Last chance for your best place pitches
Seat of the county pitch, Aughrim needs no introduction to GAA followers. Sports as diverse as tae kwon do and angling are catered for, with dedicated clubs and venues. From the white-clad junior martial artists to their white-clad elders on the village bowling green, from the quiet haunts of the angling lakes to the throbbing excitement of a county final, there is sport and recreation for all.
Our angling lake lies at the heart of the village community park. Purpose-built for access, the National Angling Disabled Facility is well stocked with hard-fighting rainbow trout. The lake is part of a general community area, home to a bowling green, a village meeting place and community hall, a farmers’ market and an IT centre. Children and their parents can enjoy a safe play area in the park, stocked with playground equipment to tire out the most vigorous youngster.
Town planning is thoughtful and sustainable, encouraging growth of the village core while leaving us with uninterrupted views of the Wicklow hills. The development that has taken place in the boom years was completed to a high standard. The scope is sustainable: sufficient to support a sturdy retail sector, residents’ groups, and a vibrant school and sporting life.
We enjoy access to nearby woodland trails such as the Sean Lenihan Way and Ciaran Shannon Way, which both commemorate local people who devoted much time and energy to improving the quality of life in Aughrim and the surrounding town-lands. Our best-loved beauty spots narrowly avoided closure due to recent local government cuts: the battle was won this time, but the war is far from over.
The people of Aughrim have thrown themselves with vigour into town competitions such as Tidy Towns and Entente Florale, winning sheaves of awards including national Tidy Towns champion. The well-filled wall of fame in the community hall is a source of pride, but even more so is the sheen of loving care given to the village by many hands.
IT workers can avail of a high-quality broadband service to mix an unspoiled village lifestyle with an Internet-based global economy. The village is well linked to urban access, through routes such as the N11 and the Dart at Greystones, giving roughly an hour’s journey time to the capital. Judging by our many visitors – wedding parties, vintage rallies, walkers, anglers, cyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts – this ready access is very welcome to those travelling in the opposite direction.
Do you live in the best place in Ireland?
The Irish Times is on the hunt for Ireland’s nicest neck-of-the-woods, and invites you to nominate your favourite. It can be a town, suburb, village or remote spot – anywhere that, despite all the problems our little nation is going through, you feel supremely lucky to have landed in. The reason could be the neighbours, social life, scenery, the facilities or none or all of these.
The winning “place” will be announced in early summer. The Irish Times will mark the accolade with a plaque for the locality, publish a story on the winning place, and make a short film about it for irishtimes.com.
The best place will be chosen by a panel of five judges: Maureen Gaffney, adjunct professor of Psychology and Society in UCD; architect Paul Keogh; statistician Gerard O’Neill from Amárach Research; Irish Times Environment Editor Frank McDonald; and Irish Times journalist Edel Morgan.
We want you to tell us in no more than 500 words why you think your area is the best place to live in Ireland. Pitch, argue, convince and gush, and explain what gives your neighbourhood the X factor. There are also some questions about everything from the local schools to the quality of the environment. But don’t be put off if you live in an area that doesn’t fit all these criteria. Ultimately, the strength of your pitch will count. See irishtimes.com/bestplacefor details on how to submit