KCLR LiveTalking Points

A Plea To Come Home

Letter from a lonely KCLR Live listener

To whom it may concern,
While this is not an actual news story, I am reaching out to this platform as I am running out of options. As I sit typing this email I feel disheartened, dejected and annoyed. Four years ago when I completed my training in primary education, I spent the entire summer in search of work in my home county of Kilkenny, as well as the surrounding counties – Wexford, Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford, and Laois.
As September loomed and children and teachers got ready to go back to school, a sense of fear and worry came upon me as I was now facing life as an unemployed teacher in Ireland with little hope that the 100 euro I was receiving from social welfare would cover my student loan, never mind any other expenses.
As the weeks went by, I was desperate to get off social welfare and start teaching so when an opportunity came up to teach in London I jumped at this chance. My experience in London, for the most part, was very positive and after two years I moved to the United Arab Emirates. Life in the U.A.E is a wonderful opportunity for any teacher, and I was in two minds whether to come home or not. On one hand, because flights, accommodation, health insurance, and relocation costs are paid for, it allowed me to save money while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. However, the lure of my family and friends, along with the fact that I was been constantly told that Ireland was “crying out for teachers” meant that I decided to come home.
However, I found myself in the exact same position as when I first graduated from college. Over the course of summer 2019, I had one interview and countless rejection emails. The thought of the next few years in Ireland filled me with dread. An opportunity then came to teach in Shanghai which I took, as I couldn’t secure anything in Ireland.
I am desperate to come back and be reunited with family and friends. Unfortunately, the teaching situation in Ireland will not allow this to happen. If I do return next summer, and if I am lucky, I may get a maternity leave at some point during the year. The same might happen again the year after. If I am really lucky, I might get a fixed term contract to cover a career break. I look at my group of friends (none of whom are teachers) who are in permanent jobs, who can access loans and mortgages and build the life they want.
I was hoping someone at KCLR would be able to give me some direction or contacts as I have exhausted all other avenues. I have emailed schools, politicians and ministers, yet nobody seems to be able to give me any help or direction. I am desperate to return home!

Yours Sincerely,

Helena Dunphy