CIVIL engineer Alan Costello, aged 34, came to Cork in 2002 to study at CIT and found the love of a fine Cork woman at the house warming of a mutual friend.
He lives in Crosshaven with new wife Tracey and is currently working on building the N22 bypass of Macroom.
Since graduating from CIT with an honours degree in Structural Engineering, Alan went on to do a Masters in Civil Engineering in 2014 and has been on the Engineers Ireland Cork Region Committee for the past six years. He is currently the chairman.
Married last September in Glounthaune Church, Alan and Tracey spent their honeymoon trekking through Nepal to make their way to Everest base camp.
“We both had the opportunity to take time off work and wanted to do something that we wouldn’t have the chance to do again.”
The trip was organised by Corkman Pat Falvey, who now lives outside Killarney.
Alan described the 17-day-expedition as a once in a lifetime experience.
“It was unbelievable. We were trekking for 12 to 13 days. Eight days going up, three coming down and two rest days.”
They were lucky they got to go ahead with the trip.
“The weather was poor flying in and out. We could have been caught badly but thankfully everything went to plan.”
Clearly a man with a thirst for adventure, this is not Alan’s first daring feat.
Back in 2009, when Cork was playing Kerry in the All Ireland Final, Alan and his friend Seán went boldly where no sane Kerry man went before; into Rearden’s Bar, clad in their Kerry colours, to watch the match.
“We were feeling brave that day,” Alan said.
“Seán and I went into Rearden’s early and sat right in front of the big screen. The place got busier and busier and soon there were a few hundred Cork supporters behind us.
“We were severely outnumbered.”
Kerry destroyed Cork on the day.
“It would have been a long walk out of the pub if we hadn’t,” Alan said.
“We had good banter in there.
“There is always good rivalry between Cork and Kerry, we took a lot of stick but it was good fun.”
One of Alan’s favourite Cork events is the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.
“I love the jazz, I am not a connoisseur by any means, but I enjoy the gigs, bands, events and atmosphere. From outside the Opera House to the Metropole Hotel, it is a fantastic weekend.
“All the friends from Kerry start looking for a place to stay that weekend!” Alan joked.
Living in Cork for more than 14 years, Alan said he has a good circle of friends here now.
“Most of my closest friends would be from Cork.
“I have a lot of friends from college and that. You need that when you move away from home.”
He is at a point in his life when things are starting to change.
“Before we were all going out, now we are all going to baby birthday parties.
It is nice to be a part of that.”
His wife Tracey always enjoys a trip to the Kingdom.
“Tracey loves Kerry, it’s nice to be able to show her around.
“Home in Kerry is not far from Inch beach so there is loads to do on our doorstep.
“I am very happy in Cork, but being in Cork makes you appreciate Kerry more and all it has to offer.”
Discussing old friends and staying in contact with childhood buddies, Alan said things do change.
“It is different from day to day contact to just catching up on events and what we have been doing. You miss things.”
For Alan and Tracey, the plan is to stay in Cork for the foreseeable future. “I try not to look too far ahead, but I am very happy here, work is good and there are good opportunities.
“We moved to Crosshaven, two years ago. There have been a lot of changes in the last few years.
“We are very happy, there is a nice community and the scenery is unbelievable.
“It is great to walk out the door into that scenic atmosphere.”