children. Free medical care is available for those on low incomes and hospital services are available for reasonable costs for those on higher incomes. Visits to a General Practitioner costs about €45.00.

Culture

Ireland is a country steeped in tradition and history with a unique and interesting culture which retains many features of its ancient Celtic origins while also reflecting the influence of other traditions and trends.

Irish People: Irish people have a great love of conversation and have a genuine interest in other people. The friendliness and hospitable nature for which Irish people are renowned makes Ireland a welcoming place.

Family Values: The extended family remains the basis of the social structure. Even when family members emigrate, they retain strong ties to their family and return for regular visits.

Irish Music: A particular feature of Ireland is the tradition of live music in every conceivable venue, from street busking to singing pubs where tradition music continues to flourish.

Language: Although we do have our own distinctive Celtic language and culture, English is the spoken language in Ireland today.

Geography

Location: Ireland is an island off western Europe in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. The Republic of Ireland (also called Ireland or Eire) occupies most of the island of Ireland; it is an independent country. The northern portion is Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom.

Climate: Ireland enjoys a temperate climate influenced by the relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream in whose path the island lies. During the winter months temperatures rarely drop below freezing and snow is uncommon. Summer temperatures generally range from 60ºF/15ºC to 70F/20ºC. Spring and autumn are generally 50ºF/10ºC. Winter is between 40ºF/5ºC and 46ºF/8ºC. Snow is rare, but showers can occur at any time of the year.

Working in Ireland

Work permits

Some changes were made to the rules regarding Work Permits in Ireland in early 2007. Any non EEA citizens coming to work in Ireland need a permit before starting a job here.

New Green Card permits have been introduced for all jobs with salaries over 60,000 Euro. Green cards are also available for certain job (including Engineering) categories paying over 30,000 Euro.

Either the employee or the employer can apply for a Work Permit.

Finance and Taxation

In Ireland the average earnings are still above the EU average and personal taxation levels are amongst the lowest in the OECD.

Social insurance: Your employer Intel will also deduct social insurance contributions (known in Ireland as "Pay-related social insurance" or PRSI) from your pay which will help you to qualify for contributory social welfare payments such as Jobseeker's Benefit, Illness Benefit and State Pension (Contributory). The amount of your contribution will depend on your category as an employee. For example, most non-public sector employees pay "Class A" contributions, the precise rate depending on your earnings. It is important to find out more about moving to Ireland and your social security entitlements and get a general overview of the social security system in Ireland.

PPS (Personal Public Service) Number: In order to work, you require a Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.). You can obtain a PPS No. (or ask for your old number, if any, to be traced) at your local social welfare office. If you are a foreign national, you will need your passport or your certificate of registration and supporting documentation such as household bills. (Formerly, the PPS No. was known as your RSI No.). Further information on how to obtain a PPS number is available from the Department of Social Protection.

Working conditions

Working conditions in Ireland are amongst the best in Europe and there are plenty of job vacancies in all sectors. Employment rates are still high and employers are often looking outside Ireland to fill some of their vacancies.

In the last decade there has being substantial changes to the Employment Laws in Ireland and acquainting yourself with these development will help you to increase your understand of your rights. You can contact the Citizen’s Information Centre for all queries relating to your rights.