Hostel in Australia refuses to take Irish


A DUBLIN man who runs a pub and hostel in the north Queensland town of Prosperpine is refusing to accommodate any more Irish backpackers after a series of drunken and property-damaging incidents.

The latest episode saw two Irish men being arrested at the hostel adjoining O’Duinns bar after they allegedly caused damage by breaking chairs, windows and a table.

Thomas Dunne, whose business is close to the famous Airlie Beach resort, said: “We have security here from 11 o’clock at night because people are getting up at five for work [on local farms] and it’s usually the Irish ones who are causing all the problems.

“The security tell me they are getting the same from the Irish at pubs in Airlie Beach, giving them lots of lip.

“It used to be the English,” he added, “now it’s the Irish.”

Mr Dunne’s 55-bed backpacker hostel is used by young people on working holiday visas who work on farms for three months in order to get a second-year visa.

He said some local farmers no longer wanted to hire Irish people because of their poor work.

“We’ve just been told by one farm a couple of days ago ‘We’re not taking any more Irish or English, no Europeans at all. All we want is Koreans’.

“So we sent 40 Koreans out to that farm.”

After these and other incidents, including an alleged arson attack by an Irish woman, Mr Dunne no longer wants Irish people staying on his premises.

“If Irish people ring up we say ‘Sorry, we’re full’.

“If they’re going to be here for three months [working on a farm] you don’t want all that trouble, that’s why we knock them back straight away.”

Mr Dunne added: “It’s distressing for my wife. She’s just gone to the police now because she can’t put up with it. And also my 17-year-old daughter, who is working here in the bar with us: she is all distressed about what’s happening.”

Mr Dunne, who also has a 15- year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter who is currently in Dublin, contrasted the behaviour of some Irish backpackers with that of asylum-seekers trying to get to Australia.

“Hundreds of poor boat people died last week trying to get into Australia,” he said, “and these guys who could not get a job in Ireland have been given the opportunity to work and the opportunity to extend their visa an extra year by working 12 weeks on a farm.”

He said “low-lifes” who caused damage should be kept in Ireland to “give the real refugees a chance”.