Getting under the skin of Kieran O’Hara

Dec 08 | 2023

Steve Jordan talks to one of the wild men of the moving industry to find out what really makes him tick.

Kieran with girlfriend and colleague Marcela MolinaSo, here we go.  I have interviewed Kieran O’Hara from Palmers Relocations in Australia.  Some might say I am brave.  Or is it foolish?  But for me, interviewing anyone is a voyage of discovery.  Many of us know the people, or we think we do.  It’s my job to get a little under the skin, do some gentle digging, unearth perhaps a side of a person’s character that they keep hidden for the most part.  Find the person beyond the persona.

And for Kieran that persona is larger than life.  He’s young, pony-tailed, charismatic, enthusiastic, optimistic, successful and has a reputation of being something of a hell raiser.  If there’s a group at a conference out on the razzle until to sun comes up it’s a reasonable bet that Kieran is involved.  But there must be more.  Is it just a front?  Is the real Kieran O’Hara a quiet, introspective introvert who gently takes a back seat to his brash cousin every time a name badge goes around his neck?  I was intrigued to find out.

His upbringing was unconventional.  His parents emigrated to Australia in the late 1986 where they raised eight children.  Kieran was number seven.  His dad was Shay O’Hara, he’d been the lead singer with an Irish show band called Royal Blues.  He also had a successful solo career, travelling widely, including Australia, having hit singles and selling out in Las Vagas.  It was a lifestyle that continued after the family’s emigration.  “He used to hang around with Elvis and dated Dolly Parton,” said Kieran.  Kieran has a poster at home declaring ‘Shay O’Hara sold out, Tom Jones tickets available’.  “He was away a lot and mum got pregnant every time he came home.”  Shay died in 2009.  “Having a legacy where your children can still hear your voice is special.” You can listen to Shay with Royal Blues here.

Kieran didn’t know what he wanted to do when he left school, but he had a friend whose father worked for a local moving company. He encouraged him to take a job there.  “I was on the road during the day and did my university studies in the evening,” said Kieran.  He was studying business. He admitted that being with a bunch of lads all day led him into some bad habits. “One day I was asked to do an office move in the evening, but I said I couldn’t because I had my university work.  The following day I was called up to HR.  I assumed I was in trouble. But they offered me a job in the office.”

He chose not to accept.  Not because he didn’t want office work.  “The salary was half what I was earning on the road.”

Then the company offered him a job with commission ...

Photo: Kieran with girlfriend and colleague Marcela Molina.

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

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