The Belmullet Grow Remote Chapter held its first event in Áras Inis Gluaire on Monday, August 17.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, attendance was limited to 40 people. However, it was viewed by many more online, as the launch was streamed live on Facebook.
The event was kicked off with the revelation of an interesting and informative statistic – there are approximately 270 remote jobs currently available!
Margaret Tallott, Chapter Lead, said: "We are delighted with the response to the event both in Erris and internationally, and in particular, the commitment by the Western Development Commission (WDC ), Údarás na Gaeltachta, Mayo County Council, and Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB (MSLETB ) in providing infrastructure, technology and training to enable remote working in Erris."
Two people who are currently working remotely in Erris gave impassioned testimonials about their experiences of living and working in a place that has been voted the best place to go wild in Ireland.
Martina Lavelle, who works as a Chartered Accountant and Senior Financial Analyst for multinational corporation Johnson & Johnson Vision, spoke of the highs and lows of working from home.
She praised the laid-back way of life in Erris and said it was a wonderful place to raise a family, noting that she has now a lot more time to spend with her children, compared to when she was office-based and commuting three hours a day.
She said that remote workers tend to miss the camaraderie with other employees, but she remarked that hubs such as the local gTeic facility could provide a solution to that.
Neal Doherty, an author and qualified tourist guide who has retired to Erris from Dublin, talked about his experiences in setting up a new business - Alchemy Tours.
He spoke of the support he has received from local people and organisations, such as the Erris Chamber of Commerce and Belmullet Tidy Towns, who he volunteers with. He said that he could speak for hours about the unique history and heritage of the Erris region, and he very much enjoys his walking tours around Belmullet town.
Other speakers at the launch event included: Margaret Tallott; Stephen Carolan (WDC Digital Hub Network ); Seán Ó Coisdealbha (Údarás na Gaeltachta ); Padraig Brogan (Mayo County Council ); Elaine Moyles (Mayo LEO ); and Geraldine O’Haire (MSLETB ).
Grow Remote was founded in Ireland in 2018, as a not-for-profit volunteer-led community platform, which enables people to work, live and participate locally.
Already, there are 133 Chapters all over the globe. As a result of this year’s international pandemic, the workplace has particularly changed. People now realise that a great deal of our work can be achieved from home, so the possibilities are endless. There is more technology and community support structures, therefore remote working from scenic locations such as Erris is viable and feasible.
Those interested in being informed about upcoming events can join the Belmullet Grow Remote Chapter online via Change X. More information can be obtained by emailing [email protected].