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People of Intel – Eugene McCarthy

The people of Intel are at the heart of all that we do - discover their stories

When people think of Intel in Ireland, often what comes to mind is the scale of our operations and the complexity of our technology. What they perhaps do not think about, is the people who make all of this possible and the diversity of their stories. 

With a population of employee’s equivalent to the town of Roscommon, Intel Ireland is home to a vibrant, diverse and dynamic collection of people.

Intel is a place that is full of brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and neighbours and over the next number of weeks, as we celebrate 30 years of Intel Ireland, we will be sharing their stories  – meet the people of Intel.


Eugene McCarthy, 48
Senior Business Manager

I like to know how things work, to make things and to fix problems and so was inevitably going to study engineering. I’ve always been sporty so when I was at school and college I basically just studied and played football. I had my eyes set only on those two goal posts and never looked left or right.

I played GAA to senior club level but I ended up in a job where I travelled a lot and I couldn’t keep up the commitment. I took up running, and being the competitive person I am, it wasn’t long before I started racing and doing marathons for several years. But unfortunately I suffered a bad back injury that needed surgery which meant I was out from work recuperating for five months and two years after the original injury I was still in pain. At the time I was devastated and because I couldn’t run, I took up open-water swimming. It was April the first time I tried it and my face nearly froze off! But then the exhilaration hit me. It’s fantastic. For the previous two years I had had to think about my back before I did anything, even getting a train or going to watch a match. So for the first time since I was injured I felt like a normal person again. It changed my life.

I now regularly take part in open water races which gives me the competitive adrenaline like the marathons did. Or I love just heading out to Roches Point on a Saturday morning and swimming out 2km into the wilds. There are so many beautiful beaches and sometimes I’m swimming away and suddenly turn my face to the right to breathe and see the sun shining over the coastline and it’s breathtaking. But as lovely as the scenery is, I love the scene too. I was amazed at just how lovely the people are, and the chilled vibe there is after the swim and around the East Cork beaches. One guy has an outdoor sauna he brings down, there’s amazing food in the region, and everyone from the outdoorsy types and the yogis hang out and I’ve never experienced a community like that before. It’s hard to describe but I really get energised by the fresh air and the peacefulness of the swimming – it’s almost another life and you forget about everything else. I feel physically and mentally different if I don’t get to swim. I’m on a placement in the UK at the moment for eight weeks and I cannot wait to get home at the weekends and hit the water.

I have two children from my first marriage, Roisin who is 17, and Tiarnan who is 18. Recently I took them away for a week and one day I knew I needed to get into nature for a bit and walk. They moaned and gave out but as soon as we started, I could see they enjoyed it too, and when we found a little beach they were like little kids again, poking around for fish. Recently in the UK I just needed to get out of the apartment for a walk and ended up in a stunning public garden just admiring the flowers. It made me laugh because when I grew up, my dad dragged us to GAA every weekend which we loved but we were not stopping to admire flowers. There was room for little else. I feel a whole world is opening up to me now. I’ve gone from being a booky and GAA nerd, to someone who has discovered nature! My wife Maire is an amazing woman and when she wanted a cat, I couldn’t see the point, but now I love Jinks so much I recently built it a large ‘catio’.

In many ways I am glad the injury happened because it slowed down my life and opened up new experiences to me. Before that, I had never had more than two weeks off in my life. One of the lovely things I discovered not working was the people in my neighbourhood – all these older generation of people who are so much fun to talk to. I never realised how short the day was – I’d watch people go for work in the morning and by the time they got back in the evening, the day was over and they had missed so much.

When I was younger I was proud of my academic and sporting achievements, but now what I’m most proud of is how I’ve transformed my life in the last couple of years – to slow down from constantly working and travelling and to be available to my kids and to have been in a place to meet a fantastic person like Maire. If I was to give advice to my teenage self it would be don’t do what you think is expected of you, do what you want to do, and always be a nice, kind person.


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