20-hour commute a week to heart of capital

Sinead Fox from Gorey, Co Wexford, with her children Cathal, Laoise and Ciaran. Photo: Patrick Browne

Emma Jane Hade

Mother-of-three Sinead Fox makes a 180km commute to and from work in Dublin every day.

The solicitor lives in Gorey, Co Wexford, with her husband, sons Ciaran (6) and Cathal (4) and baby daughter Laoise.

The couple chose to move to Co Wexford to rear their family, as they wanted their children to grow up in a rural community, despite the fact that both their jobs were in Dublin.

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"My journey is 90km each way every day. I work in Ballsbridge in Dublin. I work four days a week and I spend about 20 hours commuting. It can take me up to two hours to get to work," said Sinead, who writes the parenting blog 'Bumbles of Rice'.

She said the cost of commuting was "horrific" and the couple could pay more than €150 per week for diesel. However, she accepts this is the price she has to pay to fulfil her goal of giving her children a rural childhood.

After they initially moved, Sinead was working in Co Wexford but she was made redundant due to the recession.

"My only option was Dublin," she explained. "I think people really underestimate the cost of commuting. We have to change the tyres on our cars so often because of the mileage we are doing. We service the cars so regularly, those are the kinds of costs that people don't think of.

"Buses and trains don't work for us in terms of locations and times. We made the choice and bought our house. We are committed to our life in Gorey and we love living in Gorey and our children have a very good life.

"We are bearing the brunt of it with the commuting," she said. "We would just like if our jobs were closer." Emma Jane Hade

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The Residential Land Availability Survey map was created by drawing together zoning maps held by each local authority in the State.

Developed by the Department of the Environment, it sets out individual plots of land in towns, villages, cities and rural areas, and indicates the number of homes permitted on each site.

It took almost two years to develop, and provides planners and developers with an overview of the available land for housing.

It does not include land zoned for mixed-use development, which would generally include some housing provision. Nor does it include derelict sites.

The data is based on the situation as of March 31 last. Stage 1 land is considered not viable for development in the short-term because necessary services such as water are not in place. Stage 2 land has no major constraints. Not all the land has planning permission.


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