A new competition to find the best place to live in Ireland has announced a long list of 25 villages, towns, cities and districts with the winner to be announced at the end of June.
The Irish Times newspaper is running the competition to find Ireland’s best location with the judging panel headed by the paper’s environment correspondent Frank McDonald.
The current list of 25 candidates will be narrowed down to category winners and an overall champion.
The long list includes five villages, 10 towns of varying sizes, four regional cities, one rural district and five suburbs or urban villages.
The paper has announced the contenders as follows:
The villages are: Ardara, Co Donegal; Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary; Eyeries, Co Cork; Fourmilehouse, Co Roscommon, and Portballintrae, Co Antrim.
The towns are: Skerries, Co Dublin; Clonakilty, Co Cork; Killarney, Co Kerry; Westport, Co Mayo; Greystones, Co Wicklow; Birr, Co Offaly; Carrick-on- Shannon, Co Leitrim; Abbeyleix, Co Laois, and Athlone, Co Westmeath and Sligo town.
There are five Dublin suburbs: Rathmines, the Glenbeigh Road area in Cabra, Clondalkin, Sandymount and Ranelagh. The four cities are: Cork, Derry, Galway and Waterford.
The Dingle peninsula also features on the list of the final 25.
For the Best Place To Live award, the Irish Times invited people to nominate the place they lived and explain its appeal.
The rules ensured all kinds of habitats were eligible: a town or city suburb, a village or remote rural spot, a tiny community halfway up a mountain, a street, a road or a housing estate.
The competition attracted 563 entries from the public, across 32 counties.
The judges are: Dr Maureen Gaffney, adjunct professor of psychology and society at University College Dublin; Paul Keogh, founding partner of Paul Keogh Architects and former president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; Gerard O’Neill, chairman of Amárach Research and a co-founder of Hireland.ie; Irish Times environment editor Frank McDonald and Irish Times journalist Edel Morgan.
A team of researchers will now visit all 25 nominated areas.
The paper says the winning place will receive a location-appropriate plaque or sign noting the accolade.
The winner also be profiled in the paper and will be the subject of a short film commissioned by The Irish Times.