Niall Carlton, Head of Financial Markets, Equity Markets, ING Bank, Moscow

Selection_547Niall, you have been here a few years. Do you feel yourself to be part of the Irish Community, is there an Irish Community?

Yes, there is an Irish community here. It’s quite small, but tightly knit. We tend to go out quite a lot together.

What do you do apart from, may I say, imbuing alcohol beverages?

It would be incorrect to say that we don’t spend time drinking together. There are all the Balls that we organise, all the sporting occasions and charity events. Then there is Katie O’Shea’s and Katie O’Shea’s, which is very convenient as its just next to the embassy, and we go out to dinner quite a lot as well with Irish friends and colleagues.

Selection_548Are there more Irish expats here now than there were a few years ago?

It’s hard to tell. There’s the same old guard, and quite a few young guys here now who I don’t know, but in all there seem to be more people here than there were seven or eight ears ago.

Is the general situation affecting the Irish community?

I don’t think it’s really affecting the Irish community in any particularly negative way, any more than it is affecting any other national group, in fact I think that the Russians and the Irish tend to get on well together. Having said that; working in a bank I am exposed to all the volatilities in the markets. Over the past 8 years, I had been hoping that the economy would be pulled away from depending on oil revenues quite so much, but that really hasn’t happened. So we are susceptible to any market jumps, which happen quite regularly; about every 5 years.

Are you thinking of moving on?

I don’t know; my contract seems to be being renewed year on year. I’m happy here, and my family is happy here, which is the main thing. So I’m not in any rush to leave.

Hugh McEnaney

Hugh McEnaney

Hugh McEnaney

How long have you been in Russia, why did you come?

I arrived as a tourist a few times in 2006 & early 2007 after meeting a Russian beauty in October 2005 while on holidays in Vietnam. I came to live here in October 2007 to be with Olga & we got married in 2009. So ultimately, I came to Russia for love.

Do you feel that there is an Irish community here? In what ways?

After attending a number of Irish Club and embassy events when I first arrived, I met some Irish people. I feel there is a community here for me. I’ve a few close Irish friends and, when Moscow’s crazy pace allows, we meet up. The Club organizes some very well attended events during the year, which are super opportunities for people to unwind and catch up.

How is the Irish community shaping up to the situation we are in?

In the current unpredictable economic climate, I’ve personally not felt much of a difference. I know some have found it a challenge but if we weather the storm, we’ll get to calmer waters all going well.