Friday, September 17, 2021

Jonathan Flynn (39) is the Marketing Manager with St. Dominic Credit Union. A proud Portlaw man (after moving from Ferrybank as a child and losing the mantle as a ‘blow-in’), Jonathan now lives in Tramore with his lovely wife Valerie and Tuco, their new Jack Russell pup. Jonathan has spent many years of his professional career travelling around the world having lived in Denmark, Canada and Australia along the way. The opportunity to live in other countries has given Jonathan the work and life experience he needed to pursue his ambition of establishing a rewarding career in marketing in his beloved Waterford. 

Life in a day

Most mornings (when it isn’t raining), Valerie and I go for a walk on the Prom in Tramore to get some fresh air and to enjoy the waves while we sip on a cup of coffee. After driving back home and making sure the dog is fed, I drive to work in St. Dominic Credit Union in Summerhill. After a hard day’s work getting up to speed with my new job, I usually get changed in the office for a run around Tramore before I get back to the house.

The rest of my evening usually consists of a quick bite to eat, walking the dog and trolling through Netflix or Amazon Prime for the next TV series to binge on for the next few weeks. If Ireland are playing, I will always switch on to shout on the Boys in Green. I’m an eternal optimist, hoping that the good old days will return.

What school did you go to?

I went to primary school in Portlaw and secondary school in St Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas. I enjoyed my schooldays a lot and I’ve some very fond memories. I made some brilliant friends and had some very good teachers that had a very positive influence on my life.

What teacher do you remember most vividly?

In primary school, I remember Ms McCarthy the most vividly. She had the patience of a saint with me even when I insisted on acting the class clown. I loved her lessons on history and geography which I still have a passion for. In secondary school, I was very fortunate to have been taught maths by Mr Foley. He was another teacher with lots of patience who helped me immeasurably with reaching my full potential when it came to maths. I must also give a special mention to Mr Kerley, an absolute character who gave us some brilliant laughs throughout secondary school.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Keep believing that anything is possible. Get all the naysayers and negative voices or influences as far away from you as possible. Hard work and determination will get you far but not everything is life will be smooth sailing. Just keep your head above water until the storm clouds pass. They always pass eventually.

How do you relax?

I love to relax on a Friday night either down in the pub with my wife Valerie for a few drinks or lying on the couch watching a movie. On a Saturday, I usually watch ‘Soccer Saturday’ on Sky Sports once the household chores are done.

What is your favourite film and piece of music?

My favourite movies of all time are ‘Stand by Me’, ‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. They are the only films I could watch over and over again and not get bored of (I couldn’t choose one over the other). My favourite song is also ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King. Every time I hear that song, it brings me back to my childhood.

When was the last time you cried?

I vividly remember the last time I cried, it was in the departures lounge in Cork Airport after going through security on my way to emigrate to Australia. I had just said goodbye to my mother in the café and my heart broke as I glanced back for one last look to wave goodbye. The recession in Ireland was at its height at the time and I genuinely didn’t know how long we’d be away from home. It ended up being five years and I’m always thankful that my family were still healthy and happy when I moved back home.

What has been your happiest moment of recent times?

My happiest moment in recent memory was my wedding day back in 2015. My wife and I came back home from Australia for a holiday and had a small family wedding in Garryvoe, County Cork. It was a brilliant day and it was great to see all our family and closest friends together while we were home.

Do you pray?

Not as much as I used to. I plan on rediscovering my faith someday just not sure when. There may be no time like the present!

What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is water which is probably strange seen as I live by the sea. I’ve had one or two close calls over the years which has made me very hesitant to get into the water. I also fear being buried alive but that is a completely irrational fear – I hope.

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is the player of the year award I won while playing for Portlaw United Youths under the legendary Johnny Keyes. I worked really hard as a kid for years to get myself picked for Portlaw’s first team. I had often been in and out of the team for one reason or another. The year I won the award, I had a particularly good season, scoring in nearly all of the games that year. The award was extra special as it was voted for by all members of the team.

What is your favourite thing about Waterford?

My favourite thing about Waterford is the scenery and the people. One of the biggest things I missed whenever I was away from Waterford was the banter. I just couldn’t get the same laugh out loud moments anywhere else like I get when around my friends and work colleagues in Waterford. I’d often be chuckling away to myself when something one of the lads said pops into my head while working around the house or bringing the dog for a walk.

If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?

I really think that Waterford needs more investment to improve Foreign Direct Investment from multinationals and tourism in the region. It’s such a shame that the plans for the North Quays have ground to a halt. It would have been great to see a major international brand have offices or shops in the city. It might be time to put some money into the city centre now and really market Waterford as a historic place to visit and a wonderful place to live.

In conversation with Dermot Keyes

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