What’s your Irish background?
“I was born and raised in Kilkenny, the Marble City as they say. My mother calls me the baby of the family. I am the youngest of seven children. Three have settled within earshot of my parents. Most likely for the free babysitting. One has settled in Perth, Australia and two are living in and around Dublin.”
When did you make the move to the U.S., and why did you do so?
“I have been living here since June 8, 2011. I will never forget the date, it has stuck in my head. I was thankfully one of the few who came to New York City through my work in Ireland and was not forced into emigration.”
Did you find it difficult at first? What advice would you have for new arrivals?
“It is not the first time that I have lived abroad. I was a kindergarten teacher in Korea for over a year. I learned a few lessons over there. More or less you have to put yourself out there. Ireland is a place where everybody knows everybody.
“In New York you have to work to make friends. It is very easy to meet new people but to make those good friends takes that little bit of extra work. I am a bit of a chatterbox, so once I made the effort to get out there, it was pretty easy.”
What do you do here, and what would a typical day in work be like?
“I work as a KDB developer for an Irish consultancy firm, First Derivatives, based in Newry, Northern Ireland. I am on client site with Barclays working in 745 Seventh Avenue. It is generally a nine to five job.
“My role is to generally maintain and update a database system used within the firm. I have learned to stop there when talking about my role. I will save you all the boring details.”
How have you engaged with your new community / surroundings?
“New York is full of clubs and groups. Sometimes you just don’t know how to balance things out. Like so many others I have become an avid runner, joining the Hudson Dusters, a club within the New York Road Runners. I am also on the committees of two other running clubs, NYCH3 and the Knickerbocker. Calling them running clubs is a stretch. We start and end in bars.
“I am also an avid singer. This year I joined the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. We are already back into rehearsals for our concert in March. I am happy to report that we will traveling to Dublin in June for the Various Voices Festival.”
What are your goals for 2014?
“I will have to get back to you on that one. Goals were never my strong point.”