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'It's not Las Vegas, but we've a lot to offer'

One village in Co Mayo wants people who are fed up with the cost of living in a city to consider moving there.

34962253_172693196757340_73948908656525312_nSource: Come to Keenagh/Facebook

A VILLAGE IN Mayo is hoping to attract people to move there from urban areas.

Keenagh is a small parish in Crossmolina with a population of a couple of hundred people.

The Keenagh Development Community Council recently made a promotional video that aims to encourage people living in cities to consider moving to the area.
https://www.facebook.com/keenaghbeg/videos/188831598476833/

Video produced by Fergus Sweeney/fergswee@gmail.com

Chairperson Brendan Lavelle said people may wish to move from places likes Dublin and Galway due to spiralling rent costs and a lack of housing options.

"I think rural communities have something to offer people from congested cities. People are struggling to buy a house, at this stage many are struggling to rent a house," he said.

Lavelle noted how precarious the rental market can be, with people sometimes having to move at short notice because of a hike in the rent or if the house’s owner decides to sell.

He said the rent is “way cheaper” in Keenagh, noting you could buy a three-bedroom house in the area for around €100,000 (sometimes less), or rent an entire house for the same monthly price as a room in Dublin.

"You’ll have a lot more money in your pocket."

mapSource: Come to Keenagh/Facebook

He said that while incomes may be lower than in Dublin, the cost of living is a lot cheaper in Mayo.

To buy a house, he noted that people usually have to save for years and then spend decades paying it off.

If you get a mortgage when you’re 30 you could be 65 before you’ve finished paying for your house. I can buy a house for €100,000.

Rick Adams moved to Keenagh from the UK just over a year ago. He said affordability was a major factor in his decision.

"I knew what I wanted, I wanted to live somewhere that was rural, a smaller community - people are friendly, people know each other.

"Also, I wanted my own place, which I just could not afford in the southeast of England...

"I wanted the ability to be able to get up in the morning and smell the fresh air and feel secure and safe and comfortable," he stated.

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'Not Las Vegas'

Lavelle said there are, of course, pros and cons to living anywhere.

"We don’t live beside the big, massive retailers and shopping centres, but we’ve an awful lot more to offer in terms of nature - there are lots of places people can go walking and cycling, that can be hard to do in cities."

35082755_172712360088757_166466571546394624_oSource: Come to Keenagh/Facebook

Lavelle said there are plenty of amenities in the village and that bigger towns like Castlebar and Westport are both about a 30-minute drive away.

He said the area is safe as well, with a low crime rate and very few burglaries, adding: “Neighbours look out for each other.

There are pros and cons … It’s not Las Vegas or anything. Obviously it’s not going to suit everyone, but it might suit some people.

“Life can be short, and people might end up thinking, ‘I wish to hell I moved a couple of years ago.’”

Since launching the video, Lavelle said a few people have made enquiries about coming to see the area. For more information, click here.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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