‘I left in 1986 for a holiday and I’m still here’

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In this weeks Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Eilish Rafferty Kelliher, originally from Dundalk, now living in Long Island, New York.

Originally from?


Parents names and names of family?

Pat and Sheila Rafferty (nee) Rogan.

When did you leave and why?

I left Ireland in 1986 for a two week holiday. I’ve been here since.

What’s your occupation?

I am a full time mother and babysit from my home.

What’s the biggest difference in settling into your new home?

The biggest difference living around is not having family around. It is difficult at times.

Is the social life much different from home?

Social life is pretty much the same as at home, but people don’t frequent the bars as much as at home.

How do you like to relax?

I like to read, walk, go out to dinner. I enjoy relaxing.

Have you been home since leaving and what changes have you noticed?

I have been home many many times since leaving. The Ireland I left is no longer there. It is very Americanized and in some ways even more advanced than America.

What’s the best and worst things about being away from home?

The worst thing about being away from home is being away from family. The best thing is also being away from family.

Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?

No, I have no plans to return to live in Ireland for good.I do visit every year.

Name one thing from home that you wish you could buy in your local store?

I’m not sure what I wish I could buy in my local store. I can get a lot of the Irish food here. Would love if we had a Pennys department store here in New York.

Have you a message for your friends and family?

I talk to my family and friends almost all the time so I don’t need to leave a message. Just hi to all and see you all in a couple of months.


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