The Irish Times are running a competition to find the Best Place to Live in Ireland. From early April until late May, the competition attracted just 563 entries from the public. The paper has narrowed it down to a list of 25 places which are in the running for the overall award. They include five villages, 10 towns of varying sizes, four regional cities, one rural district and five suburbs or urban villages.

The villages are: Ardara, Co Donegal; Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary; Eyeries, Co Cork; Fourmilehouse, Co Roscommon, and Portballintrae, Co Antrim.

The towns are: Skerries, Co Dublin; Clonakilty, Co Cork; Killarney, Co Kerry; Westport, Co Mayo; Greystones, Co Wicklow; Birr, Co Offaly; Carrick-on- Shannon, Co Leitrim; Abbeyleix, Co Laois, and Athlone, Co Westmeath and Sligo town.

There are five Dublin suburbs: Rathmines, the Glenbeigh Road area in Cabra, Clondalkin, Sandymount and Ranelagh. The four cities are: Cork, Derry, Galway and Waterford.

The judges are: Dr Maureen Gaffney, adjunct professor of psychology and society at University College Dublin; Paul Keogh, founding partner of Paul Keogh Architects and former president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland; Gerard O’Neill, chairman of Amárach Research and a co-founder of; Irish Times environment editor Frank McDonald and Irish Times journalist Edel Morgan.

All longlisted places are being visited by a team of researchers before a shortlist is announced on Monday, June 18th. The winner will be announced the following Monday, June 25th.

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