There’s no place like home: the young Irish who are happy to be here
On the eve of St Patrick’s Day, meet the young Irish people refusing to board the bandwagon of gloom. Buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm, they are building careers, gaining new skills and starting companies in a country they believe is full of potential. For these young Irish, despite everything, there’s no place like home
Having completed a stint at
Dylan McGrath’s Fade St Social, he is currently on a
break from the kitchen to pursue a photographic career
For those who are willing to take a chance this country holds so much potential. My generation will become the new face of Ireland and change the way we are viewed on an international level. I have a plan to live in another country for some of my 20s, but at the moment I am building something strong to fall back on when I return to Ireland.
Everything is changing at such a fast pace and all we can do is embrace the moment and believe in a brighter future.
My Irish heroes are . . .Fionn Mac Cumhaill, Veronica Guerin and my father, Philip Guiney .
Emma Fortune, 23
is from St Mullins, Co Carlow, and works in Dublin’s docklands as marketing manager with Spanish Point Technologies, where she interned after graduating from UCD.
I think we are hungry. We are the generation of kids that got a wake-up call. This makes us very goal oriented, especially in the business world. Some of my closest friends are abroad.
I always thought that I would be the first one on the plane to some mad place. For a time I thought maybe I had been left behind and that I have missed out on something. But I feel I made the best decision for me – Dublin is the hub of all things tech these days – and I have no regrets.
The most impressive things about Ireland . . . are ideas machines such as James Whelton of CoderDojo and Paddy Cosgrove from the Dublin Web Summit.
Úna Ní Chárthaigh, 23
is from Clonakilty, Co Cork, and is a PR executive in the bilingual communications company Stillwater Communications, in Dublin.
We have it a lot better than some generations before us. We know we've to work extra hard to earn our keep and we appreciate how precious our jobs and college courses are.
I started training with na Gaeil Óga, an all-Irish speaking GAA club in Dublin city centre, to get to know some people my age so it's nice to feel part of a group here.
Having spent the p
ast four years in college in Connemara
, it eased the transition to city life having everything in Dublin, from football to yoga to pubs, as Gaeilge. I’ve no intention of leaving.
You can't beat . . . Irish banter. It doesn’t cost much to have a laugh in Ireland .
Vincent Lyons, 24
runs a small software development company in Dublin with some friends. In his spare time he oversees Dubstarts, a brand that helps young people get involved in entrepreneurship and i nternet start ups .
I got off a plane last September after a few months volunteering in India and headed straight to the pub to catch up with friends. While I was there, I randomly bumped into a bunch of i nternet entrepreneurs who wanted to help me make connections here instead of emigrating.
It made me appreciate that I have the right people around me now in Dublin. Tens of thousands of jobs in finance, construction and engineering disappeared overnight while a lot of us were at college or starting out in our careers. Some of my friends feel a bit lost.
On the positive side, I'm seeing friends with business degrees starting companies, and others learning programming.
I spend my days surrounded by young Irish people looking to build companies and I'm sharing in all their excitement and frustration.
For most of us there's a huge gap between the Ireland we thought we'd be living in when we were growing up, and the country we have now.
A lot of us are going through this mad scramble for identity. The Ireland I try my best to live in is creative, hardworking and optimistic.
In the future . . . I expect to see some of the world's greatest companies being built in Ireland.
Mark Griffin, 23
is from Limerick and is an intern at Cork University Hospital. In his spare time he likes to act, watch movies and listen to the musings of Ger Loughnane.
We’re the ones charged with fixing the country. We have a “put up or shut up” attitude. I nstead of just talking, we are doing. What’s also happening is we are re-examining ourselves as individuals and as a nation. I think this self-reflection can only stand to us. I know not everyone agrees, but I believe Enda Kenny deserves a lot of respect. He’s had nothing to work with since taking charge and he’s made a lot of progress with restoring some of our international credibility. H e’s hard working and he’s doing well.
I feel lucky to have a job; most of my friends are retraining or have emigrated. I do think about leaving but it’s mostly because I want a break from having to listen to the Plight of Ireland on a daily basis. For some reason we can’t stop analysing why the country’s in the state it’s in.
I heard two guys talking about Bertie Ahern the other day as if
the whole scandal just broke last week. It’s been years now. Why keep bringing it up?
What makes me happy . . . is seeing Irish teenagers such as The Strypes blowing people’s minds with their music.
Jessica Hutchinson, 23,
grew up in O’Devaney Gardens in Dublin 7 and is doing a degree in youth and community work at NUI Maynooth. She is on the steering committee of the Y Factor, a group that supports young women in Ireland.
There have been drastic cuts to the youth sector, which will have an impact on the future of young people and their hopes of employment. But I still maintain we have a thriving and striving community of young people who can offer so much if they’re recognised as active citizens capable of creating change.
I thought about leaving when I lost my job but decided to go back into education to create a better future at home.
Knowledge is power. I want to play a part in creating a better future for the next generation.
Socrates said it best: “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”.
I admire . . . strong women in Irish society and from history, such as Constance Markievicz
Special thanks to Rita Crosbie and the staff at Café Bar H in Grand Canal Square, Dublin for providing the location for this photo shoot. For reservations, call
01 899 2216 cafeh.ie