As Donegal’s young people continue to flock to foreign shores, donegaldaily.com reporter Marie Duffy presents the first of a series of interviews speaking to some of the people who are creating a new life abroad.
“Donegal is where my heart is, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the opportunities [workwise] to offer me right now.”
CIARA McMenamin is 26 and from Castlefinn and left for Australia in 2009.
However, unlike many backpackers who leave Ireland each year, Ciara left in order to progress her career which she felt she could not do in Ireland.
Ciara lives in Australia with her partner Cathair and both have secured long –term employment in Australia’s thriving IT industry.
“We arrived in Sydney in November and within a few days my partner, Cathair, found a job in IT and shortly afterwards I found work. We have been here ever since.” She said.
Ciara was determined to find a job which would enhance her skills and secured a job working for Australia’s largest internet provider.
“I work as a QA Systems tester for Big Pond Media which Australia’s largest Internet Service Provider”, she explained.
“I am in the Media test team which tests all the major sporting websites aswell as a Movies database for major clients like LG and Samsung TV. I ensure that all the media applications and websites work before it has been launched to the public.”
Both Ciara and Cathair plan to stay in Australia for as long as they can, and have been lucky enough to secure a four-year visa.
However, despite loving her new lifestyle Ciara realises that Australia cannot offer her everything. What she really wants is to be back in Ireland amongst her family and friends.
“Although I have a great network of friends here, I miss being part of my community in Castlefinn”, she said.
“I really miss my friends and family, and it’s the small things like having a cup of tea and a chat, or the Sunday dinners and the conversations around the table afterwards. The likes of Facebook and Skype are great for keeping in contact with everyone, but it’s not the same as meeting them in person.”
She regularly keeps up to date with everything in Ireland, and is saddened to read about the worsening job crisis back home. However, she hopes things will improve and allow her to return home.
“I read donegaldaily online and I do my best to keep update on all news throughout the country. I think it’s extremely important to be aware of what is happening back at home. It makes me sad to hear of so many people out of work.
“Donegal is where my heart is, but unfortunately it doesn’t have the opportunities [workwise] to offer me right now. I really hope it can in the future.”