From Ireland to Brittany


Joe and her husband moved to France from Ireland, they had planned to move to the Limousin but now run a successful tree surgery business in Brittany.

Tree surgeons in BrittanyWhat made you move to France?
We have lived here three and a half years and came here as the jobs situation was very bad for my husband in Ireland. He was a fully trained forest manager and tree surgeon and the cost of living was rising daily. With three days work a week, we reckoned there had to be more work elsewhere.

Which part of France do you live in?
We live in Brittany. Had planned to move to the Limousin, but got stuck here and love it. The landscape is much like Wicklow and the east coast of Ireland; the climate is warmer than Ireland; we have loads of work and have had to take on an apprentice to help with work.

Do you have children, if so how easy was it for them to adjust to a French school?
The children were only 5 (twins) and 6 when they came over and so started their education in France, effectively. They remember very little of where they were born and consider themselves Hiberno/Francaise.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Translate all official documents (birth and marriage certs) before you come over and have them verified by your French Embassy. Close quote

What is your age?
I am 42.

Where were you born?
I was born in Dublin.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
We work very hard at our tree surgery business. It was not hard to find work as France is suffering a shortage of trained bucherons and grimpeur-elagueurs.

What was the worst mistake you made when buying in France?
Not coming over sooner.

Your best advice for people considering moving to France?
Translate all official documents (birth and marriage certs) before you come over and have them verified by your French Embassy. They are not official copies but are far easier for the French authorities to deal with as they have been put into language that the fonctionnaires can understand.
Oh - and the euro is the currency - get used to it! Sorry - personal gripe, as we have been used to the euro for 6 years now and hate when people ask 'How much is it in pounds?'

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
We have not found it hard because we have school going children. If you don't - go to the Kermesses, feist diezs, fetes and soirees. People will come up and talk - they are curious, but you need to make the first step.

What's the best thing about living in France?
Having and elderly neighbour who grew up in our house, who treats the children like her own grandchildren! Being able to afford our own home for the first time.

And the worst?
Bureaucracy. Getting three different replies from the same department. Or no reply to a query at all.

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From Ireland to Brittany
Joe and her husband moved to France from Ireland, they had planned to move to the Limousin but now run a successful tree surgery business in Brittany. What made you move to...

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