Over the next number of week’s, we will be taking a little stroll down memory lane, looking back at some of the years gone by here at the Skeff and checking in with some of the characters that worked with us, discovering where they are now and how their time at the Skeff influenced their Journey onwards in life.
This week we caught up with Stephen Griffin. Some of you folks might remember Stephen as one of the friendly faces of Skeff and Karma Security a decade ago.
While most folks, celebrating their 19th birthday would be walking down to a nightclub door with their ID in hand, ready for a night’s entertainment, Stephen started his time with us on his 19th birthday, pulling on the security armband and joining the team at Karma Nightclub.
From Rosmuc, this Connemara native joined the ranks of the Karma team while studying here in the city at NUIG, now a proud member of An Garda Síochána for the past 5 years.
But Stephens journey wasn’t as straight forward as one might think. While standing on the door of The Skeff back in 2011 he began to feel a pain in his groin, and after a bit of persuasion from some colleagues he went to A&E to get himself checked for a suspected hernia.
24hours later, this strong 20-year-old, rugby playing nightclub doorman was being told he had testicular cancer.
After a tough 10 weeks of recovery post-surgery, Stephen was back on the rugby pitch and door duty once more, but not content to let such a traumatic experience beat him, Stephen set his sights on the next step in his career, joining the ranks of An Garda Síochána.
Now in a new job, working shifts in a new town and unable to keep up his sporting interests like he once did, Stephen found himself pilling on the pounds, hitting his heaviest weight at just over 24 stone (155kgs). Stephen decided enough was enough and with the help of another Skeff alumni, personal trainer Paul Dermody, Stephen took on the challenge to drop the pounds and get himself fit and healthy once more.
Two years later to current day and Stephen has dropped over 8 stone (50kgs), gained a strong online following, become a champion and spokesman for men’s health and even tried his hand at a bit of modelling.
You can follow Stephen journey, and pick up some gems of motivational wisdom on his Instagram @steves_weight_loss
Over a coffee and a scone (And this man loves his scones), we sat down, chatted and reminisced about his time here at the Skeff…
When was the last time you called into the Skeff?
About two months ago, it’s still very much one of my “go tos” for a cuppa and lunch.
What’s your favourite memory of your time at the Skeff?
To be honest, it wasn’t a single memory as much as it’s been the friends, I’ve made from working there. I’m still in very regular contact with so many of my old work mates, having worked with the same group of lads and ladies for a few years you get close.
What do you love about Galway?
The craic. The noise, and still the quiet spots. The good vibes and how you’re never far from a bit of fun or a familiar face.
What do you dislike about Galway?
It needs a roof!
Weirdest thing you’ve seen while working at The Skeff?
People walking into things.
People talking to themselves in reflections.
Once saw a man do a shot….With a candle! He mistakenly picked up instead of his shot glass. .
What advice would you give to 18-year-old you starting out in their career?
Don’t be afraid to be wrong, and more importantly don’t be too stubborn to learn from being wrong.
How did your time at the Skeff prepare you for your future roles?
Personally the years I spent working on the door of the Skeff and Karma helped me develop alot of the skills I use day to day now in my career in the Guards.
Dealing with individuals, problem solving as well as improving my own verbal skills and confidence.
The Skeff has been Galway’s meeting place for generations, over the next few weeks as we look forward to welcoming back our customers once again, we will be taking a journey back in time and catching up with some of the characters that have made the Skeff so Special down through the years. #SkeffMemories