Contributed by Colm Quinn
I grew up in my family home in a small village called Drumree, which is about 45 minutes from Dublin. It is in the country- side, so there are lots of green fields and old houses that have been around for hundreds of years. Our family home is easily over 200 years old, with walls close to 2 feet thick... which makes getting phone reception very difficult unless you stick your head out the window. I lived at home with my parents and brother up until I moved to Canada. My mother was a housewife and my father was a landscaper. My brother has followed in his footsteps and has taken over the family business. Landscaping was never my thing, as a child I always wanted to be an accountant... exciting stuff I know!
I finished college in May 2010, after completing my Post- Grad in accounting, however jobs were scarce and low paying due to the economic slowdown. After two years of jumping between jobs I decided, along with my cousin, to check out Canada. We successfully applied for the IEC visa and boarded a plane on 27 April 2012. It was a big move but made easier by the fact we had five close friends from the same village that arrived the year before. My first twelve months in Canada was all about finding my feet, getting set up with a job, making new friends and learning to do my own laundry (my mammy had me spoilt when I lived at home).
My first few jobs were in construction, as I had very little accounting experience, so I had to rely on networking and the Irish community. I would finish my construction job at 3pm, come home, get changed and jump on my bike to meet someone for coffee in the hope of landing an accountancy role. It took another twelve months, but the networking paid off. In 2013, I enrolled in the CPA program to complete my accounting designation. Very little from my Irish education was recognized so I had to essentially start from the beginning, six years later I passed all my exams and became a CPA.
The years have really flown by. I met Geri, my future wife, in March 2013, and we got married in Ireland in September 2016. It’s now 2020, we have a house in the suburbs and a five-month-old son called Alfie. In the eight years I have been here I have been back home at least ten times; I try to get home at least once a year and my parents and brother have visited several times. Life in Canada so far has been great. I never intended to settle down here and set up a life for myself but that is what has happened. Of course, I do miss my family and life back home, but it is only a seven-hour plane journey and with Skype and Facebook I am in regular contact with my family and friends. I am an active member of the Irish community in Toronto, I volunteer at several different events and look to get involved wherever possible. I was one of the judges for the Toronto Rose contest back in 2018. Ireland will always be my home but over the past few years Canada has also become my home too. Time will tell if Canada will be our forever home.