Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021: Who are the judges?

Our panel of judges , chosen for their expertise, will scour Ireland for its hidden gems

The Irish Times is searching for the Best Place to Live in Ireland, and would like you to nominate your favourite. Click here to nominate the place you love to live and write a short "pitch".

When all the nominations are in, a panel of judges and researchers will scour Ireland for its hidden gems and known paradises. Judges have been chosen for their expertise in a variety of disciplines. The 2021 panel, chaired by Irish Times journalist Conor Goodman, is:

Simon Wall: Now Mayo county architect, he was a key person behind Westport's success in 2012.

Dr Illona Duffy: Based in Monaghan, she is a general practitioner and public health commentator.


Rosita Boland: An Irish Times journalist, she is also the author of A Secret Map of Ireland.

Zainab Boladale: Her job as presenter of RTÉ's Nationwide programme has taken her far and wide around Ireland.

Each place – it could be a town, village, city, suburb, island, or other distinct community – will be judged on criteria including: natural amenities; buildings; community initiatives and spirit; presence of clubs, societies and activities; good local services; diversity; a welcome for outsiders; transport links; employment opportunities; local economy; the price of property and housing supply; cost of living; digital links for distance working; safety and security . . . and the X factor.

Every stage of the contest – launch, reader nominations, process, longlist, shortlist and winner – will be documented in detail throughout the competition, in The Irish Times and on, so watch this space. The winner will be announced in September.

To nominate, click here.