A Love Letter to Gorey

I moved where I live ten years ago last week. We bought a house off the plans, the cumulative result of a few pints of cider, the post-honeymoon blues, a late night email to an estate agent and a strong desire to leave Dublin.
We’re country people. The kind that don’t feel easy in Brown Thomas and who don’t believe that the water/air/strawberries are as good in Dublin. The kind that hate paying “Dublin prices”. The kind that hate traffic and noise. We knew this. Dublin knew this. So, out of mutual respect, we left.

I’d always known Gorey, my mother is from a valley at the bottom of a hill seven miles out the road, and I’d grown up on  tales of her cycle to school in the local VEC. We visited my grandmother often in her farmhouse without a farm, ate apple tart and chased hens (or the hens chased us). We’d occasionally go into town and walk the main street, lined with trees. Webbs’ shop was a wonderland of toys back then and we’d sometimes get a 99 in Gerry’s as a summer treat. So many memories in this town. My brother got his head caught in the turnstile in Petitts’ once, it was dealt with swiftly and with decorum as you’d expect from the respected family supermarket. My sister needed stitches when she came off the slide in the town park back in the 1980’s, she still has a tiny scar, a reminder of that day. Sometimes, if we were staying in Granny’s we’d be brought to Courtown in our aunt’s car and get to go on the amusements, the highlight of our holidays in Granny’s.

 The night we sent that email Gorey seemed like a good option. Back in those Celtic Tiger days when there were more jobs than people. Gorey was commutable until we got the jobs closer to home we told ourselves. I secured a job in my home county before our house was finished, eleven years on my husband still commutes and after five years (and two children) I was made redundant and joined him as an N11 commuter. We hate commuting but are resigned to it. But, we love Gorey, and that makes the commute worthwhile.

Gorey is gorgeous. It’s small town heaven. The tree-lined main street gives it grandeur, the views up past the Coach House to Tara Hill and the surrounding hills protect it, encasing it’s charm.

The shops are busy and well kept, staffed by helpful locals who always have the time to offer advice. The cafes are cosy and chatty, you’d never go thirsty in this town with its thriving coffee culture. The smell of the bakery up the hill tortures me on my footpath pounding walks on the rare evenings I drag myself out of the house.

Two art galleries, countless shops selling treasure and tat, boutique boulevard, festivals filling the streets in summer and winter.

Gorey is alive and Gorey is buzzing.

Gorey has been good to me. My three children were brought as newborns from Wexford maternity hospital to our Gorey home. They speak like locals, because they are locals. They attend local schools and play for the local GAA team. They’re Gorey people.

Ten years on I’m still a blow in, but I feel like I belong.

Gorey is welcoming.

I love where I live, I’m proud to call Gorey home.

Thanks Gorey for having us.


First time lining out for Naomh Eanna


Not only is Gorey is a lovely place to live it’s also a great holiday or weekend break destination- see my guide here.


This post was done as part of a long expired linky on Where Wishes Come From.

22 thoughts on “A Love Letter to Gorey

  1. I am so happy to read this, I’m currently looking to move closer to home and Gorey is my main option, I know I will have to be up at 5.30am every morning to commute but I think this is a better alternative to living somewhere that just isn’t home. I realise now that having hundreds of thousands of people around me can make you feel lonlier than actually being on your own.

    Thanks again 🙂

    1. I won’t pretend commuting is easy, it’s not, but for me certainly since the kids came along I can see the benefits and it’s worth the early starts.

  2. Gorey, We live it You’ll love

    We have used a tag line over the past few years “Gorey, We live it You’ll love it” and to be truthful it pretty much sums up the sentiment of this piece and all the associated comments.

    Great Piece, and when you look at the developments underway with the new 90000 Square feet of office space planned on the outskirts of our town the long commute might well not last forever!

  3. My dream eventually is to get out of Dublin. It’s gone so hectic with traffic ,people and too much rushing and getting nowhere in the end. While it has a lot to offer work wise , nothing like a bit of calmess and space to think more clearly .

      1. I’m actually born and bred in Dublin just 3 miles out of city. Family also from there. Used to like it till around 10 years ago until it got mad. Could be cos I work in city and stuck in traffic and crowds every day

  4. I think Gorey is quite an exceptional town. I have lived here for practically all of my life and have seen a lot of growth, development and changes over the years, and yet, it still has a lot of it’s charm and friendliness. Like any town, it’s not without its problems, but that’s the way things are everywhere.
    You mention a couple of instances where you got that little extra bit of service beyond the norm. I had a similar experience one time where I needed something urgently but my usual hardware supplier (where I have an account) didn’t have it in stock. Because I hadn’t brought my wallet with me, he put his hand in his pocket and gave me a loan of money to pick up what i needed from a competitor. Where else would you get something like this, i think it sums up all that is good about Gorey. It’s a great place to live.
    On commuting, I have been commuting to the north side of Dublin since 1994. For anyone who is thinking of doing this commute, think very carefully about it. It’s not a good idea to take it on as a long term commitment as your life is too precious to spend such a long time in the saddle.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment David. That story about the hardware is hard to beat. Commuting is hard work, like you say it’s not one to sign up to long term it takes a lot out of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s