54 July-August 2024
Ireland is Full
(of Irish men unfortunately)
Irish people aren’t as good as migrants at working
’ve been looking for a handyman to fix
a number of longstanding and messy
problems in my home in Dublin’s inner
city. Plumbing, carpentry, tiling,
shifting stuff around. The better
tradesmen tend to take jobs on sites where
they’re paid rates that reflect the economies
their skills deliver at scale — shuttering,
roofing or tiling a hundred houses the same
way, or whatever.
That leaves only a residue available to do
smaller jobs but my house is old so some
specialism (or at least imagination) is
required. That’s dicult.
But also the fact that they (admirably)
removed the parking outside my house and
that parking elsewhere is expensive has
been enough to steer nine tenths of the
guys (always guys) who’ve made the
mistake of replying to the ads I’ve put on
Gumtree or jobs.ie, elsewhere.
At least I assume they went elsewhere,
the main thing I am sure about is that they
did not continue the conversation after
initial exchanges, and usually that they did
not turn up as agreed. And yes perhaps the
fact that I am dicult, and my home is nuts
had something to do with it.
Anyway, eighteen months ago a nice man
(I’ll keep this anonymous as obviously there
are two sides to the stories) agreed to fix my
leaking shower and a number of other jobs.
There was a long list. The place was
By Michael Smith
Immigrnt worker