Gorey Co Wexford is the town that’s the gateway to the sunny south east
An established market town with a strong community, lots of housing choice, excellent amenities and access to Wexford’s beaches make a move here an attractive prospect
Gorey is not just a commuter town; in recent years, there's been a serious investment made in the area, in order to attract those seeking a better work-life balance. Illustration: Aoife Dooley
On the northern edge of Co Wexford, 6km west of the holiday resort town of Courtown and 105km from Dublin, lies the market town of Gorey. While the town's origins can be traced all the way back to the 13th century, today, Gorey has become known as a retail hub of the sunny southeast.
There are an array of independent boutiques and coffee shops dotting its streets. With a population of just under 10,000, it's also become a popular commuter town for people working in Dublin.
“It's a really nice town, really bustling,” says Siobhan O'Rourke, a chef who moved back to Gorey in March of this year. “I left at 18, to go to Dublin for college, where I lived for 10 years,” she says. “I came back because of the pandemic, and because I'd had a baby. I was tired of paying Dublin rents.” Being closer to her family was an added bonus.
Why choose Gorey?
Gorey has it all, starting with easy and convenient access to Dublin. There's a bus service run by Wexford Bus and Bus Eireann; a train line from Gorey to Pearse St Station; and a straightforward driving route from Dublin to Gorey via the M11.
However, it is not just a commuter town; in recent years, there's been a serious investment made in the area, in order to attract those seeking a better work-life balance. One of the results has been Wexford Co Council's Hatch Lab, a dynamic technology business space offering hot desks and permanent office solutions along with enterprise supports to start-ups and other businesses, powered by Bank of Ireland.
It's also got all of the advantages you'd imagine finding in the sunny southeast – beautiful, sandy beaches; a host of sporting activities and clubs for children and adults and the community spirit of a country town. Plus, O'Rourke adds, “all the big supermarkets!” Gorey has a great selection: Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, SuperValu and several Centras.
“It's known for its boutiques,” says O'Rourke. “Place is one of my all-time favourite shops – it's beautiful, a really nice shop.”
How do I get here?
The most convenient route to Gorey from Dublin is by train, but the drive won't kill you, either; it'll take about an hour and 15 via the M11 to Dublin city centre according to Google Maps.
Kilkenny will take you an hour and 10 minutes, Wexford town is an hour-and-a-half drive, while Enniscorthy is a mere 41 minutes away. Even closer, Arklow in Co Wicklow is just a short 15-minute drive from Gorey.
Gorey lays claim to the largest school in Ireland, Gorey Community School, which, in 2018, had more than 1,500 students enrolled. There's also Creagh Secondary School, a co-ed multi-denominational school in the town.
As for primary schools, there are quite a few to choose from: St Joseph's Primary School, Bunscoil Loreto, Gaelscoil Moshíológ, Gorey Central School, Gorey Educate Together, Scoil Naomh Maodhog in Ferns and St Patrick's National School in nearby Craanford.
Where's good to live?
There are a host of developments to choose from – from the private gated Priory Court development and terraced townhouses in the centre of town itself on Pearse St – to established family homes in the Sean Doire estate, just a five-minute walk from Gorey's Main Street.
It's a really nice town, really bustling
There is an array of spacious family homes with three, four and five bedrooms for sale in Gorey and its immediate surrounds, offering plenty of choice for a growing family looking to make their family home somewhere with a little more space to knock around.
The yummy southeast
Before moving back to Gorey earlier this year, O'Rourke worked as a chef in a number of busy Dublin eateries. As such, she's a discerning connoisseur of baked goods, and says the town can rival any of the country's towns or cities for beautiful cafés and bakeries.
“There's The Hungry Bear café,” she begins. “They have incredible cinnamon buns. Then there's The Book Café & Bistro, which is a cafe-slash-bookshop, that's very cute. The Cosy Cottage cafe has lovely outdoor seating. Partridge's Bistro is also gorgeous – they do really nice cheesecake. The Cow House cafe, as well, used to only open in summer, but now it's open year-round. It's gorgeous.”
Things to do
For exercise fans there are a number of gyms including CrossFit Gorey. Movies@Gorey is a big draw for film fans. “And there are lots of big hotels, the Amber Springs, the Ashtown Hotel, and Marlfield House across from the cinema – you could go in there for tea and a scone,” says O’Rourke.
“There's a nice Saturday farmers’ market in the car park of the school,” she adds. “It's really nice.” O'Rourke confesses that, between a new baby and a pandemic, she hasn't been much for weekend activities. “The O2 nightclub would be where all the young ones go,” she laughs.
Making a move
Emma Gabbett is a mortgage specialist with Bank of Ireland, based in the Gorey/Bunclody area. She describes Gorey as an “ideal commuter town”, and mentions The Hatch Lab, the technology business space powered by Bank of Ireland, as evidence of Gorey's own growing business links. “Given the excellent transport links to Dublin, the housing market in Gorey has continued to thrive,” she says.
The lender is Bank of Ireland Mortgages. Lending criteria and terms and conditions apply. Over 18s only. Mortgage approval is subject to assessment of suitability and affordability. A typical mortgage to buy your home of €100,000 over 20 years with 240 monthly instalments costs €615.79 per month at 4.2% variable (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC) 4.3%). APRC includes €150 valuation fee and mortgage charge of €175 paid to the Property Registration Authority. The total amount you pay is €148,114.60. We require property and life insurance. You mortgage your home to secure the loan. Maximum loan is generally 3.5 times gross annual income and 80% of the property value (90% of the property value for first-time buyers). A 1% interest rate rise would increase monthly repayments by €54.02 per month. The cost of your monthly repayments may increase – if you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home.
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