Irish eyes are smiling at British expats

Published:  3 Aug at 6 PM
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Southern Ireland’s house prices, friendly locals and natural beauty make it a great choice for UK expats forced to leave European countries.

For Brit expats unwilling to wait and see as regards their post-Brexit right to remain and even more unwilling to darken England’s door again, the Republic of Ireland may well be the answer. One British couple who’d lived in France for 19 years decided to give Ireland a try, and haven’t regretted their decision for a minute.

Having at first decided to return to the UK, they discovered the attractively low house prices in Cork and risked an exploratory trip to the popular area of Cork. After seeing 15 homes over just three days, they decided to act on their instincts and settled on a house near the town of Skibbereen. Now settled in and loving every minute, they feel far more at home than they ever did during their time across the Channel in France. For them, Cork is simply marvellous, an opinion shared by a good number of other Brit expats in the region. Even although they’re now losing value on their British pensions due to Brexit, they consider it’s well worth it.

To their surprise, they found their Irish neighbours to be exceptionally friendly and helpful, and the fact that English is the official language is important to them as they missed the chance to have conversations with the French whilst they lived there. Neither are that good at languages, and it’s a relief they don’t have to try any more. Because they’d lived overseas for more than 15 years, they were disallowed from voting in the Brexit referendum, but would have voted to leave as they believe British people aren’t comfortable with Europe and being told what to do.

Along with the important upside of cheap homes, one downside is the appalling condition of the Irish roads. Potholes, it seems, aren’t confined to third-world countries. Another expats who’s happy with his decision notes the bohemian lifestyle and the artists and musicians who love living in Cork. According to a four-year expat resident, everyone knows everyone else’s business, and artisans are made very welcome in the community. Brits in the community love the countryside, plus the fact that Cork isn’t yet the commercialised hell that characterises most British towns and cities.
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