11/05/2013 01:33 PM -
Sorry for the slow reply, I´ve been away on business.
Yes, all things considered we´ve been happy with the move. There´s always an element of the grass being greener elsewhere and we can´t help but compare things to our life in Japan, some are better, some aren´t. Being in Malahide is great for all the reasons you´re aware of, but the main reason we moved here is that it´s where I grew up and so planning the move from overseas was easier. If I were "neutral" I might have defected and gone for the south side of Dublin as there are so many more school options and the cost of living (mainly housing) is on a par with Malahide.
Which of course means it´s on the expensive side, so good luck with buying a house here. While prices nationwide are still falling and have yet to reach what I´d consider their real value, prices are rising again in areas of high demand. They are centred around SCD but also include Malahide.
If you do buy a house here next year, then I´m sure you could use that address for enrollment, even if technically you aren´t living there yet.
One other topic that is worth being aware of is the changing nature of education in Ireland. Religious affiliation is high on the list of enrollment priorities at the vast majority of schools. No school will turn a child away because of it but if there is a lot of competition for places, it will affect their chances of getting a place. And if they do get in, there is the question of the time spent on religious study that, in my opinion, doesn´t belong in school and would be better spent on other areas. Learning ABOUT all religions is fine by me, but not indoctrination. So depending on your views, it´s something to consider. Non-denominational/secular schools are popping up all over the place, mainly run by Educate Together. So far the vast majority are national/primary schools, but it´s only a matter of time before the demand is such that secondary schools are added. So far there´s maybe a handful. A recent survey showed that there is significant interest in such a school in Malahide, but "politics" has been such that it won´t be approved for at least the next couple of years. There are plenty of articles like this one online: