Four years ago Matt Costello, then living in New York, was on the horns of a dilemma. He was in a serious relationship with Jacquelyn Rawlings, a fashion executive from Florida.However, his visa to stay in the United States was to expire soon and he wanted to return to Ireland and go back to college. Jacquelyn, however, had other ideas: “I said we could get married,” she says.“Matt of course brushed it off, but I looked at him and said, ‘marry me’. And it was real and he said ‘yes’. It was a big surprise for both our parents as no one had met anyone yet, but when you know, you know,” she adds.They had a city hall wedding in New York, joined by all of their friends and families – a fairy-tale ending that also happily brought an end to Costelloe’s immigration concerns.From Limerick, the 30-year-old moved to New York in 2011, on a J1 visa. Today, he is a flooring contractor, specialising in high-quality polished concrete floors popular in Manhattan buildings.President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus had begun to kick in by the time Costelloe arrived in New York. Tax breaks had encouraged foreign property developers to invest. Most of Costelloe’s early clients were Russian and Asian.
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