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That pot candy show with the Jaguar Espace, beautiful by design and dynamic to drive delivering performance that is unmistakably Jaguar. This is news talk. Now, because of covid-19, many people have moved out of Dublin and back to rural Ireland, but how many of these people will return to city living? Our reporter Barry Barry White joins us now. Barry, good morning. Hi, Parker. Morning.


Could the pandemic actually be an opportunity to reimagine rural Ireland?


I think it could be part, yeah, especially if the right infrastructure is put in place in rural and regional areas. Personally, I know many people who have left Dublin back in March or April who've moved back to Donegal or Monohan or Galway or Kildare or wherever they're from. And their main reason for doing this was because there were going to be working from home long term. And if you can work from home, then there isn't really much point paying seven, eight hundred euros a month to rent a room in Dublin where you're either two or three housemates might also be working from home when you can either move back in with your parents or rent something more spacious and nicer in a different area of the country for so much cheaper.


And as I say personally, I know a lot of people who have done that, and I think a lot of people who have moved back to rural Ireland are now reevaluating their lives and are realizing that they may not have a better quality of life outside Dublin.


And these people I met in Connemara part told me they probably will not return to city living, but we were living in Dublin for Tardio 30 odd years with a place down in Connemara during the 2000s, the summer house, and we decided to take a look at our lives and are getting close to the sort of 60 mark. And they are kids were moving on a bit and we decided to move down to Connemara. How does the lifestyle compare, you know, the kind of rural lifestyle to the steady living lifestyle?


Erm, you know, Clifton's a beautiful town. It's it has everything going for it. Restaurants, bars, hotels, you know, facilities, beaches. And we were very accustomed to that because of our summer experience down here. So moving to Clifton and moving to Connemara wasn't such as a leap of what are we getting into, more so of we love it down there and let's make it make our lives permanent down there. There there's a there's a reality after dining, I think, on a lot of people, including business people, that, you know, you can run a business out of Connemara, you can run a business out of rural Ireland effectively and efficiently.


I mean, we've got, you know, fibre optic and, you know, both with two small businesses down here, Connemara carpets and 12 inch coffee. And we've got fibre optic broadband available in both places. We've got fibre optic in our house. So the challenges of years ago of running a business or even living in a rural environment are, you know, they're changed significantly. And it's just very, very nice to be living in an environment that's not as forensic as as as frenetic as Dublin.


You lived in Dublin for 30 plus years. Would you ever move back there? Not in your life. Just it's just not in your life. We love it down here. I mean, I went to dive into Dublin twice since March, since covid started. We had to go off on a couple of personal things. And we just simply have no appetite to go back to Dublin.


So, yeah, I was I've been based in Dublin, I suppose, for the last ten years. And once lockdown was announced, I was at the time living in an apartment in Camden Street. So right in the centre of town. And I had a flatmate who was also working from home. So it wasn't ideal. And, you know, at the first opportunity, I'd come down west to my family home back and let them. How has life in Cannavaro compared to life in Dublin?


Well, I mean, combined with all the restrictions and everything, life is an awful lot slower, obviously, but I dare say more active. You know, we had a few weeks of great weather, so like to the beach every day, a bit of sea swimming, getting the dryer for Christmas, all of that. So it's it's a slower pace of life. But, you know, there's lots happening. There's lots of things to do, lots of walks and all of that.


So I've been more active in that respect, although in terms of social life and meeting people, it's been a lot slower. Do you think a lot of people will reevaluate kind of their lives?


No, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I mean, I have to say for myself personally, Connemara was never on the cards. It kind of is. It's back on the cards and I on as an option to live here.


And interest in rural properties appear to have skyrocketed during the pandemic.


Yeah, well, firstly, outside of Dublin, the focus is moving further away from the traditional commuter belt counties of Wicklow and Kildare. There has been a 200 percent rise in searches for houses and Cordillo, for example, mainly Dharahara and Dundalk, with similar increases for Contis, WACs Road West and Kokanee. What interests and properties and places like West Cork and Kerry have gone through the roof? According to one auctioneer I spoke to, one another auctioneer in Donegal told me there's been a huge increase in demand there as well and in the West.


Online viewings of properties in County Galway have more than doubled, while Conti's male, predominantly Westport's and Sligo are recording one hundred and sixty percent increases. And Chinita Sullivan from Matt O'Sullivan Auctioneers in Connemara says they've also seen a huge increase in people interested interested in buying in the West.


We had a very good summer, very busy summer. We we found it in cases, some places, some houses were getting 10 and 15 percent over the asking price. We were having bidding wars. People who were viewing were very decisive and they saw property to make an offer they do a deal with. In the past, I suppose people would sit on for a couple of weeks, perhaps before they made their offer, but they did. But now they really they know what they want to perhaps do a lot.


And they they had great time to think about, you know, their life and their house is right or a castle or a jail to them. And people have been making, yeah, I think, to making good decisions to come and move here and come to the West. And do you think that because some people have that option to work from home, there are people who were maybe based in Dublin here are looking at places like the West Nile.


Yes, certainly. Certainly no number of people who've, you know, during the first lockdown's those who had homes here that came here during the lockdown and worked quite successfully here and that's gathered momentum or friends of theirs or lot of people are from the area I've moved, have moved home and are working and working and very happily working here, which probably I would like to say I think a better quality of living in terms of life is cheaper here or are going to probably are probably cheaper.


Certainly rent is cheaper. Property prices, I would say, are cheaper still than than 10 Dublin. And what we have on our doorstep in terms of amenities which beaches and the Greenways and Kent council are currently developing, we have we have so much to to be grateful for. We've so much space here.


The people who have moved out of Dublin during Corvus, they may have to move back at some point. But do you think if they had the option to stay in the west of Ireland or stay in a rural area where they can work from home? They will.


Yeah, I think they will. I think they will. I the people I know who are here and have a very happy here to feel very safe, very secure. It may be some I have to go back and they I have to go back for weekly or once a week. Meetings are over once a month every now and again, perhaps to my say, somewhat short term in Dublin.


But what I can gather from people that are here to stay, so many people are looking to stay in rural Ireland and to move, I suppose, for a better quality of life. But what about the jobs that are already in rural Ireland? I'm thinking of tourism and hospitality, and they've had a rough time this year. And I reckon people in those sectors could not be as confident about the future as some of the people we've heard so far.


Yeah, there's probably some people listening to this report on news talk right now, and they're thinking I'm in a rural area and I know of restaurants, pubs and hotels that are going to close for goods. And there's no doubt that covid-19 has hit tourism and hospitality all over Ireland and it's hit it hard. At the Restaurant Association of Ireland estimates that dozens of restaurants could close because of the pandemic with the Irish hotels. Federations say many hotels, especially in rural Ireland, could lose for goods.


What the Vintners Federation of Ireland has said, the coronavirus could be the final nail in the coffin for many rural rural pubs. But the owner of the Abbey Hotel in Clifton, Brian Hughes, is staying positive. And he says hospitality businesses now have to try and attract people going on staycation for the foreseeable future. And he says hospitality is going nowhere as far as he's concerned.


It's not all doom and gloom. Certainly myself, my brother, I have learned so much about our our own business sense covid on since locked down. And because you begin to look at things you never had time to look at before, number one. Number two, we've had the opportunity to welcome Irish people into our hotel that have never seen our experienced Clifton and Connemara. So it's given us the opportunity to expose our product to a whole new market. And it's made us more efficient and it's made us more aware of how to be in a position to think differently about our business and to find new ways of doing the same thing in a more better and more efficient way.


Ireland relies on tourism a lot, but do you think hopefully there's an end in sight now with the pandemic? What do you think it's going to be different? Do you think it's going to be more aimed at, like you say, those Irish people on vacations instead of your Americans and maybe your Brits? Yeah, it's forever changing.


Like last year we had a massive dependency culture on overseas American business. And then this year it's the reverse of a dependency culture in the home market business. I think after this, I in the sense that we find the balance between good overseas balance and a good Irish balance and a good mix, the two can hospitality survive? Hospitality is a necessary product for people's sanity, and people always need to go away. Escape. And for their own had a certain mindset to be, you know, mental health is just as important as physical health and people need to get away and have a good and positive experience and and get away from their daily routines and their dull and boring lives at home.


Speak for yourself anyway, Barry, do you think this could force the government's hand in trying to create more jobs in regional and rural areas, do you think?


Well, the government say they're planning to roll out remote working hubs in regional rural towns. And they say the covid-19 over the last seven months has showed the significant opportunity that's there to develop remote working facilities that will allow people to work in their home area and provide rural towns with increased trees. The pandemic may have forced the government's hand here. And Minister for Rural and Community Development, how they're Humphris told me that she thinks the pandemic could actually be a huge opportunity for rural Ireland.


I don't see any reason why you can't do the same work in Bolivia as you can do in Barnes Bridge. And it's about getting the right connectivity and it's about having the right environment where you can work locally. What can your community have a better quality of life, help the environment because you're reducing commutes and nobody wants to have to sit for hours in in a in traffic queues when you can be at home with your family, as the government has been forced here by the pandemic, because some people would say, you know, this should have been done years ago.


No, I think the pandemic has presented us with a new reality. Colvert has forced this and it has now become a reality and it's working very well. And I think there are huge opportunities, particularly for rural Ireland. I'm from Ireland myself. I know the opportunities there are. And I know for some obviously in the in the hospitality sector, it has been an exceedingly difficult year. But I think that we should be very hopeful because I would like to see coworking spaces in the center of times and there's nothing that would revitalise the center of town better than when you bring people in.


It means that the cafes are busy. It means the local shops have customers that have fought for. So it's about, you know, strengthening the center of our times and facilitating a new way of working.


Do you foresee a lot of people returning to Dublin wants to pandemic's over, or do you actually think they will stay in the rural and regional areas?


There are no well, I'm talking to a lot of young people who have actually chosen now to to move home permanently. They have discovered that they can work and continue to to work from home. It works well. And I'd like to encourage them to do that. We all know there's been huge pressure on our cities prior to covid and we all heard about the shortage of housing and the pressure on our transport system. And this is a way in which we can solve those problems.


And that's Minister Heather Humphreys in that report from Barry White.