My early weeks living in Dublin were relaxed. My previous acquaintances with the city mainly involved high-tailing it out of there down the country to Cork or Kerry. This time I meant to embrace Dublin and get to know it. Besides, this was generally where the work for accountancy professionals was.
I took a nice though overpriced apartment near to Trinity College and got my first contract (for contracting was how I meant to proceed). It was great, working at one of Dublin’s many language schools. It was an insight into a different type of organisation and how it ticks. My job was to make some sense of some strange historic accounting, but also to analyse the schools’ activities and suggest budgetary improvements. That gig came to an end after a few months and it was immediately onto the next.
Meanwhile I was having a great time in Dublin, seeing the sights, drinking the Guinness and picking up my athletics coaching again at Crusaders A.C. I’ll remember the kids and my other friends at Crusaders for ever.
And what an enlightening year I spent at the HQ of the Irish Red Cross in Merrion Square. The books were hopelessly confused and I was assisting a financial consultant in sorting them out, producing overdue financial statements and updating the processes. But far more interesting was observing the workings of the organisation. The relationship between Head Office and the branches, between Head Office and the Board of Directors, between paid staff and volunteers. And some of the ‘creative’ accounting and archaic corporate governance that was taking place exploded into the public realm soon afterwards. But there were some lovely people at Merrion Square whom I remember fondly.
But meanwhile the worldwide recession had bitten deeply in Ireland. After my contract at the Red Cross was up, I struggled. Every business struggled, many thousands were out of work and things were only getting worse. There were no more contracts. Every job vacancy was overwhelmed with applications.
As a last throw of the dice I bought into a gym franchise in Waterford – a real change of direction. It quickly failed – people had no money for gym memberships.
My resources dwindling I went to stay with friends in Cork whilst job hunting. It was no use. In the final days of 2009, two years after I’d left for good, I bought a ticket back to Jersey.