Auf Wiedersehen Pets

Above: Jens Piepenbring (the German who’s stealing Karen from us), Karen and Jessica.

Above: Jens Piepenbring (the German who’s stealing Karen from us), Karen and Jessica.

It is with a heavy sadness that I have to wish you all Auf Wiedersehen as I fly off for a new life in Germany next week. I have worked with NewsFour and Sandymount Community Services since 2010 both as Editor and Community Employment Supervisor.

I was very lucky to have met so many wonderful characters and to have made so many great friends in Dublin 4 over these past four and a half years. Even as a Northsider I was always made to feel welcome and part of this great community, although I can hear some of you shouting “blow in” as you read this!

I’m not going to give a long boring list of Oscar style thank yous but I can’t leave without mentioning a few special people who have made my life sweeter over the years.

First and foremost, from the bottom of my heart, my time in NewsFour would have been nothing without my amazing team. These guys make work a pleasure and their commitment to bringing you your bi-monthly newspaper is to be applauded. I’ll miss the numerous staff outings (smoke breaks), the hard work and the craic but especially the feeling of being part of something very uniquely special that I probably won’t ever experience again. You guys rock, I wish you all huge success in the future and I’ll miss you terribly.

I would not have enjoyed the wonderful balcony garden that has transformed my home life if it wasn’t for the encouragement and advice of our gardening columnist Jim O’Doherty. I can’t bring this oasis of calm with me Jim but rest assured I will always have green fingers and will be thinking of you when I plant my roots abroad.

It wasn’t easy arriving into a very close knit area with no knowledge of its history or community. My dear pal Jimmy Purdy changed that. For those of you who don’t know this wonderful man, he is a walking encyclopaedia of all things Ringsend and beyond. Jimmy, you are a beautiful soul, and your constant smile has lifted me up every single time we met. If I could bring you with me I would.

Over the years I’ve been elated at the many little successes we’ve achieved at NewsFour & SCS and in the community as a whole; I’ve been stressed to the eyeballs over all the things that didn’t quite go to plan; motivated by a super community that stands together through thick and thin and; supported, encouraged and inspired in some way by everyone I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

Thanks to Joe and Sharon Donnelly for the hope and the hugs, Shay Connolly for the chats and friendship and Ann Ingle for being a great mentor.

I leave NewsFour and Sandymount Community Services in the very capable hands of Gemma Byrne (who isn’t a “blow in”). Gemma holds NewsFour very close to her heart, which makes leaving that bit easier for me.

I hope the Germans will welcome me the way you all have but sure at the end of the day they’ll never beat the Irish!

If anyone fancies joining us for a goodbye tipple, we’ll be in Sober Lane from 5pm Friday May 29th.

Liebe Grüße

By Karen Keegan