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Waitress told: ‘Go back to Poland’ after description of life on the dole in Ireland

A Labour Senator has harshly criticised a Polish woman who has described her life on the dole in Ireland to a Polish newspaper.

Tra More beach in Donegal (File photo)
Tra More beach in Donegal (File photo)
Image: Wikicommons

Update 12.30pm

A POLISH WAITRESS has been told to go back to her homeland by a Labour senator after an account of her life on the dole in Ireland was published in a newspaper in her homeland.

‘Magda’, not her real name, has told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza in an article which translates as ‘Pole in Ireland. I love you, unemployment’ that even though she is unable to work, she is able to claim social welfare and do other things with her life.

A translation of the article appears in today’s Irish Independent in which she is quoted as describing the life on the dole as like a “Hawaiian massage” and reportedly claims that Donegal is a “shithole”.

Reacting to that, a Labour Senator has told her to go back to Poland describing her comments as “outrageous”.

However in a translation of the article obtained by TheJournal.ie, the 36-year-old says that while she is able to live well on benefits she does not like doing so at the government’s cost.

“Do I feel guilty about living on benefits? Certainly! I don’t want to live at the government’s expense, which is why I treat this help as an opportunity to start my own business,” she says.

‘Magda’ says she receives an allowance of €188 per week plus €59 for her flat in Donegal and €20 for fuel – giving her a total of €267. This is €67 more than she was earning as a waitress in a local hotel and more than she might hope to earn from the social welfare system in Poland.

“How am I holding up? Great.  I move on and change. I can breathe,” she says of her situation.

According to a translation of the article ‘Magda’ describes Donegal as “either the most beautiful, or the most remote and boring in Ireland.”

Wherever you look, there are green hills, beaches stretching out to the horizon, and it looks like a postcard. On the other hand, you could walk on the beach for an hour and you won’t meet anyone except for an old man in a wind jacket.

‘Magda’ says her life involves going to the local beach to watch the sunrise: “It charges me for the rest of the day” while she has used the time out of work to take up yoga, surf, decorate her house and have a healthy diet.

“Unemployment benefits are for people to stop for a while and think about their lives. I for one discovered that I no longer want to work for someone. I like having things settled my way,” she is quoted as saying.

However her story has drawn the ire of a local Labour senator, Jimmy Harte, who has described her comments as “outrageous”.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that he would “willfully pay for her airfare back to Poland” and said that she was doing a “disservice” to the local Polish community.

“If she had any humility in her at all, she would just leave Donegal and go back to Poland,” he said.

Polish Ambassador responds to Irish Independent’s ‘Magda’ dole article

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Hugh O'Connell

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