The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / UK, Ireland  % width posts: 21

The Changing Attitude Towards the Poles in Ireland

Peadar 1 | -
9 Nov 2013 #1
Hi - Peadar de Burca here, I'm an Irishman working for Gazeta Wyborcza. I'm doing an upcoming article on the changing attitude towards the Poles in Ireland and would love some feedback. Is there a changing attitude? I would say that there is. Leaving aside the headlines generated by the Mayo Judge with her 'Polish Charity' remark, there seems to be an 'us and them' attitude emerging. I was back home in Galway during the summer and picked up on the grumblings from natives - Irish friends of mine (married with kids) who live beside a Polish couple were complaining how their neighbors never accept any house party invitations. One one occasion, the Polish couple complained about a party. A few days later I was down at Silver Stand beach and spoke to a man who was 'annoyed' by the sizable Polish contingent who 'were monopolizing' the beach. They weren't monopolizing anything to be honest, but among their ranks were a large amount of shaven-headed muscle men and bronzed ladies. Whereas before there was all this, 'oh they're such great workers' condescension, it seems that some Irish people are finding it hard to adjust to the habits of the Poles who have chosen to stay.
ProudRoots 1 | 32
9 Nov 2013 #2
A shame, being of both Irish ancestry from my Father and Polish from my Mother I find it saddening there is an 'us and them' attitude emerging between these two great cultures.
irishlodz 1 | 135
9 Nov 2013 #3
I don't think anything has changed at the core. The Poles were welcome when they were needed and any Irish person who wanted a job had one. They integrated much better than most, so even the prejudiced have easier targets groups to vent at. Now they are blamed for taking jobs from Irish people and should go home. The thing is they took the jobs when the Irish didn't want them, why would they walk out on them now? I had a Manager under me that tried to Anglicise the names of all our foreign staff because of his laziness. As soon as things started to take a downward turn he started suggesting who should be let go if we had to, to hell with last in first out. He never said anything directly but I knew that he resented all the foreigners. Since I left I know he promoted a completely incapable Irish lad to a job when there was a Polish guy there who had done the same job capably under me as holiday relief.

Re your friends party: Had the Polish neighbours reason to report them?

I would agree with your last sentence. A few friends and family have made the comment about the Polish skin heads etc lately. Honestly I think it's just prejudice, do the expect every nationality to blend seamlessly to the Irish landscape? It's the way many Polish men want to appear.

IMHO most of the Poles who are remaining long term in Ireland are poorer educated, older and have kids. In the good years all kinds of Poles came to Ireland to make some quick money. However the younger, more educated and unattached went home when they had earned some money. They had college to finish or had the prospect of a good job here. The unskilled Irish based Pole would have far fewer options here. I see many capable people struggle here.

I was recently on a lads weekend with a Pole living in Manchester. He told me there was no chance of them going home. He earned good money and as he had no qualifications he would struggle to get any descent work in Poland. Despite this he was living week to week. However his wife is highly qualified and would walk into a job here. His pride prevents them coming back.

I was working on a job in Cork about 8 years ago. I kept hearing foremen complaining about the standard of Polish Tradesmen. They were saying the building standards in Poland must be shocking. We were kitting out an apartment in Poland at the time and knew well the cost and standard of trades in Poland were high. I challenged a few of these guys, and realised the Poles coming off the planes were just answering want ads claiming to be all kinds of trades that didn't require certification (plasterers, carpenters, painters etc). I asked did they check any references, "how can we, they're are Polish speakers". I asked did they check they were certified or registered in Poland, same answer. This is where the myth of poor Polish tradesman quality comes from. Lads walking off planes into sites and taking jobs they had never done before. They got paid well so how bad, and bluffed their way through jobs.
25 Nov 2013 #4
I've been living for over 8 years in Ireland and I don't agree with the thesis that only unskilled people decided to stay. In fact there are a lot of highly skilled Polish people here in Ireland - running their own businesses, having senior positions in many companies, very well educated. They are well settled so why they should leave all that and simply go. They worked very hard for what they have here - paying taxes, buying apartments, cars, everyday shopping.

However in general I noticed and so did my friends that:
- many of my skilled colleges, despite being better educated and worked better than their Irish counterparts were selected for redundancy at the first occassion;
- despite being better skilled and working more efficiently, having even more experience and international qualifications - they are rarely selected for promotions at work. Very often they feel stuck in a rut and trapped with their careers. However it is not only noticed by Poles, other nationalities experience this as well.

It is wisely well known, that for some positions - supervisory or manager, even senior manager - only Irish people are hired and welcomed, even within many... international companies here in Ireland. Personally I found it very hard to find a next position in my career - on a senior level and it looks like glass celling is reached;

- their potential is rarely noticed at work, quite often is undermined, because "you are not one of us". It is like other cultures and system o life values should not exist;

- Irish people feel intimidated and treated by Polish people - just because we are different at work, have a bit different life values;
- after over 8 years in Ireland I still find somehow this strange attitude of Irish, feeling that anything who/what are not Irish as suspicious, intimidating. A simple example - Irish people going for holidays abroad, sitting in the hotel all the time, not interested at all in local attractions, well...maybe in going to local Irish restaurant or Irish pub, eating Irish food;

- scandalous attitude blaming Poles as guilty of crisis. As one of Polish journalist noticed " it took us only a few years and 2 misinterpreted articles and a few irrational words of politicians and from highly skilled and hard working people we became a welfare tourists. Well, over past 8 years I paid all my taxes, so I am entitled to SW as all other Irish people in the same situation;

What I also found very disturbing is that Irish tend to be very envious towards foreigners in general, who came here not to live on benefits, but to work hard, sometimes very hard and they made a decent living here for themselves. It was not something extraordinary, but something available for Irish as well.

The problem is that Ireland closed in general for the rest of the World within last 5 years. There is still a mentality of "Ireland and the rest of the World". Wherever there is a crisis, there is always a room for xenophobia, populistic words, but after visiting many countries I can say that not being Irish is still has a stigma to be a second class citizen somehow.
szczecinianin 4 | 345
25 Nov 2013 #5
The Irish don't have any issues with immigration.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,847
25 Nov 2013 #6
lol of course they don't sweetie, you just keep telling yourself that..:) good grief you are talking about a people who cannot even get on with their own. let alone strangers!
szczecinianin 4 | 345
25 Nov 2013 #7
you just keep telling yourself that..:)

I was told by a good authority on such matters.
peterweg 37 | 2,319
25 Nov 2013 #9
"Ireland and the rest of the World"

Its going to be like that in many countries, some worse than others. Ireland is a small country where nationalism is a important part of their history, so its going to be more like that.
Barney 15 | 1,497
25 Nov 2013 #10
Ireland's economy is based on turning the country into a tax haven within the EU that is not exactly locking out the rest of the world, nor is welcoming huge numbers of immigrants.

Could you expand on being treated as a second class citizen in Ireland as opposed to the other places you have been?
25 Nov 2013 #11
Hi Barney,

By second class citizen I meant all those observations and experiences that I have described in my post. Obviously after that you may feel as a someone not valued, undermined, as a someone who "do not belong here".

Unfortunately being from Easter Europe still means for a significant percentage of Irish society to be a "lower class of cheap labour".

An example of situations outside from work environment - attending the parties. Meeting new friends from Spain, Germany, France, Greece, Russia, Denmark, even GB - I feel more welcomed and after a question "where are you from?" it was simply acknowledged and did not disturbed to continue a conversation further by other person.

Having the same situation with Irish lads - quite often there is a reaction "Are you from Poland??? ..Eh...uhm....". Slash. End of conversation.AD 2013.

Another example - my friend works for IT Company in Dublin (he is French), but he admits that Irish lads very rarely are saying "Hello" in the morning at work to other nationalities.

Obviously I know a lot of Irish people who do not treat other nationalities that way, but even they acknowledged the fact that they would wish Irish people would treat Polish and other nationalities in more equal ways.
Barney 15 | 1,497
25 Nov 2013 #12
Hi pass
You have a hard time and I must say met some strange people. Its universally accepted that the crash was caused by rampant freemarket madness, no one blames anyone other than Bankers, property developers and FF for the crash.

Irish people going on holiday.............ah crap I just dont believe your story its so full of holes, if this is your level of English its no surprise you haven't got the CEO job you feel entitled to.
szczecinianin 4 | 345
25 Nov 2013 #13
And the Irish don't have any issues with immigration .....
25 Nov 2013 #14
I'm an Irishman now working in poland and I just wonder if the attitude amongst Poles towards the ukrainians is similar to what you say about Irish towards Poles?
dont gay me yo
25 Nov 2013 #15
And the Irish don't have any issues with immigration .....

i know a lot who do have issues with immigration in the usa,plenty do construction jobs and are illegal.
Barney 15 | 1,497
25 Nov 2013 #16
And the Irish don't have any issues with immigration .....

What are you talking about?

I dont believe his story, he said he was treated as 2nd class in Ireland compared with his treatment in other countries then changed it to say others felt the same. I know you dont like Irish people but what are you saying?
szczecinianin 4 | 345
25 Nov 2013 #17
I'm saying that the Irish don't have any issues with immigration, or so I've been told.

And why have you changed my name in your quote?

Can I pick a name for you?
25 Nov 2013 #18
Wow! So some Irish people are unpleasant racists and take out their inadequacies and frustrations on immigrants? But that would mean the Irish are like every other nation on earth: some good, some bad and most middling!
Barney 15 | 1,497
25 Nov 2013 #19
But that would mean the Irish are like every other nation on earth

That's about it
26 Nov 2013 #20
Dear Barney,

First - senior position does not always mean CEO. Second - nobody has ever complained about my level of English, especially native speakers. Anywhere.

I understand that you have told this only for provocation. Well, I won't go further.

Peadar was asking about changing attitude towards Polish in Ireland. Please read my post again - it is not only my personal opinion, but a lot of foreigners had such experiences in past couple of years.

Best Regards
Non Irish
30 Jan 2014 #21
Following a friend's recommendation, I recently moved to Ireland to complete professional studies which are relatively cheaper than in UK, and ever since I arrived, I am left in a total dismay and frustration as regard to many aspects, including the bad attitude towards non Irish people.

Inefficiencies everywhere, poor customer service, poor manners, it is completely the opposite of what I was expecting to find in the Irish society, although there might be exceptions but very few that I came across.

On one example that I can tell, my wife was offered a job- after nearly a hundred job's applications that she's submitted- only by a polish supervisor who accepted her right away for the fact of being non irish where he was a minority within the company, probably because he received no applications from a polish candidate as that could be his first choice so to speak. Anyway, my wife got the job which was advertised as part time, just so that we could pay the bills at least, during our temporary stay. It appeared that the supervisor was lying as my wife asked again for part time she was forced to work 62 hours in the first week 40-50 thereafter, she was enslaved and exploited for three weeks with half of her total hours still unpaid and was told the company is on low budget and cannot afford to pay staff for all hours, totally absurd. Add to that, she was bullied and insulted by an Irish competitive colleague who wanted to impose her legacies by force, and another was muttering "f****g foreigners". The Irish colleague fired my wife after the third week by threatening to cause trouble to the polish supervisor if he refuses to lay my wife from work. Successfully my wife was sacked by her peer and no surprise to us at all after just few months in this country. We are now looking forward to complete my exam and leave and never look back. Very disappointing to be quite franc.

Home / UK, Ireland / The Changing Attitude Towards the Poles in Ireland
BoldItalic [quote]
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.