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Saturday 3 December 2016

'I travelled 15,000km across the world ... and fell in love with the guy who had lived next door'

Ian Hayes and Kate Doyle with their dog Moon in Perth, Australia
Ian Hayes and Kate Doyle with their dog Moon in Perth, Australia

she travelled 15,000km to the other side of the world to start a new life in Australia - but Kate Doyle ended up falling in love with the boy from next door.

The Waterford woman is one of the emigrants featured on new RTE series Making It Down Under.

Irish people have long been a presence in Australia, and they've made the most of the opportunities on offer. Making it Down Under takes a look at some recent arrivals who are working in challenging careers, including as mine workers, truck drivers and jockeys.

The show follows their work and personal lives in Australia, with Doyle (29) working as a veterinary nurse in Perth.

She first travelled to Australia in 2011 and met her fiance, Ian Hayes (31), for the first time in Perth.

Difficult

The couple quickly realised they had actually grown up across the road from each other in Waterford City, but had never met.

"Kate's family house is only just across the road from mine in Waterford but we'd never met before at home. We met out here," Ian said.

Even more bizarrely, it turned out they had been to the same parties but never met each other.

"When we started dating we were talking about different parties we would have been at back home and we would have been at the same parties, we just never bumped into each other," Kate said.

The couple are applying for Australian citizenship after having lived in the country for several years.

Hayes admitted the pair would find it difficult to return to Ireland now, after getting used to their new lifestyle and jobs.

"It would be very hard to go home now. We did think about it for a little while but I am very happy in my job," he said.

"Possibly the only better place in the world would be Dunmore, Co Waterford on a summer's day."

Speaking of gaining citizenship, Doyle said even if they do decide to return home one day, it means they will always have a connection with Australia.

"It means we will always, whether we do decide to go home or decide to stay, have ties with Australia," she said.

Doyle studied to be a veterinary nurse in Ireland.

"I had done a year in St. Anne's College in Cork but life got in the way. When I came here, I made it my goal that that was what I wanted to do. I sent around hundreds of CVs when I got here," she said.

However, it has not been all plain sailing for the couple since they moved to Australia.

The 29-year-old admitted that she found being a veterinary nurse in Australia more difficult than in Ireland, particularly in her early days in the country.

Pressures

She had to work two jobs while also studying in college in Perth and Doyle has also found it difficult to detach herself from the pressures of her job.

"I think I actually had it easier in Ireland when I was trying to do veterinary nursing," she said.

"Over here, when I got into college I was working two jobs and that was for two years straight, so that was really hard.

"It's really hard to detach yourself from the job because you do deal with deaths."

Hayes had never grown up with pets in his house but has learned to love his partner's two dogs and two cats.

"I had never had pets growing up. She has snuck them in one by one. I'm kind of getting used to them now," he said.

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