An Inishowen man living abroad thinks lack of opportunity and employment might mean he may never return to live in the peninsula.
Oran McGonagle from Moville, has been living in Boston for the past three years since he graduated from the University of Ulster with an Honours degree in Business.
Working long hours as marketing and advertising manager in one of Boston’s most famous Irish bars, the Banshee Bar, Oran believes his chosen career path would not be available to him in Inishowen.
Leaving at the start of the economic recession in 2008, Oran felt the lack of opportuntity at home gave him no choice but to leave his family behind and board the plane to Boston.
“I feel at the moment the best opportunities for me are in America. I work full time in a good job and if I was to go back home I would be starting all over again.
“There’s nothing there for graduates at the minute, one of the worst things is that a lot of the people I grew up with have left the town now for better chances of gaining employment.”
Despite his strong family connections in the peninsula, the Moville man believes his employment chances in Boston do not compare to home in Inishowen, but he admits some of the country’s bigger cities could provide opportunities for people.
“There are not the same chances for people in Inishowen.
“The scale is different here. ‘The Banshee’ would have a bigger budget for entertainment and promotions. We would also have something going on in the bar every night which the bars at home just could not afford.
“I love Inishowen and I will definitely be back for visits. I think you only really appreciate what beauty you had when you live in a big city. Moville is a great town and definitely the best things about it are its people and beauty. It has some amazing characters. ‘The Green’ is a great amenity for the town to have and I was happy to hear that local people are getting involved in its running and upkeep again.
“But I can’t see myself living there again anytime soon. If I go back to Ireland it will probably be to one of the cities.”
Despite his love for his hometown, the 26-year-old, who originally travelled Stateside on a one year internship which was being offered to graduates, attributes the strong Irish community for one the reasons he fell in love with his new home.
“People will do anything for each other no matter where you’re from or who you are. There’s a great proudness to be Irish in Boston; the only problem is you are 3000 miles from home.
“The lifestyle here also suits me better, if you want to do something, you go and do it, no questions asked, whether it is in business or pleasure.”
A former Carndonagh Community School student, Oran finds the pressure of living so far from his family to be difficult at times.
“I do miss family and friends a lot but I fell I am pretty lucky as I can go back home for holidays when I want.
“There are so many people who left Ireland a lot worse off than me.
“That’s why having the community in Boston is so important because there a lot of young Irish people here and they all get on well with each other.”
With the strong sense of community in the Massachusetts city, Oran believes Boston is a perfect spot for people who are brave enough to make the move away from the Emerald Isle.
“ It is not an easy decision to move to another country no matter where it is, but I would say that anyone I’ve met from Inishowen (and there’s a lot) are enjoying themselves and are happy with there current lifestyles.
“There’s work here for people who are willing to do it and you will live comfortably at it as well.”