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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# Beyond the pale
'Surfing in half an hour': Why more high-flying professionals are moving outside Dublin
The latest Morgan McKinley employment monitor shows a surge in people looking for jobs.

PROFESSIONAL JOB SEEKERS are increasingly looking for work in Ireland’s regions rather than in cities such as Cork and Dublin.

That’s according to an executive at the Irish arm of recruitment giant Morgan McKinley, who also said that big companies are increasingly willing to set up operations outside of major cities.

“Dublin and Cork are still operating at a pace that is somewhat higher than in other regions,  said Karen O’Flaherty, Morgan McKinley Ireland’s chief operating officer.

Speaking as Morgan McKinley Ireland released its monthly employment monitor, she added: ”However, the gap is narrowing as more and more professional job seekers specify that they are seeking career opportunities in the regions.

“Increasingly, multinational and indigenous employers are moving to establish offshoot operations to cater for this need and to fill vacancies more quickly.

“This is very noticeable in areas like financial services where the south-east, for example, has seen a cluster of financial services companies expanding and establishing operations.”

Regional cities

This sentiment was echoed by Bryan Hyland, the company’s director for the regions. He said that large companies are now just as happy to set up operations in regional cities, such as Galway or Waterford, as there are to establish bases in Cork and Dublin.

“I would expect setting up operations outside of Dublin to become a trend. There’s a scale issue in Dublin around space and transport,” he said.

“Big companies are going to regional cities (such as) Galway, Kilkenny and Waterford.”

He said that many of the professionals who are looking for jobs in regional cities would be Irish emigrants who are looking to return to the country.

kilkenny wikimedia Wikimedia Kilkenny Wikimedia

“Lots of people from Dublin would be willing to live outside of Dublin, it gives them an opportunity to return home,” he said.

“(For others) there might be a personal connection to those locations, such as if they went to college or school nearby.”

Work-life balance

Hyland also said that foreign professionals are happy to move to more regional cities.

“There is a work-life balance that’s hugely attractive. You can be surfing, golfing or cycling in half an hour,” he said.

“House prices are cheaper, the cost of living is cheaper and the gap between salaries (compared to Dublin) is narrowing all the time and is no longer an inhibitor.”

O’Flaherty and Hyland were speaking as Morgan McKinley Ireland released its monthly employment monitor.

It showed that the number of professional job vacancies in Ireland increased by 9% in September compared to the same month a year ago. The vacancy rate was up 2% since August.

Alongside an increase in vacancies, there was also a rise in the number of professionals looking for work.

According to Morgan McKinley, there was a 13% increase in the number of professionals seeking jobs in Ireland in September compared to the same month a year ago.

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Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on


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