1. Affordable Homes
The price of a home in the capital will set you back about €410,890, according to the latest CSO figures. However, in County Mayo you could buy about three properties for that price.
2. Towns Like Westport
There’s a reason all the Dubs head to Westport for their stag and hen parties. Sample the tasty Atlantic seafood, take in the breathtaking sea views at Oldhead Beach or if you’re feeling adventurous climb the summit of Croagh Patrick. The town also boasts a lively nightlife with packed pubs and traditional music at every corner.
3. Ashford Castle
If it’s good enough for Rory McIlroy… Ashford Castle has hosted plenty of high-profile weddings from Pierce Brosnan to Shane Filan and there’s a good reason why. The grounds of this medieval castle are absolutely spectacular, their food is mouth-watering and it’s located in one of the prettiest villages in the entire country.
4. A Car Space
There are car spaces aplenty in County Mayo and the best thing is, you don’t have to fork out a fortune for it. You also don’t have the tiresome M50 delays that Dublin commuters face every morning. The most you’ll get is a farmer out moving cattle and let’s face it, that’s a lot more amusing than the Red Cow Interchange.
5. Achill Island
Sure, you’ve the likes of Ireland’s Eye and Bull Island in the capital, but they aren’t a patch on Achill. This island off the west coast has rugged landscapes, tall sea cliffs and stunning, sandy beaches. You’ve also got the deserted village dating back to the Neolithic period and plenty of cosy pubs and bars to keep you going through the night.
6. Louis Walsh
Hailing from the humble town of Kiltimagh, Louis Walsh is probably the most famous person to come out of County Mayo. Sure, Dubliners have U2, Colin Farrell and Conor McGregor but there’s only one Louis Walsh – and he’s a Mayo man.
7. Cosy Pubs Like Matt Molloy’s
There really is no place like it. This intimate little pub is home to some of the best traditional Irish music sessions you’ll ever experience. For the price of a pint, you could even see Matt himself and his buddies from The Chieftans join in on the sesh. Now where in Dublin would you get that?
8. Mrs Doyle On The Road-Side
Only in Mayo would the local authorities use an actual Mrs Doyle cut-out to promote road safety. Over the August bank holiday weekend, she was spotted on the side of the road with a cuppa encouraging drivers to take a break and to think about the consequences of driving tired. No other county would think of that!
9. The Greenway
This 42km cycling and walking trail is the longest in Ireland. It’s completely traffic-free and follows the route of an old rail track which closed in 1937. Along the way, you get to see rich greenery, sandy beaches and gorgeous coastal scenery. The route also goes into Westport House and the picturesque villages of Mulranny, Newport and Achill.
10. And Finally – GAA Fans Like No Other
It’s fair to say, Mayo GAA fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate people out there. Despite numerous setbacks over the past few years, they get behind their team every year without fail. And of course, no other team in the country has Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters backing them!
— Aideen Murray (@aideenmurray) June 20, 2014