What made this software developer return home after 15 years?

In 2002, Mick O’Connor was struggling to find work in the electronics sector, leading him to pursue more promising prospects in Australia, where he ended up living for more than 15 years.

Now, O’Connor is back living in Ireland and working as a software development manager for Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI). Here, he discusses how joining the company has helped him navigate the move back to his home city of Dublin.

When did you decide to emigrate and why?
In 2002, both my wife and I were working in the electronics industry. Both of us were made redundant within three months of each other, due to the impact of the ‘dot-com crash’.

We struggled to get work in electronics and the cost of living was rising sharply. We had previously visited my wife’s sister in Australia and knew that the cost of living there, especially housing prices, was lower. I had also loved the climate and outdoor lifestyle.

So, we decided to relocate to Australia, given we knew someone living there, it was affordable and, thanks to our engineering degrees, we were eligible for visas.

Where did you emigrate to and for how long were you gone?
We moved to Perth, living there for around 15 years, from 2003 to 2019.

What made you decide to come back?
We missed our families. Our kids are 10 and seven years old, so it became a ‘now or never’ decision as we wouldn’t have wanted to relocate while they were in secondary school and had established deeper friendships.

Not having to Skype my Dad, who doesn’t know how to use a toaster, never mind a phone or laptop, was also a major factor!

Read Mick’s full interview here: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/people/genomics-medicine-ireland-software-developer-homecoming