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Irish Times Abroad newsletter: Everything you need to know about living in London

Is it easier and cheaper to find a place to live in cities around the world than it is in Ireland? We’d like to hear your experience

The Irish Times Abroad newsletter is back with an update on our main stories in the last few months.

At the end of last year, we ran a series of articles on Irish people living in London, examining why so many people cross the Irish Sea to live there, where they settle, how they find the adjustment, tips for others thinking about doing the same, and what, if anything, would tempt them home again.

Jennifer O’Connell spoke to some new arrivals in the UK, where the Irish now have “the oldest average age of any ethnic or immigrant community in Britain”. Áine Ryan spoke to some of the older people who have made the move back home after years in England. Charity Safe Home Ireland has helped 2,237 Irish emigrants to return, but the housing crisis is making the task increasingly difficult, she writes.

Artists including Orla Gartland and Ailbhe Reddy spoke to Tony Clayton-Lea about the opportunities and challenges facing them in the British capital. Fontaines DC drummer Tom Coll said: “Artistically, I think it’s a truly interesting place to be a musician, and while I don’t want in any way to diminish how amazing and important the Dublin music scene is, I think it just boils down to the size and scope of the city more than anything else.”


Columnist Finn McRedmond writes that London does not feel like a city in decline and still offers a draw for young people. “Brexit may reduce the number of Irish people who move here in the short term but it does not seem likely to reverse the long-held trend.”

Shane Hickey wrote a guide for people moving to London, outlining what to expect and the practical steps you need to take such as getting a National Insurance number to finding a place to live and work.

Ronan McGreevy picks some of his favourite Irish monuments and locations around the city that’d be worth a visit. You can read the full Irish in London series here.

Elsewhere, Shane Farrell spoke to people who feel they have been forced out of Ireland by ‘bonkers’ rents and the rising cost of living. A recent survey suggested two-thirds of Irish 18- to 24-year-olds and more than one-third of 25- to 34-year-olds are mulling a move overseas, with one of the main reasons being the cost of housing in Ireland. In response, Leo Varadkar has said the “grass can look greener” but in reality young Irish people will encounter the same housing problems in other parts of the world.

The Irish Times is looking to hear from Irish people living abroad on the issue of housing elsewhere. Did Varadkar have a point? Are escalating rents and unaffordable homes a feature of where you live? Is it cheaper to live in other countries than in Ireland? Have housing costs in your area made you reconsider living abroad? Or is the situation where you are still far more appealing than at home? Please share your views with us at and a selection could be published or a reporter might be in touch to discuss them further.

You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora that you might have missed over the past few months on

If you would like to contribute by writing your own story, you can contact

To receive this digest to your inbox each month, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thanks for reading.