Remote Working Towns: Cong, Mayo

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Elevator

Small scenic village sandwiched between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask and surrounded by natural forest Cong is heavily associated with Ashford Castle, The Quiet Man movie and supports impressive hospitality infrastructure.  The Cong river also support a large hatchery.

Key statistics

  • Cong Village (150 approx) wider area 2,000
  • Schools 1 Primary plus montessory (3 secondary within 15-20 mins drive)
  • Coffee Shops 3
  • Restaurant 3
  • Hotels 3
  • Post office 1
  • Shops 6 (supermarket, book store, fishing store, gifts store)
  • 10,000 sq feet community centre
  • Playground
  • Large car park

Other Amenities

  • Activities centre Ashford Outdoor
  • 30 km of forest walking/cycling trails
  • Fishing (plus baot hire)
  • GAA ground including gym and large indoor astro turf
  • Equestrian Centre (forest treking)
  • Lake island trips
  • Falconing Centre

Other highlights

  • 7th Century Abbey – home to high kings of Ireland
  • Caves
  • Round tower
  • Cong Food Village Festival
  • Quietman Festival
  • CongRegation Technology Festival
  • Drama, cards to dancing groups

 

Casestudy

Eoin moved to Cong 8 years ago from Dublin where he was a director in a communications company.  In addition to aiming for more work/life balance Eoin set up a number of startups and now bases himself in Cong and Ballinrobe.

Eoin commutes weekly to Limerick, Galway and Dublin but mainly works remotely from his base in the village.  “When I moved down initially I worked from coffee shops to trains before graduating to workspace in GMIT in Castlebar and StartLab in Galway.  I recently set up a proper home office with high speed internet access which ranges from 3mbs to 65 mbs. This has been transformative and dramatically cut down on travel as I skype into meeting and easily download some of the enormous files.”

Outside of Cong as a location to work remotely from Eoin has also run the CongRegation technology festival and Energy Symposium in the village.  “There is a real wiliness to develop and constantly improve Cong village. Because of its tourism heritage driven by the natural beauty, amenities and Hollywood links, the village has a wonderful selection of restaurants and coffee shops.  This constant movement produces a high level of energy in the village which attracts a very diverse group pf people and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Eoin highlighted community spirit and family friendly amenities as key for his move to the west of Ireland “Moving from Dublin we were surprised at the ease of finding and accessing the local school.  The range of organised activities from excellent GAA amenities, pottery lesson to karate clubs matched with unorganised swims in the lakes, cycles through the forest or climbing nearby mountains means that time is only barrier to enhanced family life.”

On community spirit Eoin added that the Cong community were very open to welcoming visitors and those who wished to settle down.  However he also said “As with most small Irish communities its important to not just live somewhere but to contribute to the local community by getting involved I different initiatives – that way everyone benefits”

Finally commenting on working from Cong Eoin said “It took some time to establish a cadence to working in the west but this was not due to working remotely but rather finding the balance and new opportunities.  With good processes, maximising the available collaborative and communications technology and investing in good broadband and office I believe I you can improve how you work and be more productive by working remotely.  I still travel but I am select about why and I maximise the trips.”