Tuesday 19 September 2017

Work, school, pub... things are so close

Jim Meehan, Father, surfer and employee at Abbott Ireland Diabetes Care

Jim and Lorraine Meehan with their children Lily (6) and Anna (5) on Tullan Strand, Bundoran. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Jim and Lorraine Meehan with their children Lily (6) and Anna (5) on Tullan Strand, Bundoran. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The question has Jim searching. I asked for his 'favourite spot in Donegal' and he has so many that choosing one above another is tricky.

But then he comes up with the perfect answer.

The surfer, who competed for Ireland for over a decade, tells me: "The perfect place would be in the water looking back in on Bundoran, watching the sunset with the dolphins around me."

A native of the popular tourist town in south Donegal, Jim now lives just outside Rossnowlagh with his wife Lorraine, who teaches English in the VEC in Donegal Town, and daughters Lily (6) and Anna (5).

"We love everything about living here. Where we live, I can see the whole way from the Slieve League cliffs to Mullaghmore Head in Sligo," he tells me. "My local shop, Finnegans, is two minutes away, the national school is two minutes away and my place of work is 15 minutes away - things are so close. Realistically I can go out the front gate of my house, pedal four times on my bike and free-wheel the whole way down to a pub five minutes away."

Training to be a teamlead with Abbott, Jim says the company was a shining light in the area during leaner times.

"They're a wonderful employer and hundreds of families in Donegal depend on them and are so proud to be associated with the company. The work we do is serious, the schedules have to be adhered to but there's a great culture here too. Some of us might go surfing after work, we have team days where we might climb Mount Errigal or clean-up a local beach. The company puts a lot back into the community."

Having competed for Ireland at home and abroad, in Brazil, America and Europe, Jim is well placed to judge the quality of surfing conditions off Donegal.

"Really, they're second to none. When I started surfing, only three of us did it in Bundoran and people thought we were half-mad. Now you paddle out some days in the summer and there could be 350 people in the water waiting for that perfect wave."

Indo Review

Editors Choice

Also in Life