Our destination is Galway, so we have used the Internet to start. Sites which we found good are -
- http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=951 (Galway forum on Boards.ie)
- http://www.galway1.ie/directory/dliving.htm (Directory of handy Galway links)
- http://www.galwaycity.ie/ (City council - handy to find out about developments)
- http://www.galway.ie/en/ (County council - as above)
- http://www.ccprecruit.ie/movewest.htm (Recruitment - for that all important job!)
- http://www.lookwest.ie/index.php/galway.php (Super site on moving to the West)
These and other sites will give you a good start, but also drive around the area you want to live in. Be sure to try both on and off peak - you don't want to move in and then find it is the biggest traffic bottle neck in the country at rush hour!
Check for farms if you are rural. The noise of a creamery or smell of a pig sty can ruin your dream country get-away.
If you are in the city, maybe drive through on a weekend night to check there are not a gang of kids drinking at the end of your road.
When you have found the right house, be sure to check that it has the essentials you want: water (mains or group scheme, and if group scheme how much per year?), electricity, phone, broadband (you can check the line with the phone number on BT and Eircom sites) and also see if the heating is solid fuel, gas, or oil.
OK, I could go on forever with the list. My point is - research pays off hugely.
I think there is definitely going to be something that we will discover after we move, but at least if we invest the time now you will not see too many pasts here titles "Why did we move???" in a few months!