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Abstract

This article focuses on rural mobility and rural housing using three case studies in Ireland. It is argued that while rural change and rural in-migration have been in the spotlight in academic literature, there has been a very limited interlinking between rural mobilities and population movements and spatial planning and housing research. This is surprising given the current policy framework in local and regional spatial planning, which in many cases adopts narratives of counter-urbanisation. This article investigates the extent and types of rural residential mobility, including counter-urbanisation, rural-to-rural migration and local movements. Then, it examines the reasons driving residential mobility and finally it explores the relationship between mobility and new house building in rural areas. The article concludes that an understanding of rural mobilities is necessary for planning and housing policy, in not only providing background information for an evidence-based approach in policy making, but also in exploring new policy interventions when dealing with rural housing demands.