March 2012 - Grand Final
Winner - Patrick McMenamin
Although both Patrick McMenamin's parents are Irish, the co-owner of Budapest's most popular Scottish bar, The Caledonia, is a true Scotsman and the first Scot to brave the GOTG stage. Patrick has spent a total of seven years living and working in Budapest and is the first to admit that his Hungarian could be better. But he does know his veg! He can order carrots and onions with the best of them. A former youth worker in Scotland, this inimitable Scotsman has gabbed in all sorts of places - Murrayfield Stadium, the Cardiff Arena, and the European Parliament amongst them - but he readily admits that Smiley's could be the toughest venue of them all. Speaking from his bar last week, Mr McMenamin had this to say: 'Mary Murphy must have got me at a weak moment. But as it's for such a great cause, she had me by the short and curlies. I am nervous and excited at the same time.'
March 2012 finalists
Hailing from Armagh in Northern Ireland, Pat Loughran found his way to Budapest just over two years ago and is finding it hard to leave. He is regularly accused of being mad for learning Hungarian without the pre-requiste Hungarian wife, girlfriend or granny. Pat is a sportman trapped in an engineers body, you name the sport and he has tried it.Public speaking is not Pat's thing but then neither was marathon running until very recently, so here goes.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in Ireland, Gerard Lucey decided to escape auditing and took up a two-year assignment in Hungary. That was 1996, and he's still here. Apart from his love of Budapest and Hungary, the major attraction in staying on was - as with so many expats - a woman! Gerard is married to Szilvia and they have three Irish-Hungarian sons, so he is kept busy at home when not counting beans at work, or for the IHBC where he is a Board member and treasurer. A native of Dublin,Gerard also has a bit of Cork in him – so surely the Blarney effect is there in the blood somewhere.
Martin Zdarek is the middle of three brothers and comes from the Czech Republic.
Successful business man, famous actor and sport hero admired by many he
is not, but it does not stop him from trying and failing. Celebrating two years of
living in Hungary, the time came to make changes and take on challanges. Martin has ignored all the crises gossip and has started an ambitious year 2012 by launching a new
website Budaquest.hu about life in Hungary; he's also registered to compete in the Gift of the Gab and, who knows, maybe he will even win EURO 2012.