Cost of Returning to Ireland


As hundreds of boom time kids are returning to Ireland after the past 10 years in sunnier climates we must ask what is the cost of living in Ireland. Basic needs such as housing, medical, food and educational costs along with transport are the top considerations of returnees. Below is a summative guide to making the move.

Rent and Housing

Rent costs vary greatly depending on location. Rents have reached an all-time peak at over 16% higher than boom time rates as reported by the ESRI

Rent fluctuates greatly from county to county. noted that €1,198 was the Nationwide average in the Q3 2017. The lowest rents are found in Donegal at €637 on average for a 4 bed house. While the most expensive are is Dublin 4 at a staggering €2,554 average for a 4 bed house.

Apart from rent, house prices have rose dramatically in the last 12 months with a nationwide average of 10% rise on 2016 figures. County by county varies again with Donegal being the only county to have a reported decrease in house prices by 1.6% with an average of €137,424 and the greatest increase was found in Dublin City Centre with an increase of 20.8% to an average of €315,834. The average homebuyer is reported to have an income of €77,000 and has €52,800 saved as a deposit. Mortgages are capped at 3.5 times the income of the average applicant.

With property in high demand and costly in Dublin, returnees may prefer to pursue job opportunities and/or housing outside of the capital.


Apart from housing many other aspects of daily life should be considered such as Medical costs, Educational Costs, Food and Childcare. Free GP care for under 6 years of age may save parents a considerable amount in the short term however pharmaceutical costs are considered quite high compared to Europe. Reference pricing list is available for Generic pharmaceutical brands from This offers a guide for both oral and tablet forms of generic medicines such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antacids.

Education and Childcare

Free Childcare places and subsidised afterschool clubs may offer a certain amount of relief for those who are considering a move home, however the cost of childcare has rose dramatically over the last 10 years. Full time childcare in Dublin Fingal has a weekly average cost of just under €300 while Monaghan was reported at €142 per week.

Free Education in Ireland comes with a number of hidden costs such as school books, uniforms, lunches, transport, school excursions and extra-curricular activities that must be considered. The average bill per child returning to school in September was reported by the Irish Independent at €766 per child at primary school level and €1629 per child at secondary school level as reported by Zurich Cost of Education Survey 2017. Extra-curricular activities along with grinds and school trips account for a larger proportion of funds and vary greatly depending on the school and region.


Generic salary guides are often provided within national newspapers however you will gain greater insights by discussing this with a Recruitment Consultant who can give you specific details on a sector and region and what employers are offering. I would advise getting in touch with a recruiter that serves your employment sector. Miriam O’Hara is our Construction Specialist and we have a team of other specialist recruiters serving; Commercial, IT, Medical, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Pharma we have the consultants to help you make the move. Feel free to contact them here

Interviews and Job Offers

Many Irish employers within the construction industry prefer a face to face interview. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to attend an interview in person. If it is something you are seriously considering be prepared to make a trip. Some will have telephone calls or skype calls for the first screening then following on from that a face to face interview.

Job offers rarely are made to applicants within the construction industry without a face to face meeting. Other sectors may vary depending on the company.

If you receive a job offer be sure to ask exactly what the offer entails. If you are relocating after a considerable period of time abroad car insurance can prove as a very costly expense. If a vehicle is provided it will make your transition considerably smoother.

The typical notice period in Ireland is 1 month as standard and most employers plan for someone to start with 1 months’ notice. If you are applying for roles 6 months in advance take note that your CV might get forgotten about, hence a relationship with a Recruitment Consultant is critical as they can represent you to employers at the right time.

Useful Resources

It is wise to keep an ear on the ground prior to one’s return to safeguard your chances of securing a job. Being up to date on the market in an interview can make all the difference to future employers. In the case of the construction industry for example, knowing who wins projects can help to predict where possible job creation will be made.

If you’d like to undertake further research on essential information such as rent averages, job vacancies, market increases, news in relation to upcoming projects, job losses or creation etc, below are some suggested website and tools.

Jobs and employment tips:

Property and Rent:

Economic Insights and Research:

Cost of Living Comparison tool:

If you are seriously considering making the move home feel free to contact any of our recruiters through


  • Richard  Avatar


    Hi Miriam O'Hara

    I was wanting to find out a few things. I gather its faster to apply for an Irish passport in Ireland as I can obtain one because of my grandfather. I also no it can take a long time. So I gather I need a job offer before applying for a work visa. Please tell me you can assist me.

    I am prepared to pay for flight and working visa.

    You have a record of my CV on your system

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Kind regards

  • Aly Reda Aly  Avatar

    Aly Reda Aly

    I am writing this comment to ask about a good opportunity to move to Ireland for work as Lab chemist positions because I believe in my qualifications and skills.
    Are there any chances for me?

    • B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) in Chemistry (very good with honor degree) 81.5%
    • M.Sc. in Materials Science 3.125
    • Article publication in Ceramics International journal (Elsevier ) in England
    • IELTS academic: 5.5
    • Academic Participation in the 17th The Arab International Conference on Material Science
    • Lab-chemist and deputy technical Manager in the ministry of health - Central Laboratories Alexandria for 7 years, and now I am Senior Lab Chemist, Chemistry department at AUC American University

    please don't hesitate to contact me , if you need any information.

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