Jennifer and Killian’s story to Co Derry
We, Jennifer and Killian knew each other from university in Dublin but ended up forming a relationship in Tasmania 12 years later, after Killian had been living and working there for some time. Staying there for three years together, adding Lochlann to the family along the way. We decided that it would be important for Lochlann and his grandparents to be near to each other… but not too near, as it turns out.
So, in May 2019, we sold what we could and packed up the rest, while Lochlann mostly stared at the ceiling making googoo noises. We flew back to Dublin and stayed with the grandparents for what ended up being six months while we tried to figure out where to live and what to do. Killian worked as a kayak guide and tried to find work in renewable energy. When the right job came along, it was in Derry. Hmm, we knew we wanted to be outside of Dublin but Derry was never on the cards, especially since we had just spent six months setting ourselves up in the Republic of Ireland systems.
On the way to an interview in Belfast, Killian did a quick tour of some towns in Derry near to the work sites and decided that Limavady looked nice (although, he only actually made it as far as the country park). When the job offer arrived, the family spent three nights in Ballykelly and had great meals at The Well and The Drummond, where Killian helped put up the Christmas tree and we were bought a pint by a friendly business owner. Jennifer’s early hesitations about the whole ordeal were softened.
We had set aside a day for looking at places and the one that suited us most was in Limavady. A month later we were moving in and have lived here since.
It turns out that we love it here. The people are extremely friendly and some new friends helped us celebrate our wedding last month (at time of writing). We have a wonderful leisure centre and pool across the road, cycle routes to town and convenience shops everywhere. For the baba, there are endless toddler groups and activities, heaps of playgrounds and other open spaces and creches to choose from. For us, the town is full of independent shops like Inside Out, The Furniture Factory and Chaps Subzero.
It was easy for Jen to look amazing at the wedding but Killian certainly couldn’t have looked so well without stumbling across Different Class in Derry City. One of the things we like is how easy it is to get to Derry from Limavady and we can stop at Ethical Weigh on the way back and get packaging-free goods (and pick up some eggs from the Hunters farm container).
It’s very easy to get out to Coleraine too and onwards to Portrush and the Causeway Coast, or Donegal by road or ferry. Killian sometimes has to go to Edinburgh on business trips too and, within 2.5hours of leaving the front door, he can be sitting at a desk in Edinburgh via the City of Derry Airport.
What makes living here great
What really makes living here great, though, is how close we are to the outdoors. Within 15 minutes from our home we can walk in any of Roe Country Park, Ness Country Park or Muff Glen Forest Park. In the same amount of time, we could be hiking the spectacular Binevenagh, surfing at Benone on one of the longest beaches on the island or kayaking on our local whitewater river, the Roe.
We also play a lot of music and find that the Roe Valley Arts Centre is a great place to visit. We have played at locally organised Dogleap Events evenings and are booked for some recording at Blast Furnace in Derry City in the next month. Jennifer sings professionally and so having Drenagh House & Estate and the Roe Park Resort nearby is handy too. Just writing this down makes us really appreciate how there are so many opportunities in this wonderful county to make a life the way we want to live it.
- We moved in one go from Dublin. We rented a huge van from Enterprise in Eglinton and they were extremely helpful.
- The traffic is terrible in Limavady… between 3 and 3:15pm. There are lots of schools. Otherwise traffic is a distant memory.
- House prices and rents allow for more opportunities here than they do in Dublin. We found the sale market to be much healthier than the rental market in terms of choice.
- There are too many places to visit. Indecision can lead to inertia. Watch out for that one.
- We found meeting people was easy. We joined a couple of classes for the baby, for exercise, for music. Anything really. Once we found some people, we were very quickly introduced to others.
Jennifer and Killian