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.

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