Overqualified: Dan Boyle, former TD: ‘I’ve had it said a number of times that I’m too qualified’

Dan Boyle: Seeking opportunities in the community and voluntary sector, he feels his 20 years in public life counts against him in seeking work. Photograph: Eric Luke

Dan Boyle: Seeking opportunities in the community and voluntary sector, he feels his 20 years in public life counts against him in seeking work. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A Green Party TD from 2002 to 2005, Dan Boyle was deputy leader in the Seanad from 2005-2011, and was the Greens’ finance spokesman during their time in government. He served as a Cork City councillor from 1991 to 2002.

The author of Without Power Or Glory, a book on the party’s coalition with Fianna Fáil, Boyle was also the driving force behind the Green Foundation think tank. In 2013, he embarked on an MBS in government at UCC, writing a thesis on small parties.

Seeking opportunities in the community and voluntary sector, he feels his 20 years in public life counts against him in seeking work.

“I try to look for work in which I think I can contribute something with the experience I have,” he says. “I came from that sector in the first place. And I’ve been looking for jobs bodies who try to foster some sort of social good.

“I’ve had it said to me for a number of jobs I’ve applied for, that I’m overqualified . . . They tend to go for the younger person, although I consider myself young at 52. My motivation is not financial, which is why I apply for jobs which pay less. I’m more looking for fulfilling work than anything else.

“It’s a type of indirect ageism, but the fact is, if your budget’s down, you may not feel obliged to pay a higher wage to an older person.”

Boyle continues to work voluntarily for public bodies in Cork, particularly the Firkin Crane Dance Board, Corcadorca Theatre Company and the Lavitt Gallery. “I do bits and pieces. I write the occasional article, I do some work in terms of web content. Recently I’ve been made a community representative on the Public Participation Network for Cork City Council. I like to keep occupied.”

He considered setting up an advocacy business, but considers it “hackneyed”. “I don’t know it if adds to the life of the nation. We seem to be living in an age of qualification inflation. Once the Leaving Cert was good enough, then it was an honours degree. Now it’s a masters. I was called for more job interviews after the masters than beforehand. But maybe, as a ‘generalist’ politician, it limits your options. They might go for people with particular expertise.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.