Frank McMullan's blog

My post-retirement blog adventures

Ireland of the €1,000 welcomes!

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Laddok and friends on a protest march in Dublin, June 2010. Photo: Eric Luke, The Irish Times

My friend Laddok comes from Malaysia. His people speak a language called Kayan, spoken by only 30,000 people in the world. The Kayan are an indigenous tribe native to the Sarawak province of Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Many still live in longhouses. They were formerly headhunters. Headhunting has another connotation nowadays: the very worst aspects of it are at issue here…

Today, Laddok had the privilege of paying the Irish government €1,000 simply because he needed to move jobs. Irish work permits are vested in employers, not in migrant workers themselves. Apart from the penal costs and huge adminstrative delays involved – often leaving such workers with an ‘undocumented’ status – this awful system almost invites employers to exploit them.

I am proud of my country. I am excruciatingly embarrassed by my country’s stance on this human rights issue.

Céad míle fáilte romhat [a hundred thousand welcomes] – well a thousand anyway – indeed!

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Written by Frank McMullan

30 June 2010 at 23:32

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