In a Book, Irishman Explains Why He Loves Living in Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 25, 2018 – “Moj brod je Hrvatska” (My ship Is Croatia), a book by Paul O’Grady, an Irishman who lives in Croatia, was launched in Zagreb. The book, published by Alfa, “did not happen by accident, but was rather a result of sharing the same frustration about a negativity that prevails over a positive attitude towards possibilities and prospects of living in Croatia,” said editor Anita Benčec Nikolovski.

O’Grady’s book is a result of the project “My ship is Croatia”, which the author and his publishing house have been implementing in the form of motivational workshops for primary and secondary school students across the country in order to empower them to deal with life’s challenges and raise their awareness of the advantages and beauties of living in Croatia, said Benčec Nikolovski.

O’Grady said he had joined the project because he was surprised by Croatians’ perception of a lack of prospects in their own country. He said he was glad that he was not the only one to believe that living in Croatia offered prospects, mentioning in that context his friend Branimir, whom he met while living in Australia and who, when asked why he had returned to Croatia, said that “life in Australia may be better but in Croatia it is more beautiful.”

O’Grady said that he could not tell young people not to leave Croatia but that if they opted to do so, they should have a vision as to why they were leaving and be aware of the good things they were leaving behind.

In a message to young people, Benčec Nikolovski said that they were not alone and that there were others, too, who wanted to see Croatia make progress. That progress need not be any huge, spectacular steps but small steps by everyone, she said.

Guests at the book launch were also addressed by Irish Ambassador Olive Hempenstall who underlined the importance of education in the positive changes in Ireland that have transformed it from a country a large number of people were leaving to a country interesting to foreigners, among them many Croats. She said that Ireland’s long-standing membership of the European Union had a key role in that, noting that visible progress had been made in Croatia, too, since the country’s accession to the EU.

Attending the book launch were also the author of the book’s foreword, Bojana Meandžija, and Jelena Slavić Miljenović and Luka Tripalo of the World Youth Alliance Croatia.


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