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The Great EscapeRTÉ One, Tuesday, 10.15pm

Programme 1: Bordeaux, France

The Casserley Family

The Casserley family - Ger, Eimer and their three children Eoin 14 yrs, Niamh 12yrs and Ciara 10yrs, moved to Bordeaux in 2004. Ger had always dreamed of setting up a Pitch'n Putt style golf course in France so when he was made redundant it seemed like the perfect opportunity to just do it.

The family home in Swords was sold and off they went to find a new home in France. They don't speak French and it's a brave move all round as financially speaking there's no way they could ever step back onto the heady rungs of the Irish property ladder. They worked their way down through France and eventually settled near a town called Montpon, about 40 mins from Bordeaux. Their new 3 bed home cost them ¤104k and along with his brother in law, Ger bought a piece of land nearby to develop the golf course on. Life in France for Ger is good, he likes the cheap wine and the pace of life. However it's not so easy for the kids who not only have the challenge of settling into a new school environment, they are also learning everything through another language!

Among other things in France bureaucracy is tardy and not surprisingly the golf course develops into a long and slow project - planning permission is not a straightforward process particularly when you don't speak French.

E-mail the Casserleys at


The Casserley Family