Subscriber OnlyAbroad

My nine-year-old daughter has opportunities in Luxembourg she wouldn’t have in Ireland

Dubliner Darren Gorman thinks being immersed in different cultures and languages at an age when learning is easier is great for his daughter

My journey to Luxembourg began in 1998 when I graduated from Trinity College, having done a business degree.

With a keen interest in the motor industry, I applied for and secured a role with the Irish importer of Volkswagen at the time. However, a chance meeting in a bar in Dublin changed the course of my career. I instead took a job with a US-based asset-servicing firm which was setting up in Ireland at the time.

After two enjoyable years, a move to Luxembourg came up and having not done a gap year or travelled abroad like some of my college group, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to experience a new country, grow my expertise in the financial services industry and still be close to Ireland (something which becomes more important as one gets older and because I am an only child, with parents back in Dublin).

My initial experience of Luxembourg was very positive. Back in 2000, the country was at the start of a period of significant growth and the investment funds industry of which I am a part was really beginning to take off.


After two years in Luxembourg the opportunity to join a Belgian banking group which was setting up in Ireland came up. I moved back to Ireland in mid-2002 and spent the next six years in Ireland. However, the Luxembourg connection remained strong; myself and my wife got married in Luxembourg in 2006.

Around 2008 another move was on the cards – this time to London. Following six years in England and now with a new arrival, it was time to move back to Dublin. Through a twist of fate I ended up joining a new start-up in Dublin.

Back in 2017, when I joined the firm, there were 12 employees in a small office in Dublin. In the world of investment funds there are two key centres in Europe – Luxembourg and Dublin. After a short period in Dublin I was asked to lead a team and set up the Luxembourg office of what is now Waystone. So with my wife and two-year-old daughter, I moved back to Luxembourg with the brief to get the office up and running, recruit a local team and move back to Dublin all within 18 months.

Fast forward seven years and we are still here and enjoying Luxembourg.

A lot has changed in those seven years. From a professional perspective, I am part of an Irish success story. Waystone, an Irish-headquartered firm, has grown to have 1,900 staff in 23 locations, including more than 135 staff in Luxembourg. I get to work with a global client base of institutional asset managers and a diverse team based here in Luxembourg.

From a personal perspective, my wife and daughter settled quickly into life in Luxembourg. My daughter goes to the local school, where she is now fluent in Luxembourgish, which is used by 77 per cent of the population, German, French and has a little Italian, in addition to English. She has experienced opportunities in Luxembourg which she wouldn’t have in Ireland in terms of being immersed in different cultures and languages at an age when learning is easier.

I believe it has also provided her with a better outlook and perspective of the world outside of Ireland.

A recent conversation centred on where she sees herself in the future. Even if she leaves Luxembourg, she believes she will be back and would love to teach here. She is a true European in her outlook and her engagement with a broad range of friends from across the global who have made Luxembourg home.

Luxembourg as a country has a lot in common with Ireland. We are also a small country with a proud history, we value family and hard work and contributing to the local community. In fact through my company, I have been active in supporting kids in our local Luxembourg GAA club, the local basketball club for kids, and youth-focused group which uses rugby to teach children in schools the benefits of physical activity, exercise and sport as team-building.

Luxembourg was a founding member of what is now the EU, it has a long history of steel production, before becoming a key centre for EU institutions and, more recently, a key banking and financial service centre in Europe.

The population growth in recent years has seen Luxembourg face similar challenges to other countries in term of housing and cost of living. However, the country remains welcoming and opening to newcomers from across the EU and further afield.

Although Ireland will always be a place to visit, Luxembourg for now at least is home.

  • Darren Gorman was born in Dublin in 1975. He moved to Luxembourg in 2000 and lived there for two years. After moving back to Ireland, and then London, he moved back to Luxembourg in 2017 and is still there. He is married, and has a daughter, Zara.
  • If you live overseas and would like to share your experience with Irish Times Abroad, email with a little information about you and what you do.