Living Leeside: German Dominique loves Cork’s mythical aspect

German Dominique Wehrkamp tells Roisin Burke he initially moved to Cork ‘for a year or two’ but is still here and loving life 17 years later.
Living Leeside: German Dominique loves Cork’s mythical aspect

Working as a news cameraman, travelling Germany with a roving reporter, Dominique said the career he found himself in didn’t suit him and he needed a change.

NEVER far from a holiday on Leeside thanks to his Cork mother, German Dominique Wehrkamp developed a fondness for the Rebel way of life and moved here full time in 2005.

Working as a news cameraman, travelling Germany with a roving reporter, Dominique said the career he found himself in didn’t suit him and he needed a change.

“I finished my Diploma as a cameraman in film and television and worked in the media industry for a couple of years. However, I realised it didn’t suit me.

“My career had reached a critical point and I felt I needed a new start and wanted to open a new chapter in my life. I am half Irish half German and had visited Ireland every summer since I was a little child. Its people and culture were already familiar to me and I made the decision to move over.

“Initially I had envisaged to stay one or two years in Cork; however, two years became five, then ten, and now I am here 17 years.”

Dominique studied photography for two years at St John’s College, Cork, in 2009 before moving to Tralee in 2011 to do a BA in Health and Leisure and a Master by Research in Disability studies with UNESCO.


The former cameraman said he has great memories of his time at St John’s College.

“I look back very fondly on my times studying photography at St John’s. The people I shared my creativity with were wonderful. Irish, South Africans, Italians, Germans, Corkonians, we all shared our creativity with each other.”

It was while studying in Tralee that Dominique met his partner Lucia, with whom he has a nine-year-old daughter Estelle. The family now live in Kinsale with a chihuahua, a guinea pig and a number of fish. “I always wanted a big dog, but my partner, she wanted a small one.”

Dominique, who has been working with the Cope Foundation for the past five years as a supervisor and instructor, has a number of hobbies, including chess, guitar, sea swimming and making model ships.

Dominique Wehrkamp
Dominique Wehrkamp

“My daughter and I just finished making the Titanic. It took us a month and a half, working two hours a day.”

The model is now proudly on display in their house and Dominique has moved on to creating the H.M.S. Victory.

The German picked up a love of chess from his parents, with whom he used to play as a child.

“Prior to Covid, I was a member of the Cork Chess Club, I still play online with friends, it’s a great thing to do in a queue or waiting room, just choose a three minute or six minute game and play online.”

Dominique has lived in a number of places in Cork and really enjoys the lifestyle.

“I like Cork because it is an ever- changing place with so many areas to tap into such as art, technology, spirituality, and high quality education, just to name a few. It’s a melting pot of many cultures who enrich each other.

“To me, it has always been a free spirited place, although the pandemic and its fall-out is challenging this aspect. Cork has always provided me with options and gateways to follow up a career or undergo education and research. I am very thankful for this.”

In terms of missing Germany, Dominique said it is always small things that get him, like a “proper shower with actual pressure that makes no sound” or types of food.

But overall he is very happy with his life in Cork.

“I love the landscape, there is a mythical aspect to Cork which is in the DNA of the people here. There is a lovely way to Cork people, they have a very relaxed manner. I cherish what I have here.”

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