Research Technologist and Technology Advocate at Dell Technologies
One-On-One with Dave
I’m Dave Graham (American; Irish resident) and I live with my wife (Canadian; Irish resident) in a small village just outside Athlone called Mount Temple. I work for Dell Technologies as a Research Technologist and Technology Advocate as well as attending University College Dublin as a PhD student. I also am the community manager for Scale Ireland. I focus my research (work/academic) on social technologies and how they impact transformation. I’m always interested in how data can be used to improve society and, here in the country, there’s plenty of it. My wife and I just moved to Westmeath from Co. Kildare at the beginning of March and during our house search, we fell in love with the area.
What attracted you to living and working in Westmeath ?
The best part of being in Westmeath is that you’re literally equidistant to both coasts. Or, said differently: close enough for city life and far enough away for peace. What attracted us was the possibility of switching from the always-on city and suburban life to something more intentional, slower paced and focused on community beyond anything else. Being able to, in the most delightful of ways, enjoy a more analogue existence and bring about change for the better in our lives and, perhaps, in the lives of those around us.
Can you walk us through a day in the life of living in Westmeath?
A day in the life of our family is…birds start in at 5am, we moan about it, the sunrise comes beaming through our east-facing window, the mare runs across the back field and esconsces herself in the paddock closest to the neighbour’s cattle, donkey, and goats. Coveralls go on, we walk the fields, spending time with our horse (soon to be 2!) with a strong cup of coffee in hand, and then back to the office for conference calls, research, and potentially installing new networking equipment (running cables is my current chore).
How would you describe transport within Westmeath ? Is it easy to get around ?
Transportation is interesting. As we drive an electric car, we learned very quickly where the fast chargers are in the surrounding neighbourhoods/villages. Where we’re located, if you don’t have a primary means of transport, you are either walking or calling a cab. It can be difficult to get places outside of Athlone or Mullingar if you don’t have transport though, rail service to Dublin, Galway, and Westport is just 10-15 minutes away.
How fast/reliable is your home internet connection ?
We chose Starlink after working with 3, Vodafone, and Imagine Broadband, all of which could not provide any guarantees for service. Starlink has been absolutely fantastic and, as the screenshot below shows, it’s fairly reliable and latency-free. I’ve also augmented our home with Ubiquiti wireless gear so I’m able to cloud-manage our home communication, security cameras, and soon, our door access.
What advice do you have for individuals or families interested in relocating to Westmeath ?
My general advice is this: do a bit of homework prior to committing to move. Know what your “must haves” and “must nots” are. Drive or spend some time in the areas you’re interested in. Get to know your environment, check that cell phone signal, and plan carefully. Nothing should get in the way of you doing some basic research. Above all else, have fun. Westmeath is a glorious county to live in and is growing rapidly. Welcome to the Midlands.
Thank you very much Dave for taking the time to talk with us and thank you for representing Co. Westmeath as a Rural Ireland Tech Advocate.