In this weeks Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Liebra Malocca, originally from Dundalk, now South Florida USA.
I am orginally from Warrenpoint, Co Down. We moved to Dundalk in the late 70s until I immigrated to the USA in 1986.
Thomas and Lila Malocca from the Rampart Food Bar, Stapleton Court.
Names of family?
Majella, Pasqualina, Benedict, Celesta and Thomas Jr.
When did you leave and why?
I left in 1986. I wanted to see what the USA had to offer. Telling my father I was going to another country wasn’t sitting well with him, but he has got used to it.
What’s your occupation?
I own my own Freelance Photography business names “LBM PHOTOGRAPHY” that keeps me busy weekends and occasional nights. I am also the supervisor of a great company named Shore Excursions Group / Toursales.com for when you travel you can book your Excursions tours while on land staying in a hotel or traveling via cruise ship. So I guess you can call me the boss.
What’s the biggest difference in settling into your new home?
Well it is great to say it’s mine to own.
How do you like to relax?
I love to go the beach close to my home and look out into the ocean. Uncork a bottle or two of Chianti Classica (red) and just feel the soft sand and sea breeze and listen to the sounds of the ocean.
Have you been home since leaving?
I return home yearly and sometimes twice a year if the fare is promising. The changes I find are for the better. However Dundalk youth need some more eventful and learning locations to attend besides the pubs.
Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?
Unfortunately not. My life is great in the USA. I worked hard to get to where I am today and for what I own. America is my new home, but I will never forget where I came from.
Any message for the folks at home?
To my friends who know me best that are still living in Ireland. Thank you for the great times, our crazy times and the friendship we still have today. To my amazing family. It’s a true saying blood is thicker than water. I adore and love each and every one of you. We are only a plane ride away and a phone call away and even a Skype or FB message away. But my heart has never left each of you.