Martin Coughlan: Carpenter With
Coughlan was raised in Cappawhite, a small village in
County Tipperary, Ireland, but his family said he had no
trouble fitting into life in the big city. He moved here
in 1987 with his wife, Catherine, and their four
daughters, Orla, Ailish, Sinead and Denise. A carpenter
in Ireland, he immediately set about finding work in the
Mrs. Coughlan said the family left because there were
better job opportunities here than in Ireland. But Mr.
Coughlan also had a love for Elvis Presley, Graceland and
western movies, which may have been a small part of the
inspiration to immigrate.
Shortly after they came to New York, Mrs. Coughlan
told her husband that she did not want the family to live
in an apartment. Mr. Coughlan zealously pursued jobs,
often working seven days a week, and the family moved to
a house in Bayside, Queens.
"He just wanted a comfortable home and a car that
worked and to see that we were educated," said his eldest
daughter, Orla Bowie.
His job with the Sweeney & Harkin Carpentry and
Dry Wall Corporation of Long Island City took him to
buildings all around Manhattan, and on Sept. 10 and 11,
Mr. Coughlan, 53, was working on the 92nd floor of 2
World Trade Center.
The Coughlans' daughters now range in age from 28 to
20. Two have completed college. "I was finally getting
him to relax on Sundays," Mrs. Coughlan said. "We were
just getting our life back."