LONDONER Caroline Kennedy has been living in Cork for the last decade and said she looks set on staying in the Rebel County in the years to come.
The 32-year-old events manager at the shared workspace Republic of Work said she enjoys the city life in Cork and although she sometimes misses the availability of shopping that London provided, she has no second thoughts about staying put.
“I found London became much too busy and hectic! My sister attended Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) for college, so after many visits during her time there, I decided I wanted to make the move when I finished college in the UK.”
The young professional, who studied photography in college, focusing on landscape scenery, said she has a lot of time for art and enjoys a good wander around the Crawford Art Gallery.
Her favourite place in Cork is Dukes Coffee Company on Carey’s Lane where she likes to sit and watch the world go by.
“It’s a great place to people watch,” Caroline said.
Chatting about her other pastimes, Caroline said enjoying what the city had to offer is top of her list.
“I definitely use my spare time to chill out and catch up on sleep, but I also love to get a bite to eat or a coffee with friends to catch up, go to the gym or have a wander around the city.”
The young Londoner also enjoys the history of the city, with a keen eye for the older buildings of the urban landscape.
“I enjoy elements of history, It might sound weird but old graveyards and architecture fascinate me. There’s actually not much I dislike about Cork, but I do wish the city would embrace some of the amazing architecture we have and concentrate on preservation where possible.”
Caroline’s fondest memory from her decade in Cork was having the opportunity to look around Lotabeg House.
“The owners opened up the house to auction pieces from their private collection. It was like going back in time and the building was exquisite!”
Caroline is also a big music fan into blues and rock and roll.
“I love the music scene in Cork, there are local bands I enjoy. I love going to gigs and I think Cork does it really well. There are so many great venues.
“Obviously, Covid-19 has affected this recently, but I can’t wait to get back to live music again soon.”
Discussing the benefits of living in Cork, Caroline said the food in Cork is unrivalled and the proximity to the coast is enviable.
“The unrivalled restaurants and the fact you’re always only a drive away to the beach, these are some of the things I like about Cork.”
The gym is another place you can find Caroline on a regular basis, popping in three times a week to do some weights and keep up her strength.
“I am a regular at Evolution Health & Fitness gym. I hurt my lower back some years ago, I was in a lot of pain, it took some time to get better, but I was told to strengthen my back muscles with a programme. I thought I would go for about six months and three years later I am still going.”
Caroline began working in ROW after a number of years working in retail, at Brown Thomas and Coast.
“I fell into retail after I left college, as so many people do, I worked in it for six years, it was very enjoyable.”
Caroline is not alone in the city, with her twin sister Josephine living ten minutes from the city centre.
“We are not identical and I wouldn’t say we have a strong intuition. We had our own language when we were toddlers though. We used to freak our parents out!”
Ms Kennedy, who is half Irish thanks to her father who is from Kerry, spent many a summer traipsing around the countryside of the Kingdom as a young child.
“We used to go to Finnian’s Bay, just by Portmagee, it was the middle of nowhere!”
At the moment, Caroline is looking at buying her own place, with her location of choice being St Lukes.
“I don’t live too far away from it at the moment and I can see there is a great community there. People always say hello to you, it’s just lovely.”
The Londoner said she thinks Cork people have a warmth about them that is hard to find elsewhere.
“Cork people are the friendliest and most easy-going people I’ve ever encountered! I think when you go away and come back to Cork you really notice the difference between Corkonians and the rest of the world!
“I’ve also never seen anything like the love Cork people have for Penneys.”
Caroline who has kept her native accent quite prominently said she has some Cork-like traits that have helped her to integrate during her time here.
“The team in the Republic of Work are all born and bred Corkonians and they tell me my love of a pint of Murphy’s is the most Cork thing about me!”
Up until recently, Caroline used to be over and back to London to see her parents Sarah and William, who are still living there.
“I pop back maybe three times a year to visit family, and to relieve my shopping cravings.”
Despite the great retail therapy that London has to offer, Caroline said she doesn’t see herself leaving Cork any time soon: “The city itself and all of the wonderful people I have met in the last 10 years are keeping me here. I couldn’t think of a better place to be.”