Many people harbour dreams of moving out west. There is something idyllic about life in the west of Ireland which has been particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ability to work remotely.

Picture this: a small plot, no more traffic jams on your commute and the quiet of rural roads and seascapes at every turn. We know it’s not always like this, but if this is the slice of a particular pie that you fancy, then is serving it up. is a website set up by the Western Development Commission (WDC) to highlight jobs in the western counties; from Kerry along the Atlantic coast up to Donegal.

It is also being used as a tool to gather data to improve amenities in the west and grow the community and economy by encouraging businesses to invest in the west.

Burren cattle drive in Co Clare. \ David Ruffles

The WDC is a State agency and has been in existence for around 20 years. It broadly works across three areas: raising the profile of the region, telling people about the benefits (via and building a region of innovation.

There are digital remote working hubs dotted all along the west of Ireland; bringing more opportunities to those who would like to work remotely or bring a digital company closer to the Atlantic.

“These remote working spaces that are on everybody’s doorsteps address issues – like social isolation – for those working remotely. And also, for those that have broadband issues, [these hubs are] an interim solution,” says WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin.

“In the longer term, our work revolves around managing the WDC Investment Fund. We have an investment fund with a portfolio value of €75m, which invests in companies to scale and also lends to community groups.”

What to consider

When it comes to people deciding to move to the west for work, Tomás says it usually involves two key questions by the person considering their options – they wonder what will happen when they want to move job or build their career, and they also wonder if their spouse or partner will be able to get a job when they move.

The Skelligs in the distance on the Iveragh Peninsula, Co Kerry. \ Valerie O’Sullivan

“What Westernjobs sets out to do, and why we see Westernjobs is unique, is it allows you to signal your intent to move west,” he says.

Finding matches

Aside from a job search portal, participants sign up and express interest in moving anywhere from Donegal to Kerry when the right job comes along and that data is then used to compile reports in such circumstances as companies looking to move and invest in the region, they can take comfort in the knowledge that skilled workers will move to the region when the right jobs come along.

“This is where the platform helps them – because we can say 100 software engineers have identified indicators of willingness to move if the right job is there,” he says.

These facts and figures help to support IDA (Industrial Development Agency) Ireland on its quest to attract more foreign direct investment into the western counties.

Barry Clifford farming in Castlecove, Co Kerry. \ Valerie O’Sullivan

As well as browsing the website for the latest job postings, a profile is set up where users can give some details about what area they would like to work in, skills they have and salary expectations. These details will then match the user with any new jobs appearing on the site and they will receive email alerts when something suitable comes up.

“The second and third pages [of the profile] are just important for us in terms of identifying what drives people to move,” says Tomás. “It asks things like, ‘What’s most important to you?’ Is it access to be near to a hospital? Is it being near to an airport? Is it being able to get a bus to and from work?

“And similarly, in terms of amenities, do you want to be by the sea, or do you want to have sports amenities?” does not share individuals’ personal information, but it builds up that body of information which is useful for local authorities and to drive policy.

Not only can you get job information on the website but there is also lots of useful links to guides, on the WDC website, to living in the west, broken down county by county with many interesting facts and figures that will no doubt pique your interest.

Some facts to get you started:

  • Average cost of renting in the west – €757/month. By comparison, this would be similar to rent paid for a room-only in Dublin and surrounding counties.
  • Pupil to teacher ratio in primary school – 17:1.
  • Average weekly childcare – €148.
  • For those looking to get on the property ladder – the average house price in Leitrim is €125,000.
  • Check out for more information, there might be a ‘new year, new job’, in the cards.

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