Pádraig O’Brien

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Toast

County Wicklow

Co. Wicklow

One-On-One with Pádraig

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

I’m an engineering manager at Toast. In the past I’ve coded, started companies, talked at conferences and I’m constantly experimenting with what to do in life. I’m a father to two girls and I’ve lived in Wicklow since Jan 2018.

What attracted you to living and working in Wicklow ?

I moved here as I wanted to be a bit closer to the countryside. Wicklow is fantastic if you’re into outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling. As you can see from the pictures below, Wicklow is stunning.

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

It is everything they talk about when referring to having a work/life balance. 

I start my morning with a swim in the sea or a walk along the beach. After that I nip down to the Fat Fox or the Happy Pear for a coffee on the way home. 

Sometimes I sit near the beach with my laptop, tether the phone and work from there. It doesn’t happen too often to be honest as Ireland is not known for its hot weather.

Most other times I sit in the car and work from there.

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

I live in Greystones and it is well served by the DART, trains and buses. The DART into the center of Dublin takes around 40 minutes so it’s still within commutable distance. It’s relatively easy to get around Wicklow but getting to some of the hiking trails in Belmont or Kindlestown Woods does require a car.

How fast/reliable is your home internet connection ?

It is absolutely savage, I was using Virgin broadband which was decent but I recently upgraded to Siro and it has been life changing.

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

Sure. There are so many but these are ones which we visit regularly.

Powerscourt Waterfall – Ireland second highest waterfall, is a lovely spot and has some nice trails to walk around.

Glendalough – great walks and hikes around the lake.

South beach in Greystones – epic long beach, and mostly deserted.

Kindlestown Woods – great views of Greystones from this wood.

Belmont Demesne – you can hike to the “Little Sugar Loaf” from here and there are some nice trails around the demesne and a lovely cafe.

Kilruddery House – for any Sci-Fi folks reading, they film lots of shows here like, “Into the Badlands”. For a full list of movies and shows filmed here checkout out this link. There are lovely trails and very nice gardens, I have spent hours here with the kids.

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

It’s great.  You are close enough to Dublin to commute and far away enough that you can live a remote country life if you want.

There is no shortage of things to do here.

Where I live, Greystones, there are so many things to do. If you are into sports we have GAA, Rugby, Tennis, Soccer, Swimming in Shoreline or if you are adventurous you can go for a swim in the sea!

The commute on the DART into Dublin city center can feel long, particularly if there are any delays in service but generally it’s fine.

If commuting by car it is just as long. Try to avoid the peak traffic. As soon as you hit Donnybrook it slows you right down.

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

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