Tipperary native Grace is a partner in Nordic Custom Builders. He is the honoree at the Tipperary Hurling Club banquet on Saturday, December 7 at the Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester. For tickets call 646-361-5544.
What part of Tipp do you come from, and do you have a big family left in Ireland?
“I am from Silvermines, a small village on the outskirts of Nenagh. I am the second youngest of five. I have two brothers, Willie and Martin, and one sister, Margaret, living in the Nenagh area. I have one brother, Ger, living in San Antonio, Texas. My mother is in Riverdale nursing home in Nenagh.”
When did you make the move to the U.S., and why did you do so?
“I moved to New York in September of 1985 for a six month trial period and immediately got hooked on this great country.”
Did you find it difficult at first? What advice would you have for new arrivals?
“It wasn’t difficult, but it was a little strange being away from friends and family. At that time thousands like me were in the same boat as emigration was big in Ireland. Today it’s even bigger.
“Unfortunately the U.S. is not much of an option with its tough regulations and requirements for legal residency.”
What do you do here, and what is a typical day like for you?
“I am a partner with Eamonn Ryan and Thor Magnus in Nordic Custom Builders. We build custom homes in Fairfield, CT and Westchester County, and we renovate apartments and townhouses in New York City.
“Days are busy attending meetings, creating budgets and job schedules, and visiting job sites. Thankfully we have great staff and sub-contractors who make our lives that much easier.”
How involved are you with the Tipperary Hurling Club, and what does the honor this weekend mean to you?
“Currently I am more involved behind the scenes as work and family commitments are limiting my time. I really enjoy the buzz of the Tipp Hurling Club, capped off this year with some great games between all the clubs. Thankfully Tipp came through a tough, exciting final with Galway. I am hugely honored to be guest of honor.”
How are you celebrating the holidays?
“I will be celebrating with my wife Catherine also from Tipp (Nenagh), and my four kids Ciaran, Michelle, Dylan and Joey. I’m looking forward to the break.”