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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 Ireland Ireland

Country Information & Lifestyle

 Tá céad fáilte romhat

Tá céad fáilte romhat

Ireland, the Emerald Isle, has a coastline of over 1,448 kms surrounded by the mighty Atlantic on the west and the Irish Sea in the east, with towering cliffs like the Cliffs of Moher, clear fresh waters, pristine sandy beaches and islands still almost untouched by the modern day world.

Eire, with history dating back 6000 BC, is an arresting, beautiful land, with turbulent history, the people speak with a romantic lyrical lilt and in the Gaeltacht area of the west, Gaelic is the first language with road signs in Gaelic.

The River Shannon is the longest river in the British Isles and one of the finest in Europe. Starting in the Shannon Pot on the slopes of the Cuilagh mountains in Country Cavan and flowing all the way to Loop Head in County Clare where it meets the Atlantic, the scenery along the way is glorious, full of prolific wildlife and dotted with pretty villages, a paradise for nature lovers and boating enthusiasts.

The Burren in County Clare with its labyrinthine of caves, is home to over 500 ring forts, more than 80 Neolithic tombs and has a unique limestone layered landscape.

The bizarre lunar landscape of the Giants Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a mesmerising collection of tightly packed basalt columns that run from the cliffs of the Antrim Plateau right down to the seas and may have been caused by volcanic eruptions and cooling lava, but legends tells a different story - Finn MacCool, the giant who lived there, made a pathway to Straffa in the Scottish Highlands where a rival giant lived.

Ireland is full of legends and traditions and the people love a good excuse to have a party and you will find "Craic" everywhere. Nobody believes in Leprechauns, or do they? In Celtic folklore this cantankerous, mischievous, cranky little man, who mends shoes for other fairies, is quite different from the one portrayed in films.

The farmer wants a wife - and at the famous Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Festival, one of the oldest in Ireland, he has just the opportunity to find one, and in County Kerry the Puck Fair, where a goat is crowned king, is a fair not to be missed.

This land of forty shades of green, has been used for many a film, from The Quiet Man with John Wayne, filmed in and around Cong, to Ryan's Daughter with Robert Mitchum, filmed on the Dingle Peninsula.

Remote, isolated islands off the coast resound with mythical beauty and a more traditional ethos endures amongst the islanders where many of the islands did not have electricity until the 1970s. Try Coney Island, Tory Islan, Clare Island, Raithlin and the fabled Aran Islands, or maybe visit the Blasket Islands, off the Dingle Peninsula, now inhabited but with such a story to tell.

Famous Americans like JFK, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly and Davy Crocket were born on Irish soil, and the only US President, not born in America, Andrew Jackson in 1767, was born in the middle of the Atlantic on an immigrant boat taking his parents from Carrickfergus Co Antrim to the New World.

The Great Famine of 1840 marked the shape of Irish Society, politics and landscape to this day, when the failure of the blighted potato crop caused many thousands to leave Erin's shores for America, some never to return.

Ireland is so magical, bewitching, captivating need we go on, visit and stay awhile we offer you CEAD MILE FAILTE

Purchasing a Property

You should never think of buying or signing anything in Ireland without taking expert legal advice and you should check what the lawyers' fees include and get an estimate beforehand.

You should not use the vendors' solicitor as he is primarily concerned with protecting the interests of the vendor and not the purchaser.

Once you have decided on your property and agreed the price with the seller the vendors' lawyer will prepare a contract and send to the purchasers' lawyer for him to check the title, if all is clear you will be required to pay a deposit, usually 10%, and sign the contract.

Your lawyer will then draft the purchase deed and raise any queries, (REQUISITIONS), on title before sending the deposit, draft deed and any objections with regard to the title back to the vendors' solicitor. At this stage the purchaser has committed himself to buying subject to satisfactory title, where as the vendor is not yet committed.

The REQUISITIONS,(searches), check for debts on the property, all taxes are paid up and the seller is the legal owner.

Once all is clear your lawyer will prepare a draft deed transferring title to the purchaser and give the lending institution a certificate of title and if the vendor is happy he also will sign the contract. The draft deed is then approved by the sellers solicitor and returned for "TYING UP",(ENGROSSMENT), by the buyers solicitor, before being returned again to the vendors solicitor for signing by the vendor.

The buyers lawyer will need to check if Capital Gains Tax is applicable and if so has been paid by the vendor, and if over a certain price he will need to obtain a CGT clearance certificate, otherwise the buyer is obliged to submit 15% of the purchase price to the Revenue Commissioners against the possibility of CGT being unpaid, (the vendor will then have to obtain a refund of the same amount once the clearance certificate has been produced).

Completion involves the signing of the DEED OF PURCHASE and must be signed by the vendor prior to completion, and the buyer within one month of completion, transferring ownership, and balance of the purchase price is paid.

Fees & Taxes

Stamp Duty - There are three scales of stamp duty rates on residential property - For first-time buyers, owner occupiers and investors, as well as 9% on all property purchases.

Investors have to pay an Anti-Speculative Property Tax. Stamp Duty is payable at the time of purchase and the property tax is due at the same time as your income tax, this means you will have to declare on your annual tax return.

Legal fees - You must obtain a quote and agree this in writing with the lawyer.

Under the Competition Act 1994 section 68, a solicitor is bound to notify a client in writing of the fee to be charged for a particular transaction of the basis on which the fee will be calculated. According to the Incorporated Law Society you should be expected to pay between 1-1.5% or the property price. Fees are paid on closing but before registration, and are subject to 20% VAT.

Capital Gains Tax 20%

Transfer of property tax is paid to the Revenue Commissioners and due at the time of purchase.

Agents fees 1.25% are normally paid by the vendor, however they are usually allowed for in the purchase price so in effect paid by the buyer.

If an auctioneer purchases on your behalf you will have to pay his fee of around 1-3.5% of the purchase price depending on the cost of the property and type of contract, this is subject to VAT at 20%.

VAT must be included in the price of new property but not on resales. Commercial transactions may be subject to VAT at 12.5% unless the property was developed prior to 31st October 1972 and has not been extended, altered, or adapted since.

The rules regarding VAT are complicated and you should take expert advice before completing any commercial transaction.

Land Registry 7%.

There are two kinds of title, registered and unregistered.

Registered land is a record of land, kept with the land registry is compulsory in all counties and provides proof of ownership. When property is sold a DEED OF TRANSFER is lodged with the land registry and the Registrar simply deletes the vendors name and substitutes the buyers. With unregistered land all title documents must be inspected by your lawyer to establish ownership.

Copies of these documents are lodge with the REGISTRY OF DEED in accordance with the REGISTRATION OF DEEDS ACT 1707 in case there is conflict of interest, e.g. if two people try to take out a mortgage on the same piece of land simultaneously. A DEED OF CONVEYANCE is used to transfer freehold, unregistered land, a DEED OF ASSIGNMENT for leasehold, unregistered land.

Land Registry Search, commissioners fees and a copy folio and map. In case of registration with the registry of deeds the fees will include searches, commissioners fees and memorials, (copies), of the purchase deed and mortgage deed.

Visas

United States nationals, Canadian nationals, Australians, New Zealanders and South African nationals require a passport valid for the period of intended stay, but no visa is needed for stays of up to three months.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens traveling from Great Britain to Ireland only require proof of nationality. Otherwise British travelers coming from another country require a passport. No visa is required if the passport is endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas) or British Overseas Territories Citizen. In all other cases, a visa is required.

Passport/Visa Note: Passports should be valid for the period of stay (except for EEA member states, including Switzerland). It is recommended that all nationals, other than those from the EU, hold a return or onward ticket, and must have sufficient funds to cover intended period of stay.

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