Hundreds battle it out for just 40 hotel posts
More than 400 people lined up outside Dublin's iconic Shelbourne Hotel yesterday hoping to secure just 40 jobs that were on offer.
Their faces looked weary as they lined up patiently hoping for an interview.
There was one familiar face among the hopefuls, however.
Ray Sarsfield (50), from Whitehall, Co Dublin, was manager of the Shelbourne Bar and Side Door restaurant at the hotel for five years.
He left the job in 1997 to move to Co Waterford but returned a year later when his wife failed to settle there.
"I really enjoyed working here," he said. "I've had a few jobs in catering since I moved back, but I've been a taxi driver for the last eight years. It's more difficult to make a living these days and I can still do this so when I saw the ad in the paper I thought I'd go for it."
Hundreds of people from varying age groups and backgrounds trickled in for the recruitment fair over the course of the day at the hotel, which has experienced an upturn in fortunes.
Booming business at the venue has created 40 jobs -- seven of them full time -- ranging from bar work to senior management roles.
Also among the hopefuls was Elizabeth McAuley (43), who lives in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, with her 89-year-old mother and sister who has Down Syndrome.
"I've been applying for jobs for over a year but I haven't heard anything," she said. "I'm thinking of going to England. I've been putting it off because my mother is elderly and I don't want to make that move, but it looks like I will have to go now.
"I'm running low on the savings I'm living off. I've been sending off hundreds of applications but nobody ever gets back to me. It's so soul-destroying."
James Nolan (49), from Kill, Co Kildare, has been unemployed since May. He has a background in hotel management and worked for the Burlington Hotel in the past. But he said he didn't feel as though he had any hope of getting work in the Shelbourne.
"I'm not too nervous because I don't really expect to get anything," he said. "I'm hopeful they will keep my CV on file and give me a call if something comes up in the future."
A spokeswoman for the hotel said candidates would hear whether or not they had been successful in securing one of the coveted positions within seven days.