The new Galway Tribal Diaspora Project is gathering tales from native Galwegians who left Ireland to start a new life abroad. This is Sinead Clancy, in Hollywood, Los Angeles' story.
She may have swapped work on an Irish language soap opera in Connemara for the glamour of Hollywood, but Moycullen native Sinead Clancy still values her Galway roots and is currently making sure that her young son learns the Irish language.
Sinead developed a deep love of the arts at school in An Spideal, by the shores of Galway Bay, and graduated as a designer in Dublin before studying film and TV in Galway, where she juggled student life with part-time work in two of the city’s busiest bars.
She worked on five feature films at Roger Corman’s studio in Connemara and moved to the U.S. after meeting her American husband on one of the film sets. Divorced now, she continues to work in the movie industry, where she has met stars such as Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence, and Reba McEntire.
“The move to the U.S was not without its difficulties. Driving was the hardest part as I had to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road and navigate the crazy freeways! LA is so spread out, you have to use a car to get anywhere. Initially, it was very hard being away from family and friends. Socially, I was starting from scratch and it certainly took a while to build up a network of friends and community,” she says with great honesty.
Sinead is grateful for the opportunities she has had working as a set director with networks such as NBC, ABC, Disney, and Fox, since relocating across the Atlantic. She is the mother to twins, a boy and a girl, and loves both the weather and lifestyle on offer in California.
“While our lives are very firmly rooted here now, I do maintain very strong links with my family back in Galway,” she says. “Almost all of them, including extended relatives, have visited me in LA at one point or another. Despite constantly teasing me about my Irish accent, the kids love that they have an Irish heritage and both have their Irish passports. My son has taken it a step further and is learning to speak Irish through an app called DuoLingo!”
You can read more stories from the Galway Tribal Diaspora Project here:
The entire Galway Tribal Diaspora Project can be viewed online at galwaytribe.com. If you have a friend or family member who would be interested in taking part, you can email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the online application form at www.galwaytribe.com.