Nora and Mikael came to Ireland for work and study but they have found a home in Limerick.
“We met in Baltimore, West Cork. We came here independently of each other,” says Mikael Noblet, originally from France. “It was chef school for me, I came here first for a work placement for six months, then I went back to France for a year to finish my studies. When I came back to Ireland I worked in a place called La Jolie Brise in Baltimore and that’s where we met.”
Nora came from Hungary to Baltimore via Dublin, working as au pair to develop her English language skills. “I lived with a nice family in Baltimore, then I got a job in La Jolie Brise.”
Nora now works as a graphic designer with Davis Printers after studying in Limerick School of Art and Design. Mikael just started his own venture Rival Nutrition, a meal plan service.
“College brought us to Limerick,” says Nora, “I don’t think we would have moved here otherwise.”
“Yeah,” says Mikael, “You were choosing between colleges in Limerick and Dublin and Limerick seemed like the better fit.”
“I found a job straight away when we moved here 7 years ago. I worked for 6 years as a sous chef in The French Table. The owner was looking for a chef, The French table was only open a year. Lucky for me I arrived at the right time,” says Mikael.
“When college was over I think we stayed because of derby,” says Nora. The couple joined Limerick Roller Derby and now Nora skates with the team and Mikael (alongside Limerick teammate Jeff Roche) will represent Limerick on Team Ireland this year at the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup in Calgary, Canada. “If there wasn’t any derby I don’t think we would have stayed here.”
Speaking about Limerick, Nora likes the feel of the city, “I like that we have a bit of green here and the river. I’m from a small town as well and I like that Limerick is small.”
Mikael comments, “It’s small but it’s still big. There’s lots of things to do around. It’s not too crowded. People are less stressed here.”
“There’s a lot of art around, you wouldn’t see that in other places. Our friends do graffiti down on the Dock Road,” says Nora.
“It’s nice the amount of festivals you have for a small town. You have TomCat, Riverfest and then there’s street theatre. It would be great to see the Granny back because they are from my town! They have a big factory over there. Back home, I saw the Granny living on a boat on the river; that was nice.”
For Nora, it’s the parades she really enjoys, “I like that you have the marching band competition after St. Patricks Day and the Gay Pride parade. It’s nice there are so many parades. We like that we feel at home here. We live here so long now we know a lot of people.
“It’s a nice place where everyone is happy,” says Mikael. “I love the way the town is being redone, with the promenade for example, the Wednesday food market is really good.”
For more information on meal plans from Mikael’s click Rival Nutrition.