A woman with a passion for the home is emerging in Ireland.
Aged 24, Emily Kalligan is a model, designer and teacher.
A self-confessed “crazed bride” who says she wants to build a home for her two young daughters, the 29-year-old says she loves the idea of “moving in” with her parents in rural Clare, near Dublin.
She loves “going to the shops, going to the garden, going out with my friends, going on walks”.
Emily’s parents moved to Clare, Co Kildare, for Emily’s education and Emily, who is from Dublin, now works as a teacher.
In her first few years, Emily’s parents had their own house, which was not the home they wanted, but she found the right one for her kids.
“I just loved it.
It was a nice, quiet space, which wasn’t in the city centre,” she says.
“The house I grew up in was a small, two-storey home, and that’s exactly what I want for my kids.
I think a house with a little bit of space is what I’m looking for, and if I have more space, I think it’s the best.
I’m not looking for a large house or a small house.
I want to make sure I have a home that I love and cherish.”
Emily has been living in a flat in Kildarne since moving to Clare in May 2018.
Emily says she’s a very independent person who enjoys making her own decisions.
She has been in and out of the system and had a couple of stints in prison for drug offences, but says her parents have been supportive and understanding.
I don’t think my parents are going to have much influence over me, she says, because I’m a very strong woman.
Her parents also have the benefit of living in the same community as the girls and their siblings, which means Emily and her siblings are able to see their parents on a regular basis.
This is where things can be a bit more challenging.
For example, Emily says she was recently contacted by the mother of one of her daughters who was being detained on a visa violation for having no address on her application for a visa.
That means Emily had to go to the Home Office and ask them to check on her.
“It’s a little hard for me because they know what my situation is and what I’ve been through,” she said.
There was also a time when she was arrested and held at a police station for three days.
It’s been difficult for me to understand why she was detained.
It’s not just me.
After getting her visa, Emily moved into the house she and her parents are renovating in the village.
She is working on a furniture shop in the nearby village and plans to start a new job.
While living in Clare, Emily is working part-time as a teaching assistant.
Her father is also teaching at the local primary school.
My father is always there, he said.
“My mum is always helping me out.”
Despite the difficulties, Emily and the girls are enjoying living in their new home, which she says is a beautiful place to raise children.
“There’s a lot of space and it’s not crowded.
There’s not much work, but it’s still the best place for my daughter to grow up,” she added.
The girls will be attending a private school in Clare and Emily plans to attend a new primary school when she turns 25.
As for her parents, she is proud of them and their support.
“They are really supportive of me, and I’ve had some really positive conversations with them,” she admitted.
“That’s the main thing.”