Newry’s Lost Generation, with Luke McGuirk
Name: Luke McGuirk.
Age: 27 Years Old.
Education/experience: FEng Construction Engineering (University of Ulster). I am currently working as a Senior Civil Engineer on multi-billion dollar projects across Western Australia.
What part of Newry & Mourne are you originally from? Bessbrook.
When did you leave Newry? September 2006.
Why did you leave Newry? I left Newry for a 12 month working holiday before settling into which I thought then would be a full time job back home or continuing on with my studies.
Who did you go with? I jumped on a plane the day after I graduated with a friend I worked with part –time in Newry and met some Bessbrook boys who flew out a few weeks before me.
What are you doing now in Australia? I have always been lucky with work and have worked in most of the major cities of Australia, on some of its famous landmark buildings including the Sydney Opera House in 2007. Currently I work for Leighton Contractors as a Senior Engineer based in Perth on a major oil and gas project.
Are you enjoying life away from Newry? Yes, I think 95% of people from Newry over here at the minute do. The best year for me was when I was travelling in 2006/2007, I had some awesome experiences and met some of my best friends during that period.
What do you miss most about Newry? Everyone misses their family of course, then there is the food but for me it would have to be playing in the Newry pool league on a Tuesday and Thursday nite and having a few sneaky pints of Harp with the team to celebrate the win, or commiserate the loss.
When will you return to Newry or if you don’t know, then would you like to eventually return here? It’s difficult to say, I recently received my Australian passport and have jumped onto the Australian property market this year so the final nail in the coffin would to meet an “Aussie Sheila” then it would be very unlikely I would ever return to Ireland permanently but I would like to at some stage, maybe not to Newry as career opportunities for me there would be very slim.
Career ambition (i.e. your perfect job): To be honest a professional pool player would be the perfect job but that was more like a dream so realistically probably becoming a Project Director or CEO of a construction company.
What would you say to anybody still living in Newry who can’t find work? It depends on their situation/age. Anybody 20-30 years old should definitely do some travelling, if they don’t like it they can always return home. People with young families or middle aged may find it difficult to leave but there is allot of opportunities elsewhere other than Newry.
Anything else you would like to add? Happy New Year to all the family back home and Emirates do a good flight over to Perth so no excuses now not to visit!!
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