Category: Personal

For a short time only…

 

Yesterday was my last day working for RedMonk. I headed up RedMonk’s cleantech, energy and sustainability practice which we called GreenMonk, for almost eight years, but all good things must come to an end.

Here’s some of what I got up to while I was with RedMonk.

I’m fortunate now that I’m talking to a number of people about next steps, and some exciting opportunities are already starting to present themselves. However, if you know of something you think could be interesting for me, or some organisation that you feel could do with my help, do please let me know.

Nothing has been signed yet, so all possibilities will be considered 🙂

My contact details are:

Email – tom@tomraftery.com

Mob – +34 677 695 468

Skype – TomRaftery

Twitter – @TomRaftery

LinkedIn – http://es.linkedin.com/in/tomraftery

My blogging will resume here once more, and I’ll drop the occasional post over on Medium as well, so do feel free to follow me there too.

 

 

 

Photo credit www.tradingacademy.com

We are off to the beach!!!

Playa de Roquetas
Photo Credit technokitten

We have been in Spain for nearly two weeks now. Most of the boxes and bags are unpacked. We have a phone line, gas, broadband, mobile and electricity accounts in our names and we put a deposit on a car (a Prius). It has been busy.

The most difficult thing to deal with has been the banks – both Spanish and Irish. Bank of Ireland have been particularly unhelpful and inflexible.

My brother-in-law has a time share in Almeria he couldn’t take up this coming week so he offered it to us. This afternoon we are heading to the beach for a week! I’ll be the one under the umbrella, trying desperately to stay in the shade!

Goodbye Cork blogger's dinner

The table
Photo of a previous blogger’s dinner in Proby’s

Conor O’Neill has very kindly decided to organise a goodbye Cork blogger’s dinner in honour of my imminent departure for Spain.

Conor is calling it the Hasta Luego Blogger Dinner (Hasta Luego is Spanish for Goodbye, in case you didn’t know)!

If you would like to join us for a bite to eat, a few drinks and a good time the dinner is this Tuesday the 17th in Probys bistro (afaik) at 7pm.

Head on over to Conor’s blog post and leave a comment there so he has a rough idea of numbers to book, but given that it is a Tuesday night, even if you are late signing up, come along anyway. I don’t see the restaurant turning away patrons!!!

Thanks Conor for organising this for me. Much appreciated.

We are outta here!

The Giralda minart in Sevilla, Spain.

Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned previously that we are emigrating to Spain.

I booked the one-way tickets for our flight to Spain yesterday.

We are leaving Cork on the 21st of June, flying via Dublin, to Malaga on Sunday 22nd and driving from there to Seville.

It has taken a while to get things organised (and there is still loads to organise – broadband connection in Spain for example!) but now the move is very much a reality. Scary!

I’m going to miss Cork immensely but am looking forward to this new adventure.

UPDATE: Conor O’Neill of LouderVoice has very kindly taken it on himself to organise a going away Hasta Luego Blogger’s dinner on the 17th. Thanks Conor and I look forward to seeing as many there as possible.

Zemanta Pixie

I'm joining RedMonk!

I have been working as a Social Media consultant in Ireland for around four years now and director of the Cork Internet eXchange data center for the last two years.

However with my imminent move to Spain in July, I will lose 90% of the revenue from these streams. I can’t reproduce those streams in the Spanish market because my spoken Spanish is nowhere the level which would be required.

With that in mind I have been actively looking for a job for the last 6-8 months now. I have had some fantastic job offers from some extremely interesting companies.

Recently I have been more and more interested in the Green IT space, writing on my LowerFootprint.com blog and the GreenMonk blog for industry analyst company RedMonk. And giving talks about Green IT at various international conferences.

The other night I watched Al Gore’s latest talk at the TED conference. It is a real call to action and clarified to me that I need to do something.

http://static.videoegg.com/ted2/flash/loader.swf

I have long admired the RedMonk model of open sourcing their (our) analysis and so, when James Governor of RedMonk offered me the opportunity to work professionally for RedMonk doing Green tech and sustainability research I nearly bit his hand off!

So effective immediately I am an Industry Analyst specialising in the Green tech area. Rock on!

In Spain at the minute

I’m in Spain at the moment. I flew over here on Sunday for my brother-in-law’s wedding. All good.

However, this has been a nightmare journey. I woke up on Sunday morning with a temperature of 38.8C. And Tomás, our four year old, had a temp of 38. We managed to get the kids and bags ready and arrived at the airport on time only to have our flight to Spain delayed by four hours.

We arrived at our hotel in Malaga (after deciding to overnight there) at 2:30am.

I drove to Seville the following (Monday) morning. I still had a high temperature and collapsed on the hotel bed when we arrived and awoke 3 hours later. I saw a doctor later in the day and he told me I had a bad lung infection and was heading for pnuemonia. I am now on antibiotics and getting better but still haven’t eaten since Saturday lunch!

To cap it all, Pilar and Enrique are now sick as well (Enrique’s temp was 39.9 last night) and there is no wifi in the hotel room so I am getting online extremely intermittently.

Still, the weather here is beautiful. I looked out the hotel window last night and one of the street signs which also gives the temperature was reading 17C. At 8pm. In January. Hard to beat that!

Emigrating to Spain

My wife Pilar and I have decided to move to my wife’s home town of Seville in the south of Spain next year. This is a decision we have been wrestling with for some time now but this summer’s lack of sun tipped the decision.

We are going to wait until the end of the school year before moving to minimise disruption for our elder son Tomás.

The move will be quite a change.

The biggest challenge, for me at least, will be securing employment in Spain. My Spanish language skills are less than rudimentary! In Ireland I do a considerable amount of consulting to local companies evangelising web 2.0 technologies. This won’t be possible after the move unless the local companies speak English (and very few companies in the South of Spain speak English).

If anyone knows of any good resources for becoming fluent in Spanish in 24 hours (!) I’d love to hear about them. Also, any/all tips or intros to employers in that region would be gratefully accepted.

Access to education in Ireland for non-Catholics

Piaras Kelly has a post on his blog about multi-culturism in Ireland and he raises some interesting issues.

He references a situation which hit the headlines here recently when children of non-Catholic parents were unable to access school places for their children.

I was appalled last week to read the comments of Anne McDonagh, director of education at the Archdiocese of Dublin, who stated that the Archdiocese is not interested in providing an education for children of parents who are not interested in a Catholic education. Speaking to the Irish Times (subscription required), McDonagh said “We must stick to our enrolment policy of providing an education for Catholic children and siblings first. This enrolment policy has been public and unchanged since the Education Act 1998.” The comments came in the wake of an emergency school being built for 90 children who were unable to secure places in catholic schools.

While I agree with Piaras’ outrage at this situation, I think his anger is mis-directed.

The problem here is that successive Irish Governments have abdicated responsibility for educating the states children. They were happy to let the Catholic church educate the children because it saved the state a fortune!

And we now have the anomalous situation where the Dept of Education doesn’t employ any teachers! All teachers are employed by the individual school’s further avoiding any financial liabilities for the state if the teachers mis-behave.

As a result of this fiasco, the Catholic church stepped in and now run 90% of the schools in the country. This is something we should be grateful to the Catholic church for (and angry with the government for!).

The Catholic church has no mandate to teach children of non-Catholic parents – no more than we would expect a Buddhist school to be mandated to accept Catholic kids.

The education of children in Ireland is the State’s responsibility. If there are not enough non-denominational places in Irish schools, it is only because the state hasn’t provided them.

The running of the schools in Ireland by the Catholic church is an anachronism.

The Department of Education needs to face up to its responsibilities and take over the running our schools (it is the norm in every other country) and not leave it up to the church or any other organisation. This is not just my opinion, the UN has been telling the Irish Government this for at least two years now.