The Best Place to Live in Ireland: How Westport won

The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland competition began in late March

The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland competition began in late March. Westport was announced as the winner last Monday.

For the competition The Irish Times invited people to nominate the place they lived as the Best Place to Live in Ireland and to write a short pitch, explaining its appeal. All kinds of habitats were eligible: a town or city suburb, a village or remote rural spot, a tiny community halfway up a mountain, a street, a road or a housing estate. From early April until late May the competition attracted 563 entries from all 32 counties.

The judges were Dr Maureen Gaffney, adjunct professor of psychology and society at University College Dublin; Paul Keogh, founding partner of Paul Keogh Architects and former president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; Gerard O'Neill, chairman of Amárach Research and a founder of; Irish Times Environment Editor Frank McDonald and Irish Times journalist Edel Morgan.

With Westport on the final shortlist were Ardara, Co Donegal; Killarney, Co Kerry; Cork city; and Rathmines in Dublin. You can see Irish Times videos of Westport and the other four finalists on You can read all 563 entries and learn more about the competition at


The Irish Times is discussing with the people of Westport how best to mark the accolade in the town. An official celebration of the win will take place later in the summer.

Conor Goodman