Tag Archives: unemployment

Should I work for free?

I’ve had his discussion more than once over the years, usually with students/recent graduates starting out who are unsure how to find their feet in freelancing, and who have absorbed the idea that giving away images/copy for free will improve their “exposure”. I usually begin by quoting a friend who pointed out once that people can die of exposure. The situation isn’t helped by the fact most students introduction to… Read Article →

The chair

Dear Enda, I see that despite near-15% unemployment, you’ve having difficulty finding a chair for the constitutional convention, so I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring. I believe I’m an excellent candidate, not least because I’ll settle for €92K, so Brendan Howlin can rest assured I’m value for money. Now, my qualifications: I’m a journalist, so I’m good at subediting meandering documents. This is a valuable skill, since… Read Article →

Jobbridgers used to clear citizenship backlog

Yesterday, I received a Freedom of Information file containing (part of) the Jobbridge database. Showing it to a friend, I ran a trivial search: Who sought the greatest number of jobbridgers? Three organisations requested 30 “interns”. For now, I can only tell you one of them. Step forward, Citizenship Division, Department of Justice and Equality. Here’s Alan Shatter, speaking at a citizenship ceremony on 14 June: When the Government came… Read Article →

Famine Road 2.0

I spent a couple of days designing a charity newsletter last week. The newsletter will go out a handful of times a year, updating donors on how their money is being spent, and telling the local community what services are on offer. I wasn’t paid. I volunteered. It’s for a good cause, I get to use my skills and expand my CV, and the charity gets (I hope) a professional… Read Article →

Your Country?

In the ten days since its launch, ‘Your Country, Your Call‘ has attracted over 1600 suggestions. Not all are winners. Unorthodox proposals include privatising the army as an international mercenary force and “building a leprechaun theme park”. Other suggestions include converting unoccupied homes into tourist accommodation, a fundraising All Ireland 25 Card Drive to increase pub business , and calls for jobseekers to work for dole. Bootcamps for criminals are… Read Article →


Imagine a private corporation closes down its operations in Ireland, leaving several hundred skilled workers on the dole. Imagine the corporation asks if anyone else wants to take over its operations before it leaves, but gets no takers before it pulls out. Imagine the Office of Public Works steps in, offers to buy the corporation’s plant and machinery, then continues looking for Irish companies to take over. Imagine the OPW… Read Article →

Doling Out The Blame

Dole minister Mary Hanafin is trumpeting the results of social welfare fraud investigations. In short, just over one in ten claims investigated were ‘suspended’ or ‘under continuing investigation.’ We are not told how many inquiries are continuing, and how many are completed. So much for presumed innocent. The majority of dodgy claims were from foreigners, the department made sure to mention in it’s press release. Immigrants were targeted by the… Read Article →

Gone East

The impotence of government ministers was laid bare today, as pc maker Dell Inc went ahead with it’s plans to slash most of the jobs in it’s Limerick screwdriver assembly plant. Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and defence minister Willie O’Dea – who hails from the constituency of Limerick East – travelled to Dell headquarters in Texas just before Christmas in a desperate bid to save the jobs. The impression given afterwards… Read Article →

Post Hoc

News that dole claimants will have to collect cash in person at post offices was warmly welcomed today by the Irish Association of Thieves and Highwaymen. ‘This is just the kind of shot in the arm we need,’ spokesman Dennis ‘Money with Menaces’ Cutpurse said. ‘Frankly, with electronic funds transfers growing in popularity, we’ve been struggling,’ the five-times felon admitted. ‘The nephew did a FÁS course a few years ago,… Read Article →