The new Galway Tribal Diaspora Project is gathering tales from native Galwegians who left Ireland to start a new life abroad. This is Trish Finn, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates' story.

Read more: New Galway project tells Diaspora Tribe's stories from around the world

Patricia Finn, or Trish as she is known to her friends, left home for a life of adventure in 1984 and is surprised when she realizes she has been living in the United Arab Emirates for 18 years now. She recalls that life was hard growing up in East Galway in the 1950s and ‘60s, especially as she was one of eight children, but says her parents did an amazing job with very little money.

They had natural home remedies, were fed from the land, and trips to the doctor were unheard of in rural Kilconnell. She recalls huge belly-laughs in the family home when her mother’s bottles of elderberry wine exploded in the parlor. Trish says her late parents would be rightly proud that her siblings are still close today, even though they may be separated by thousands of miles.

Trish recalls a happy childhood which included week-long summer holidays in Connemara. She left school at 16 and trained as a chef, but after developing an allergy to stainless steel she decided to turn her passion for horses into a career. Her love of horses has found her work in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and England, and Trish has now been with the Dubai Equine Hospital – doing a job she loves – for 18 years.

She has always felt that she would like to return to Galway but says she still has a lot of traveling to do and has never lost her West of Ireland accent despite having left 34 years ago.

“If anyone told me before I came to Dubai in September 2000 that I would still be here I’d have said ‘you’re crazy’, but here I am. I love the weather, lifestyle, sense of security, culture, over 200 different nationalities, and the most important factor is that my sister Julia Finn (married to Mike Quinn from Sligo) and my niece Kelly Clarke also live here make it an even more amazing place to live.”

You can read more stories from the Galway Tribal Diaspora Project here: 

Patrick J. Conneely, Massachusetts

Sinead Clancy, Hollywood

Tom Higgins, Ontario, Canada

Danny Darcy, Tenerife, Spain

The entire Galway Tribal Diaspora Project can be viewed online at galwaytribe.comIf you have a friend or family member who would be interested in taking part, you can email Michael at or fill in the online application form at

*  Ciaran Tierney won the Irish Current Affairs Blogger of the Year award at the Tramline, Dublin, last month. Find him on Facebook at onTwitter @ciarantierney.

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