'Jobless Paddy' powers up with bookie post


THE UNEMPLOYED Galway man who spent the last of his savings on a billboard advertising his availability for work has secured a job with bookmakers Paddy Power.

Two weeks ago, Féilim Mac An Iomaire (26) paid €2,000 to place a billboard with the slogan “Save me from Emigration” on the Merrion Road in Dublin.

Calling himself “Jobless Paddy” in the billboard, the advertising campaign has since attracted huge attention from employers, with Mr Mac An Iomaire securing more than 20 job interviews and five firm offers of work in the last fortnight.

“The last two weeks have been pretty crazy,” he said. “It has been a real baptism of fire.”

Having carefully weighed up the offers, Mr Mac An Iomaire is immediately joining the marketing and communications department at Paddy Power’s Dublin headquarters.

“I couldn’t be happier. It’s exactly what I was looking for,” Mr Mac An Iomaire said. “I’d be doing cartwheels if I could.

“It’s a big change to sitting at home in Galway doing nothing.”

Since returning to Galway last August after a year working in Australia, Mr Mac An Iomaire spent eight fruitless months searching for work. He sent out more than 100 CVs and cover letters to different companies.

Frustrated at his lack of success, he struck on the idea of paying for a billboard advertising his work-readiness and contact details to prospective employers.

Entitled “Save Me From Emigration”, the billboard shows Mr Mac An Iomaire standing on a shoreline with his bags packed, facing a horizon dotted with sights from London, New York, Sydney, Toronto – all traditional Irish emigrant destinations.

He also launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter describing his plight. He has received thousands of messages of support for his campaign from all over the world.

“Getting good luck messages on Facebook from people in Ghana and Nigeria was probably the strangest,” he said.

His campaign has attracted massive media attention: he has been invited to speak of his job-hunting experiences on dozens of radio and television programmes in Ireland and been contacted by overseas media organisations.