Waterford is the Best Place to Live in Ireland!

Waterford city is officially the best place to live in Ireland!

The city beat four other locations - Clonakilty, Killarney, Galway city and Glaslough in Co Monaghan to win the title.

The competition, run by the Irish Times, began in June when members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite place to live.

It attracted over 2,500 entries for 470 different locations, before a shortlist of 20 and then the final five was announced.


The panel of judges included Zainab Boladale, presenter of RTÉ’s Nationwide; Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist; Dr Illona Duffy, GP and public-health commentator; Simon Wall, Mayo county architect and Irish Times journalist Conor Goodman, who chaired the group.

Conor Goodman is chair of the Irish Times judging panel, in an interview with WLR he said transport, education, jobs, community spirit and a welcome to newcomers, along with
public spaces, architecture and even the covid response were considered by the judging panel.

Listen to the interview with Conor here:

Waterford Best Place To Live - What The Judges Said


Architect Simon Wall described the city’s Viking Triangle as a wonderful friendly public realm with walkable, liveable and happy communities.

“Waterford is an unassuming city, with a sense of its own independence. It appears not to compare itself with other Irish cities. What it has achieved over the past two decades is simply outstanding.”

Rosita Boland said the city centre’s wonderful period buildings were complemented by thoughtfully designed new museums that have brought a new civic energy.

Zainab Boladale, said the city has been quietly doing its own thing over the past few years and she highlighted its vibrant youthful scene.

Dr Duffy said the city’s response to the pandemic was another plus – for most of 2020 Waterford had the lowest infection rate on a county-by-county basis.

“Waterford mounted a great battle against Covid, protecting and developing services in the regional hospital, not to mention its community power. It achieved both low Covid rates and a high vaccine uptake.”

Michael Walsh, Waterford City and County Council Chief Executive said, “This is a great achievement for Waterford. It’s a testament to the great business and community spirit and pride in the city. Waterford has so much to offer on so many levels. As Ireland’s Oldest City, it’s steeped in history and heritage and our natural amenities are exceptional and accessible. We have burgeoning pharma, life sciences, entrepreneurial and IT sectors with a great talent pool emanating from WIT.”

Mr. Walsh added, “I think our original nominator Micheál O’Foghlu really encapsulated what Waterford is about when he pitched Waterford as hitting ‘the sweet spot for size, not too small, not too big. Most amenities, from shopping to cliff walks are within 15 minutes of the city.’

This is the second Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland contest. The first was in 2012, when Westport, Co Mayo, won the title.