Our House: Coming home to Tramore, Co. Waterford
Deciding city life and the nine-to-five wasn’t for him, Johnny O’Shea retrained as a primary school teacher and moved back to his home town of Tramore. He hasn’t looked back.
Things have worked out well for Johnny and Caroline Mc Garry. They have a beautiful home over-looking the sea, they have jobs they love and the time to enjoy their lives in the seaside town of Tramore.
It wasn’t always like that though, Johnny had to work at it to get what he wanted. He had lived and worked in Dublin and other big cities his whole working life, having trained as an engineer but ended up working in logistics. He found himself caught up in the corporate lifestyle of Dublin, burning the candle at both ends and watching the years run away from him.
“I just felt I wanted to move home to family and friends and a better life. So I decided to go back and retrain as a primary school teacher,” says Johnny.
“My mother was a teacher and, at her retirement do, an ex-student was there and she had a photo of my mother with her. There was my mother, this lady and her daughter in the photo, two generations of the same family. I just thought it was amazing and I thought ‘I want some of that,” says Johnny.
It dawned on him that he wanted something different in life.
“It was tough studying and working until I qualified but I was lucky enough to get a job straight off the bat. So everything went smoothly in the end.”
“If you have an aptitude for it, it’s the best job in the world, if you don’t have an aptitude for it, I couldn’t imagine a worse job, but thankfully we love it,” says Johnny.
“We love children and teaching is a real vocation and you either have it or you don’t," says Caroline. "We’re lucky enough to be working in brilliant schools with great teachers, the parents are brilliant too. It’s just wonderful to think that you’re actually making a difference”.
The teaching jobs fit into their chosen lifestyle. They’d rather have a job where they can see they’re making a difference. Their life in Tramore is focused on quality. Quality of career satisfaction, quality of time and general quality of life.
“My previous life was spent on the road — early work and late evenings,” explains Johnny.
The decision to ‘come home’ has been a very good one for Johnny and Caroline. At the centre of all the strands of their life together is their home looking out over the bay in Tramore. It’s a beautiful four bedroomed house but more than that, it’s their home, where they can feel settled, put down roots and plan a future, a family.
“Getting the house cemented everything for us," says Caroline. "It was so important, a huge step. It just felt right from the beginning. Our parents and family love it. It’s always filled with love and laughter. Everything else just followed suit”.
“So much has fallen together for us," adds Johnny. "We have jobs we love, we have a house we absolutely adore, and we’re close to our families which is important. And please god with hopefully having children, it’ll be great to have the support there.”
With a wedding to look forward to, and the next chapter of their life approaching Johnny and Caroline have come home in a very real sense.
About the Our House series
Our House is a 6-part series created in partnership with Ulster Bank. Focusing on a range of different people in Ireland and how they choose to live their lives, we look at the relationship between people’s homes and the way they live.
Every home starts with a house and the first step on the way to owning that house is your mortgage. Ulster Bank is in the business of helping people realise their home ownership dreams and are there to help you through the process.
Debbie Boyle, a Mobile Mortgage Manager with Ulster Bank, says: “At Ulster Bank, we know that buying a house is so much more than a transaction - it’s a putting down of roots. That’s why at Ulster Bank, we do all we can to help make the mortgage process easier. So the more headspace we can clear for our customers, so they’re free to focus on the next place they’ll call home, the better”.
To talk to Ulster Bank about your mortgage click here.