CLLR GERRY COYLE ‘If we can sell Mayo as the ideal place to live in and work from, then we’ll be on a winner’
‘The phone hasn’t stopped ringing for the past few weeks’ – Erris auctioneer and councillor
A golden opportunity to sell Mayo as a perfect place to live and work has been presented by the current pandemic restrictions. That was the message delivered by Cllr Gerry Coyle at Monday’s meeting of the Westport/Belmullet Municipal Area in Aras Inis Gluaire in Belmullet.
The Geesala-based councillor told the gathering he has been operating as an auctioneer for the past 26 years and experienced many quiet days, but that is far from the case at the moment.
“I’ve never seen more enquiries about properties in Erris in all my years. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing for the past few weeks as people realise the freedom and opportunities they’re afforded when they come to live in rural Mayo,” he said.
“What they’re living in for half a million euro in Dublin can be got here in Belmullet for less than a third of that and when people come and see the quality of properties here, they cannot believe it.
“The pandemic has changed the way people work and if we can sell Mayo as the ideal place to live in and work from, then we’ll be on a winner. People can work from home and then commute to Dublin in four hours or London in three hours. It may be a game-changer for rural Ireland.”
Cllr Coyle’s comments were backed up by Cllr John O’Malley from Kilmeena, who said new working conditions could give localities a massive shot in the arm, but quality broadband is crucial.
“I’m being contacted every day by people looking to work from home, but they’re being hindered by the quality of broadband in some areas. They try to contact Eir to solve their difficulties, but there’s a better chance of getting through to Trump in The White House than getting an answer from them.
“So many people have fibre optic cable coming within a few yards of their homes, but they cannot connect to it and they get no response from Eir when they go looking for information.”
Cllr Coyle agreed with the criticism of Eir and said he looked forward to a company representative addressing the next meeting of Mayo County Council.
“We invited them to a full meeting of the County Council, but we’ll have to send the invitation by registered letter, because we won’t get through to them on the phone.”