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Thomas O'Dea

Thomas O'Dea left Doonbeg for Coventry in 1950 with his parents and siblings.  He lived and worked there until 1961 when he flew from Heathrow to New York.  He stayed with his aunt in Flushing, Queens and got his green card.  He first worked as a plasterer in Manhattan.

He brought with him a great Clare love of music and dancing and never missed the Saturday night dance at Papperons Ballroom in Woodside.  He also enjoyed the City Centre Ballroom on 86th and Lexington Ave and the Jaegerhouse in Manhattan.  He met his future wife Bridget (Carmel) Sharkey at Papperons in Woodside and they were married in St. Sebastion's church there in 1964.

Work in the building trade slowed down and the young couple returned to Coventry and eventually back to Doonbeg.  They still talk fondly of their time in New York and they are frequent visitors back there as their son James O'Dea emigrated there in 1986.  James stayed with the same aunt that welcomed his father in 1961.  He has since set up his own company Banner Electrics and is based in Connecticut but works mainly in Manhattan.

Location in USA: 
Woodside, New York