Antonio, Carla and Luis Barros. (Picture: Jamie O’Flaherty)

By Graham Clifford

A city of almost two million inhabitants Porto hums to the sound of people, movement, traffic and industry. It can excite and suffocate in equal measure.

And in the autumn of 2006 Antonio Barros felt he needed to get out of there, to get some perspective, to breathe. Employment opportunities were few and he felt he was running to stand still.

“I had a friend living in Fermoy and he knew I was stressed. He said: ‘Why don’t you come over here and see what you think?’, so in October 2006 I got on a plane destined for Ireland and made my way to Fermoy,” explains Antonio.

It was his first time in Ireland and the contrast with his home city was striking immediately.

“I remember noticing how quiet the place was. It was so peaceful, totally unlike the home I’d left behind,” he told The Avondhu.

Full story in this week’s Print & Digital Edition