Friday 19 January 2018

'I miss out on family events and won't see daylight at all some weeks,' says father

Ivan Tolan feels his commute means he has missed out on many of the milestones that should be enjoyed by a dad
Ivan Tolan feels his commute means he has missed out on many of the milestones that should be enjoyed by a dad

Laura Lynott

Ivan Tolan is one of the thousands who get up early to commute to work - but like many, he feels he's missed out on milestones that can't be replaced as a father.

Mr Tolan (47) rises early every day, at just after 6am, to get from his home in Bettystown, Co Meath - a commuter route that sees the highest amount of drivers nationally travelling an hour or more to work.

The father-of-three gets to his office in Citywest, Rathcoole, Dublin, by 7.20am - well before his 9am start time.

The whole journey begins again at 4.45pm, but if he stays until 5pm or after, the consumer electronics manager gets "stuck" in traffic for an hour and 45 minutes.

The 65km commute should only take up to 48 minutes but Mr Tolan said most of the drivers in his area are driving to work in Dublin too.

"There's no direct bus or train route to my workplace and even if I got the train to Dublin city centre and a Luas up to work, the cost is three times higher than someone getting a train down the road in Balbriggan," Mr Tolan said.

Read More: Commuting times on the rise across every county

"It's too expensive, so you're forced to use the car. And though there is a work at home option, I can't avail of that as I'm a general manager and I have to be office-bound.

"I'm away a lot more than I want to be and with October the nights will draw in, so I won't see daylight all my working week."

The manager has three children - Lauren (18), Ross (15) and Rory (11) - who he would very much like to have more time with.

"I've definitely missed things at home, including school plays and events at Christmas and things the children were doing in school. And you want to be there as a dad," he said. "The early commute also takes its toll on your body clock because it doesn't turn off on Saturday and Sunday."

Irish Independent

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