David Garrahy left Doolin in County Clare just over 10 years ago now. Here he tells us a little about where he moved to and why.
Where in Ireland you are from and where you live now?
I am from Doolin in Co Clare. Spent 5 years studying in Limerick (All Ireland champions!) and then 4 years working in Dublin before coming to Brussels Belgium 10 years ago. I recently bought my own house just near the European Quarter.
Why did you leave?
I left Ireland in 2008, when the economic bust was just beginning. I left for an internship in the European Commission. I was always interested in the European Union – a passion that was kindled by a teacher in my school in Lisdoonvarna who saw the importance of Europe for Ireland’s future, especially in rural Ireland. Since then I’ve have worked with technology companies, youth organisations, and environmental groups to ensure the EU works for its citizens.
What you miss about home?
I miss my family most. It’s difficult to get to County Clare. Other aspects such as culture & media are easy to access, at least easier than ten years ago.
What is life like where you are now?
The one word I would use about living in Brussels is “diversity”. People from all backgrounds and cultures live here and are given the freedom to express themselves – Brussels is a very permissive and tolerant city. This has caused problems in the last number of years – most especially with the Brussels Bombings, but things have calmed down since then. For me, the thing that keeps me in Brussels is to discover more about different cultures and identities.
Do you ever see yourself returning home?
Right now I’m not sure. I’ll always feel 100% Irish but Ireland has many problems right now that make it inaccessible for returning emigrants. But at some stage in my life, I am sure I will change and will want to return. But Ireland has to change also.
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