In this week in Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Neill Flynn, originally from Faughart, Dundalk, now living in Calgary, Canada.
I am originally from Faughart.
Parents names and names of family?
My parents are Anthony and Josephine Flynn. My brothers are Cormac and Domhnall and my sister is Fiona.
When did you leave and why?
I left Dundalk in September 2011. I really left for a change and experience something new. I had friends in Calgary, so I decided to go there.
What’s your occupation?
Currently I am working for Canada’s biggest tv/internet providers - Shaw communications. I am involved in human resources as a payroll and benefits administrator.
What’s the biggest difference in settling into your new home?
I would say the biggest difference with settling into Canada is definitely the weather. We get about 3 months of summer which is nice and hot but when the winter comes we experience temperatures of about -40 which takes a lot of getting used to.
Is the social life much different from home?
I would say that there is more options when it comes to social life over here. You have the option of snowboarding or skiing in the Rocky Mountains which is only a one hour drive from Calgary. When it comes to nights out, I would say that the Canadians are a lot more quiet and reserved than us Irish which also takes some getting used to.
How do you like to relax?
Over here in Calgary I captain a football team called the Eagles in both indoor and outdoor football - soccer as they call it. This helps me relax all year round. I am also mad into snowboarding when the season comes around you will mainly find me up the mountains all weekend. I also enjoy going to watch Calgary local team in La Crosse.
Have you been home since leaving and what changes have you noticed?
Yes, I have been home a few times for the weddings of my two friends in Dundalk- Donal Maclean and Colm Brady. Its a long flight home but they only get married once (well I hope so).
What’s the best and worst things about being away from home?
Best thing is definitely meeting new people and getting to see new places. The worst thing about being away from home is the obvious thing of missing my family and friends and the general craic I would have at the weekends at home.
Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?
Yes I do plan in the future to move home for good, but I’m not sure when. I was only planning one year here and I’m now into my 3rd year.
Name one thing from home that you wish you could buy in your local store?
I would say the one thing I miss from home is a good chippy. They just don’t know how to do it over here. So when I’m home its either straight to Tony’s or the Roma.
Have you a message for your friends and family?
I would just like to say I’m missing them all and I hope they aren’t missing me too much. Also don’t forget that you are all welcome to visit me in Calgary any time.