‘'It’s a different pace’ – Castlebar crowned best town for work-life balance

It performed well in areas such as crime, housing affordability and greenspaces.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

12.24 31 Jan 2024

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‘'It’s a different pace’ – Cas...

‘'It’s a different pace’ – Castlebar crowned best town for work-life balance

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

12.24 31 Jan 2024

Share this article

Castlebar has been crowned the best place to live and work in Ireland, according to a new index.

It was assigned the top spot by for its affordable housing, low crime rate and availability of leisure facilities.

The Work-Life Balance Index also takes things like broadband connectivity, green spaces, transport options and access to medical care into account.


Rounding off the top five places to live and work in Ireland were Ballina, Longford, Wexford and Arklow.

On The Pat Kenny Show today, Senator Lisa Chambers, said she was not surprised to see her home town of Castlebar topping the list.

“It’s a different pace of life,” she said.

“You would be hard-pressed to find anything that isn’t in Castlebar – it’s all there.

“Access to primary school is a big issue in places like Dublin and Galway but in Mayo, it wouldn’t even cross your mind you might not get a place in the school you want to go to.”

House prices

Senator Chambers noted that the average house price is €223,919 in Mayo.

“That’s the average house price so you would get a three-bed semi-detached in the town for less than €200,000,” she said.

“Even though house prices have increased a lot in the last few years, it’s still very affordable in comparison to places like Dublin, Cork or Galway.

“We often hear how difficult it can be to buy a house in cities.”

Castlebar ranked as best place for work-life balance in Ireland Ballina (pictured) ras ranked the second-best place for work-life balance in Ireland. Image: Michael Walsh / Alamy Stock Photo

TV personality and hotelier Noel Cunningham, who is living in Donegal, said community is what makes country living so enjoyable.

“By community I mean having that wonderful support from family and friends that is generational,” he said.

“There is a wonderful network that makes you feel at all times accepted - you feel part of it - and it’s just sometimes hard to describe.

“The birds are singing, there’s wide open spaces, young children are darting off into nooks and crannies, finding mystery and excitement – all of that helps.”


Mr Cunningham said communities have grown stronger and more resilient since COVID.

“Since COVID, there has been a remarkable change in attitude – particularly amongst my own generation and older,” he said.

“Their mental and physical health is so much better; they have a different take and approach to life which has gone down to other generations too.

“In Donegal or Killybegs there is no way you’re going to be waiting on chimney or slate to be fixed – there’s always somebody who knows somebody.”

Other towns to feature on the list of where to find the best work-life balance in Ireland include Wicklow, Cavan, Ashbourne, Athlone, and Athy.

You can listen back here:

Main image: Castlebar, County Mayo. Image: Sebastian Wasek / Alamy Stock Photo

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Ballina Castlebar Lisa Chambers Noel Cunningham The Pat Kenny Show Work-life Balance

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