Scores of Armagh residents past and present have leapt to the defence of the Ecclesiastical Capital after a poll branded it one of the worst cities to raise your children.
The study, by MoneySuperMarket, prompted an angry backlash after Armagh I ran a report last night.
The findings labelled Newry and Armagh the second and third WORST cities respectively to bring up children, coming in after London.
It said the table had been compiled based on a number of variables, including amenities, schools, average earnings and crime statistics.
We asked our followers what they thought and they did not hold back.
A chorus of disapproval emerged with many accusing the report’s authors of not having visited Armagh or Newry in the first place.
And leading the defence was the Lord Mayor Garath Keating, who rubbished the league table and said it was based on false logic.
Commenting in response to our post, he said: “I have lived in a fair few places and Armagh has the best, kindest, friendliest and caring people. That’s the true measure of a place.”
Lord Mayor Keating also branded the report misleading and “akin to comparing apples and frisbees”, as one that “makes comparisons directly with no adjustment for size or population difference”.
When it comes to Ofsted excellence rated schools, number of parks and job opportunities in the cities ‘compared’ – 35 to be precise – he said it “might stand to reason that there are numerically slightly less such provisions than other cities with scores of thousands of people”.
There were similar sentiments expressed across the board, with another popularly pointing out that it should be how children are brought up as opposed to where which should count.
Many comments were from those who have moved to Armagh and were delighted by what they found here, or those who left and felt the need to return.
“We moved from England to here 22 yrs ago, our children are well educated and healthy…I wouldnt go back. Armagh has some of the best schools in the UK,” said one.
Another added: “I’m originally from Kent and married an Irish girl and our son was born over here and I wouldn’t have it any other way Armagh is a great place to bring your children up.”
It was a similar expression from another who stated: “I lived in Manchester for years by far Armagh is a much better safer place to bring up children, who over scored this poll needs to go back to the drawing board. Armagh is a wonderful city!”
Like the Lord Mayor’s reasoning, many questioned how to arrive at a table when not comparing like with like.
“These “experts” need to lift their heads up from papers full of comparison figures and actually experience, even see the places they’ve named and realise how ludicrous their findings are,” said one.
Another branded it “absolute rubbish” with further comments declaring Armagh in fact to be “the best place in the world to bring up kids”.
“I moved back home to Armagh from Edinburgh as it is a far better place to bring up children,” was a fine endorsement.
“I live in Australia, it’s a beautiful country but when I have kids, they’ll be brought up in Armagh that’s for sure,” insisted another. “No place like home.”
It proved to be one of our most talked about posts and when we posed the question it generated such a lot of debate – the majority of it in favour of Armagh.
Of course, it’s the best wee city in the world!
But it must also be recognised that every city has its issues, yet in our view the positives far outweigh the negatives.
We have much going for us and we have compiled just a dozen reasons for starters why we believe, when it comes to Armagh, there’s no place like home!
- Our people
- Friendly and welcoming
- Proud heritage and culture
- Our stunning architecture
- Educational excellence through fantastic schools
- Ecclesiastical Seat/History, legends, myth – Navan Fort, two Cathedrals named for St Patrick, Gaol, and much more
- Science and research: The Armagh Observatory, for example, is world famous in its field, so too is the Robinson Library
- Our natural beauty: Green spaces, parks, lakes, rivers and more
- Sport and Recreation: Vast range of pursuits for all with teams and athletes at the top of their game
- Food and Drink: Award-winning cuisine and drinks from the Orchard of Ireland
- Art, Literature and Music: Armagh has produced some household names, past and present, well above average for a city of its size
- Retail: A mix of high quality family-owned and high street names can be found here.
And, please, feel free to add your own!