Is Westmeath the best place to live in Ireland? The Irish Times is hunting for Ireland’s ultimate place to live and is inviting the public in Westmeath to nominate their favourite place. The “place” could be a town, city suburb, a tiny village or remote rural spot, a tiny community halfway up a hill, a street, road, or housing estate. It can be anywhere that you feel supremely lucky to live in. The reasons could be the sense of community, the vibrant social life, the beautiful scenery, the parks and playgrounds, the great local facilities - or something else entirely.
Anyone who thinks their area has the X-Factor and could win this competition is invited to say in no more than 500 words what makes their place so special. There are also some questions about local services, activities, and environment. However, according to the judges, people should not be put off if the place they live does not fit all these criteria. Ultimately, the strength of the pitch will count. Entry is free and can be completed online at www.irishtimes.com/bestplace
A panel of five national experts from different walks of life including an architect, a psychologist, an environment expert, a statistician, and a journalist will decide the winner. Speaking about the search to find The Best Place to Live in Ireland judge Maureen Gaffney, adjunct Professor of Psychology and Society in UCD said, “For me, the best place to live is where you feel you and your family can flourish: where you feel safe, happy, and fulfilled, free to be your best self, where you feel you matter and what you do matters and where you belong. Everyone has their own individual sense of what makes a place the best place to live so it will be interesting to see the public’s take on this and we welcome applications from all over Ireland.”
The winning place will be announced in early summer, and The Irish Times will mark the accolade with a plaque for the locality, publish a story on the winning place, and make a short film about it for irishtimes.com
For more information log on to www.irishtimes.com/bestplace