They include one village, one small town, one large town, one city, and one suburb or urban village.
Ardara had originally been in the top 25 of places to live in Ireland before it was joined by Westport, Co Mayo; Killarney, Co Kerry; Cork city; and Rathmines in Dublin in the top five.
These five will be visited by the judges over the coming week, and the overall winner will be announced next Monday, June 25th.
Needless to say the people of Ardara will be out in force this morning putting their best foot forward – and rightly so!
For the Best Place to Live in Ireland competition, The Irish Times invited people to nominate the place they lived in, and explain its appeal. All kinds of habitats were eligible: “a town or city suburb, a village or remote rural spot, a tiny community halfway up a mountain, a street, a road or a housing estate”.
From early April until late May, the competition attracted 563 entries from members of the public across 32 counties.
The winning place will receive a location-appropriate plaque or sign noting the accolade.
It will also be profiled in the paper and will be the subject of a short film commissioned by The Irish Times.