Contributed by Carmel Drumgoole
My parents, Peter and Patricia (Murray) Drumgoole live in Dundalk, County Louth in Ireland. They married in 1971 and had five children – two boys and three girls. Peter was originally from Reaghstown, Ardee, County Louth. He built, owned and managed a very successful Greyhound Schooling track called ‘The Wildgoose Lodge.’ Located, as it was, midway between Dublin and Belfast, it was an ideal surface for racing greyhounds because the land was soft and boggy. Peter went on to open two furniture stores, one at the Wild Goose Lodge and another one in Dundalk in Louth.
Patricia Rose Murray was from Cavanrobert, Tallanstown, Dundalk, County Louth. She trained as a nurse in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry, County Down, and later returned to nursing when her children were fully grown. All but two of my four siblings have remained in Ireland. I myself chose to immigrate to Canada and my brother Joey emigrated to Australia. My older sister Martina lives in Ardee, County Louth, my younger sister Eileen settled in Kerry, and my eldest brother Pete has settled in Cork. I have a total of eight nieces and nephews.
From 2005-2016 I lived and worked in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin. I worked for GOAL Global, an international humanitarian organization for 11 years. My work took me to countries like India and Ethiopia, where I encountered some of the poorest people on God’s earth. When home in Ireland I was actively engaged in organizing numerous events and initiatives to raise funds for the work of GOAL overseas. While living in Dublin, I got involved in my local theatre group ‘The Dalkey Players’. My other pastime involved running and through this activity I participated in “fun runs” all across the country. My passion for running, which endures to this day, also extended to setting up the first Parkrun operation in my hometown of Dundalk.
On 28 September 2013, I travelled to Toronto, Canada, to visit a Canadian friend I had met in Dublin. It was on this holiday when I first met John Wildman who, five years later, would become my husband. I moved to Toronto on 29 February 2016, to virtually remake my life, to begin a new career pathway, and to share my life with John. The people of Toronto are some of the kindest and most accepting I have ever met. My first six months in the city were spent job hunting and networking among what is a very strong Irish community in Toronto.
In November 2016, I secured employment at the George Brown College Foundation. It was to be my dream job and cast me among dream colleagues! Canada has opened many doors of opportunity for me. On 5 May 2018, John proposed to me. We set our wedding date for 28 September 2018, as this was the date we had met five years previously. The wedding took place at the most impressive Royal Canadian Yacht Club Island on Lake Ontario. It was a glorious day, 22 degrees Celsius. Canada is a stunning country, so beautiful and picturesque. The culture here is vibrant, diverse and inclusive. In my rich and fulfilling new life, I have travelled extensively, particularly into Canada’s unspoiled north with its placid lakes and its stately forests. It has all made me truly grateful to be alive and living in such a great country.
Carmel Drumgoole Wildman