Monday 21 October 2019

'It's crazy, our fuel bill is like a mortgage'

Greg Harkin

JOE Hoolan (pictured) drives an hour to work at a hospital in Laois every day.

This wouldn't be unusual normally except that nursing manager Joe (41) would love to be able to do his job in Kilkenny, where he lives.

There's a vacancy there; but because of the recruitment ban, he can't apply for it.

It's the same for his wife, who is also a nurse. There's also a vacancy for her nearer their home, but she too has to drive to Portlaoise and because of different shift patterns, two cars are needed.

"You would laugh if it wasn't so farcical," says the father of two.

"As a couple we can spend four hours between us driving to and from work each day.

"There's no spare income anymore. We have childcare and afterschool fees and we just get by month to month.

"The moratorium on recruitment is especially frustrating because there are positions vacant at home, but we cannot apply for them. It's just crazy and it doesn't make sense. Our diesel bill every month is nearly another mortgage."

Irish Independent

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