Explore the option of remote working in Donegal

The Black lakes, Mulroy Bay courtesy of Mary Doherty
The Black Lakes, Mulroy Bay courtesy of Mary Doherty

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 brought a huge amount of uncertainty, but Donegal is one county that is noticing an upside. Over the past few months, Letterkenny based estate agents have seen a significant increase in enquiries from young couples and families who are plotting an escape to the northwest.

The new-found freedom of working from home means prospective homebuyers can now live in rural areas that were previously not an option for them. Urban living has lost some of its appeal during lockdown and more flexible working arrangements mean many people can now keep their city jobs and work remotely from Donegal.

Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development with Donegal County Council says excellent broadband across the region is a key factor: “What many people don’t realise is that Donegal has world-class high speed broadband connectivity; businesses operating from the county will tell you that they have as good as, if not better, broadband connectivity in towns and villages across Donegal as they have in Dublin city centre or in any of the larger UK cities. We see this as a great opportunity to engage with our diaspora, particularly those that are interested in re-locating to Donegal, and we’re determined to position the county as the premier location of choice on the island of Ireland for all types of smart working.”

The development of Digital Hubs is another important factor in attracting people from cities to rural Donegal. Seamus McHugh and his wife Niamh Walsh returned home to Donegal with their family four years ago, while keeping their Dublin jobs. They are now working with Donegal County Council to establish Mevagh Digital Hub in Carrigart as Seamus explains:

“We found that people were interested in moving home but wanted to have a space that offered them the same facilities they were used to in Dublin. To date, we have had lots of engagement with the diaspora and many people have contacted us directly to learn more about relocating to the area. We’ve heard from a diverse mix of people, from people who have committed to requesting for a remote position within their company once the hub is established, to entrepreneurs wanting to move from their garage or kitchen to a more professional environment. We’ve also had interest from people looking for hot-desking facilities during holiday season to enable them to extend their holiday in Donegal by one or two weeks every summer.”

Garry Martin says the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that remote working does work and that Donegal is open for business: “We have a network of high tech, flexible and innovative work spaces available in various locations right across the county with excellent high speed broadband connectivity. In terms of quality of life, Donegal is second to none, with access to some of Ireland’s finest scenic landscapes and vibrant town centres; it is a compelling proposition for those seeking a healthy lifestyle while still pursuing progressive career opportunities. There has never been a better time to make the move.”

To find out more contact economicdevelopment@donegalcoco.ie