This is a change from my usual posts here, but I just wanted to share what it means to me to be from and live in Waterford.
I have had several opportunities to leave Waterford for greener pastures on the work scene, but I would rather work for a fraction of the salary I could get in Dublin, London or further afield to stay and raise my family here.
So why do I choose to live here? Is it because I am from Waterford? I’m sure that’s part of it, but the main reasons are as follows:
- The Area: I love the area, I’m a few miles from Tramore beach where I can have a coffee looking out at the waves in the T-Bay surf club, or to Dooleys for a Cod and Chip and then a drive up to the Guillemenes to check out the view over the bay. I’m 15 mins from the mountains and Coumshingaun, the most beautiful corrie lake you are likely to see in a lifetime. There’s forest walks, rivers, mountains, lakes, fantastic copper coastline and so much more to do and see in the area.
- Towns and Cities: I’m close to the City and not far from Dungarvan, which both have everything I need from shopping point of view or if I need to go to the flicks or whatever. And within driving distance to fantastic towns such as Dunmore East, Ardmore, Lismore, Stradbally to name just a few, each unique and beautiful.
- Food: There are some absolutely fantastic places to eat, both cheap and cheerful and for that special occasion. For all tastes. The farmers market on the quay, the bar food at Geoffs, Surf and Turf at the Spinnaker in Dunmore East. If you like Thai, there’s Sabai on the Mall, for Indian, there’s Cafe Goa, for French, la Bohemme and l’Atmosphere, for Italian there’s a number of choices in the city. You can also get traditional Irish food and Carvery in many of the hotels and the Holy Cross on the Cork road. Then of course, there’s the Blaa and Rasher, both invented in Waterford, a hearty Deise breakfast If you like fast food, there’s plenty to choose from e.g. Gino’s the best pizza you’ll get anywhere (get the special and their hazelnut ice cream is to die for), then there’s chippers where you can get a Waterford Scallop (just don’t eat too many or you’ll turn into a fat puddin).
- Great Place for Families: I have two children and it’s a great place for them to grow up. It’s safe, they people are friendly and have good morals, and there’s loads of community groups and clubs such as Scouts, Stage Schools, Sports Gyms and so on. The schools are well run and trouble free. There’s also loads of places to bring kids on picnics and to explore like ‘The Mossy Woods’, Ballyscanlon, Newtown Cove, and there’s loads of brilliant playgrounds around like Fenor in particular, Kilmeaden, Ballybeg etc. and there are fantastic skate parks in Tramore and The People’s Park.
- Sport & Activities: Waterford has a great sporting tradition with Soccer and GAA and we love our teams. We haven’t had huge success lately but we battle on for the county colours. Other than that people love keeping fit here, there’s great running clubs, cycling clubs, surfing, kettlebells, taekwondo, MMA, Tag Rugby, Boxing and so on. Something to cater for all tastes.
- History & Culture: We are a very proud culture, we love our history, our language our art. There are 3 museums in the city in the Viking Triangle which has 1000 years of history in 1000 steps. Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland and will celebrate it’s 1100th Birthday in 2014. We have had some very famous children too such as Luke Wadding, who set up St. Patrick’s day as a festival, Thomas Francis Meagher, who came up with the tricolour flag, Edmund Rice (from Kilkenny) set up Mount Sion School here and started the Christian Brothers. The Theatre Royal is the main theatre in the city, and there’s Garter lane, which cater’s for a wide range of art.
- Language: We have our own slang here, I’ve written the book on it ‘The Deise Dictionary of Waterford Slang’ and we have bizarre names for things e.g A snail is a shellakybooky, a catapult is a gallybander… If you’re the tough sort and are looking for a drink in a bar order a Large Bottle off the Shelf. That’s how real men drink Guinness!
- Bars: Some good ones have been lost due to the recession, but we still have loads of great pubs including old pubs like Downses and T&Hs, then there’s the trendy Geoffs Bar and the Kazbar which leads you into the Nightclub area.
- Festivals: We have festivals all year round such as The 1848 Tricolour Celebration, Spraoi, Harvest Festival, Winterval and many others. There’s the Dungarvan Food Festival and the Lismore Book Festival also to name but a few.
- Community: Waterford has a fantastic supportive business community, we all take an interest in each other and recognise the fact that supporting your own means supporing yourself as the money stays within the local economy. There’s a great community on facebook and it’s very supportive and welcoming. Without this community I would not be able to make a living here and for that I’m really appreciative.
In conclusion, Waterford is a great place to work, live and play, and the ideal place to raise a family. If you’re from Waterford you already know all of this, if you’re not, why not come visit us. If you are looking for stuff to do give me a shout and I’ll be delighted to help you out.