An investigation of villages in the Republic of Ireland


  • Desmond A. Gillmor Trinity College, Dublin 2.



Major growth and change have occurred in villages of under 500 population in the Republic of Ireland. There had been no data or research on these small places. This paper reports on an investigation of twenty-six villages, one in each county. There was a high rate of natural population increase and also substantial in-migration, which was mainly over short distances. Housing was found to be a major locational factor. Village expansion had far exceeded local employment opportunities and half those at work travelled to employment elsewhere, the extent of commuting varying greatly between places. Urban orientation had increased greatly, though most villages had retained a range of basic services and the usage patterns of each place were different. Residents were generally favourably disposed towards village development and life but they suggested a wide range of improvements, led by the great need for employment. With some functional shift from service centre towards place of residence, villages have become more integrated into the national settlement system and their place in it could be strengthened, but expansion seems unlikely to continue at the recent rate.

Author Biography

Desmond A. Gillmor, Trinity College, Dublin 2.

Department of Geography



How to Cite

Gillmor, D. A. (2016). An investigation of villages in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Geography, 21(2), 57–68.





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