Brendan O’Brien

Software Developer – Audiology Software Tech-Support

County Meath

Co. Meath

One-On-One with Brendan

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself, your job and how long you’ve lived in County Meath?

Well, I have over 20 years of experience working in the med-tech industry in Dublin for a hearing aid manufacturer. I started off as an admin assistant, then tried my hand at the repair bench as a repair technician but found my niche as quality control manager and currently, that is my position. A part of that role is technical support, due to the increased sophistication of hearing aid products which now include e2e communications and Bluetooth many things can go awry and it is my job to help resolve those issues. I deal with queries on a regular basis every day. I’m a fully qualified hearing aid dispenser and empathy is an important attribute to me, you treat others as you would like to be treated, that is my idea of how to treat colleagues and clients alike. I have helped so many people through my career, and I’ve been a part of a team that has improved the lives of many. 

I have always enjoyed solving technical issues and in 2018 I began a level 6 software development course online part-time, which I finished in 2019 and achieved a grade of first-class honours. This July 2021, I finished a BSc in Computing in Data Centre Management in LYIT, again, part-time online whilst juggling a full-time job and a young family, so I do have a can-do attitude and no matter what hurdles I have to jump to succeed I’m willing to do just that.

I have lived in Meath since 2005, at that time due to the house prices in Dublin we searched further afield to buy a home and settled in the Royal County.

What attracted you to living and working in Meath ?

It really was a case of being forced to look beyond Dublin to find a home, we settled in a little village with close proximity to the M1 for access to work for me, so Dublin is only 30 mins away and if you go north then Newry is about 45 mins. But, the real reason we decided on this location was the easier, slower pace of life outside of the daily commute. The coast is only 10 mins away, so beaches are accessible and Meath offers many heritage sites for places to visit, there are plenty of golf courses to walk too, where you can de-stress and fit in a quick 9 holes after a workday.

Can you walk us through a day in the life of living in Co. Meath ?

Most weekends are usually packed due to a Mon-Fri work schedule, so once the weekend comes around there are plenty of things to keep you occupied. Since the lockdown, the amount of people now walking is tremendous so our village is always full in the morning. After taking my oldest to his football match in Drogheda, we could then take the kids to Red Mountain Farm or Mellowes Adventure Centre or Balrath Woods where the kids go to see the dinosaurs (not really though) but because of the vast area of Meath there is a lot to take in and it is impossible to do all that in one weekend. Once we return from our excursions we usually go for a coffee and hot chocolate to unwind.

How would you describe transport within Meath ? Is it easy to get around ?

There is Bus Eireann transport that comes through the village on a regular basis. The bus connects us to Ratoath, Ashbourne and Blanchardstown but there is also a bus that goes directly to Dublin City Centre, it is not that regular though. A car is required for us as amenities such as shopping centres or supermarkets are not within walking distance or schools for that matter. So it is easy to get around but mainly by car if it is outside the village.

How fast/reliable is your home internet connection ?

The internet connection is quite good here and we usually get good speeds of around 80 Mbps download, 20 Mbps upload and Latency: is at 8 ms. I don’t want to jinx it but the connection here is quite reliable and I’m happy with my ISP.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite locations or attractions within Meath ?

The star attraction in Meath has to be the Unesco World Heritage Site, Newgrange, the burial chamber is built in such a way where the rising sun during Winter Solstice illuminates the chamber that reveals the inner passageway that predates the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Part of this ancient trail contains The Boyne Valley and the Hills of Tara, where the ancient High Kings of Ireland lived. Luckily I am just a short drive away from these monumental attractions.

In Ashbourne, there is also a theme park called Tayto Park which houses a cool roller coaster, amongst a mini zoo and many more adventures within its walls. If you go more towards the coast you have many more scenic adventures, like a walk along the beach from Gormanston to Balbriggan or even head into Funtasia in Bettystown or Funtasia Drogheda (waterpark).

Every weekend you will find something to explore there is no doubt about that as Meath has many offerings for everyone.

What advice do you have for individuals or families interested in relocating to Meath ?

Do your research! Meath has plenty to offer as a place to call home. On a map, the county is vast in area, so there are many towns and villages to visit to check out. Parts of Meath are really an extension of Dublin but the further you go inland the more rural it becomes which is nice for some but not for others. Most towns are well serviced without feeling isolated. Meath in parts are like a mini Dublin suburbia, so you get the feel of suburban living but at a gentler pace. I wouldn’t be much of a pub-goer so that is not my thing, unless it’s a special occasion etc but Navan, Drogheda has a decent social bar scene (if they ever get the chance to open properly that is) There are plenty of family amenities like shopping, coffee shops, parks/playgrounds dotted around the county. 

Overall, Meath is a great place to begin a family and the daily commute to Dublin is usually good from the M1 side, once you get further inland to Navan, Dunshaughlin, Dunboyne, Athboy, Kells and beyond, then commuting can be a little more treacherous especially when travelling to Dublin but in today’s day and age with high-speed internet connections and a lot of people working from home then these areas become a little more attractive for country living.

Thank you very much Brendan for taking the time to talk with us and thank you for representing Co. Meath as a Rural Ireland Tech Advocate.

%d bloggers like this: