I enjoyed a fairly idyllic Cork childhood, growing up in Crosshaven with three brothers. The house overlooked the beach and out toward Roches Point so adventure was literally on our doorstep. During the holidays we’d only come home from days out adventuring when we were hungry!
I got into sailing early and the Royal Cork Yacht Club featured prominently in my early life. I worked there, sailed there, and even met the girl who would later become my wife there. In my twenties I moved to London to pursue a career in finance, but after spending 14 years on that hamster wheel it was time to come home. London is an amazing city but my wife Alvin and I now had the needs of two small boys, Youen, now aged aged seven and Isaac, now aged five, to consider.
In 2016 I returned to take up a new role with EY in Cork and also volunteered as Race Director for Cork Week 2018 – it felt only right to give something back. The 2018 event was a great success and we’ve got some really special plans for Cork Week 2020, which will also mark the tri-centennial of the RCYC’s founding in 1720.
My wife and I both felt we had changed in our time living abroad but what proved remarkable was how much Cork had also changed in the interim. It’s now a small city with a truly global attitude. The transition hasn’t been easy, but after three years we think can finally say we’re home.
Sometimes I do manage a quick pint after work to start the weekend, but generally Friday nights are spent at home with a glass of wine, catching up on the week just gone and planning the weekend ahead.
Up with the lark most days, either because of work or because my boys are ready to take on the world at the crack of dawn. I do like the idea of an early start, I just wish I was better at going to bed at a reasonable hour!
Sometimes work can creep in, despite my best intentions. I find the traditional boundaries between work and personal life have been broken down by technology. When everyone is expected to be instantly reachable it’s a challenge to properly switch off.
A proper grown-up weekend escape with my wife would be wonderful. Somewhere like Vienna for a few days of lazy mornings, meandering city walks, good food, a bit of culture, and lots of sleep.
I always feel better by the ocean or in the mountains. Ireland’s west coast offers both and is very accessible from Cork. I’m particularly fond of Bantry and the Beara peninsula, it is spectacular.
Absolutely. It’s one of the main reasons we returned to Cork. As we all have small children now, we usually try to find an excuse to meet friends or family for a walk somewhere like Tramore Park or Currabinny Woods – any excuse for hot chocolate afterwards really.
I’ve been a lifelong sailor and continue to race whenever I can. Right now I’m busily involved in the planning of Cork300. The Royal Cork Yacht Club was founded in 1720 and is recognised as the oldest in the world. The club was originally founded by Cork merchants who traded globally from Cork harbour at that time, so 2020 will recognise 300 years of rich maritime history for the whole harbour and the communities around it. The program of events planned for next year will bring sailors and mariners from around the world to celebrate that history.
I love to entertain, and hosting friends is always a weekend highlight. This time of year I tend to experiment with slow-cooked dishes, like a 24-hour beef chilli.
The restaurant options in Cork city are excellent so we’re really spoilt for choice - family brunch in Crawford & Co, lunch at Blackrock Castle, dinner and a movie at the Montenotte Hotel.
During the week, a coffee at the Bookshelf is always worth escaping the office for.
Sunday is usually spent trying to pack as much into the weekend as possible. When it all gets too much it’s a great excuse to pick up a takeaway, put the kids to bed, and enjoy a quiet hour on the couch. Monday will be here quick enough.
The alarm goes off at 6.40am, and it’s the start of a brand new week.