Ireland vs US: Public Transportation

Temporarily moving to Ireland has taught me more in my first three weeks than I had ever anticipated. One of the largest improvements to my life, in my opinion, has been the accessibility of public transportation. These bus systems and railways extends all across the country, allowing a person without a car or irish license the opportunity to explore many different parts of Ireland.

Additionally, this transportation is efficient and timely. The schedules are always available at stops or on mobile devices, giving travellers a very clear idea of when and how to get from one place to another.

At some point in these three weeks, I have really begun to understand where the busses go, what time they will be at the stop I like to use, and on average how long it will take for me to get back home. These instincts have taken time to develop, but they have allowed me to become a more independent and confident solo traveller, even if it is just solo travelling in Dublin.

My university in Ohio …

Read More

Ireland affordability from a US student standpoint: Restaurant wages

Working in a restaurant can be an extremely exhausting job, especially when there are requests from a multitude of customers flying at you all at once. Luckily, the staffs ability to fulfill these requests timely and politely pays off in the form of monetary compensation; this is usually a successful motivational tool.

In recent months, there have been reports that many restaurants across the city of Dublin and far beyond have been unclear with customers about how their tips are being charged and where that extra cash ends up. For the most part, people assume that a server who provides exceptional service will receive the entirety of the tip that you leave for them. Many times, that assumption is wrong.

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty has picked up on this issue, promising workers in this industry that there will be changes to the tipping system. These changes are aimed to make businesses more transparent about how this optional part of the bill is split up within the company.

As a customer, getting information …

Read More

Illegal Irish flats similar to US university housing

During the month of May, a property in the city of Dublin was advertised as a flat, accommodating up to eight people comfortably. This listing, seemed normal to many prospective renters until they looked at the photographs.

This alleged flat seemed to many to be a converted office building. Upon further inspection, it was easy to see that this five bath, eight bed, and shared kitchen space were not exactly up to legal regulations, although this is conveyed as the least important aspect.

What most people seem to be most appalled by is the lack of privacy, and in some aspects, personal space that come from the conversion of an old workplace. The blocks of office areas were broken into two, leaving renters with thin walls between their two rooms.

Additionally, one of the rooms had three single beds pictured in one of the so-called rooms. This also put people in a frenzy, criticizing the renters on their lack of space management. In the end, it was found that this flat did not have the correct paperwork or …

Read More

The market will flatline then recover.

(This article originally appeared in the Sunday Independent)

The Irish property market appears to be out of palliative care and perhaps somewhere between the ICU and recovery ward. If the historical property cycle which we don’t often discuss in Ireland holds true then we should see prices become static then within two years start to rise swiftly.

Obviously there are problems, the combined forces of high unemployment, massive oversupply in many counties, and stock mismatch (apartments for sale when people want standard housing), you could add to that list of negatives almost indefinitely.

Whether you are a fan or detractor, a healthy economy has a healthy property and construction aspect to it and there is no doubt anywhere that ours is in ill health, the National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) paper ‘The housing cycle is the business cycle’ paper is worth reading for anybody who thinks we don’t need property and construction in good order to recover.

The list of positives is smaller, but compelling, we have argued for a long time that credit and confidence are the two …

Read More