Today’s Indo article on that Polish waitress with her original in Gazeta Wyborcza :

From the Irish Independent:

‘Magda’ (36), not her real name, described her life on the dole in Donegal as a ‘Hawaiian massage’.

From original Article

Magda can do a basic massage, a Hawaiian one and a hot stone one that she’s learnt at a free course organised by the social welfare office.

From Irish Independent:

Magda doesn’t identify the town in Co Donegal where she lives but she does call it a “s***hole”.


Donegal, a county on the Northern tip of Ireland, for some it’s the most beautiful place in the world, for others – biggest nowhersville. Wherever you look, green hills and beaches stretching towards the horizon, just like on a postcard.

Irish Independent:

Sometimes I sleep till noon and the nearest beach is five minutes away


“I always start my days in the same way: I go down to the beach to see the sunrise. It sets me up for the rest of the day. I used to sleep until noon, but now I don’t want to waste my life.”

Irish Independent:

Apart from her clear intent to take advantage of our social welfare system, to describe her home as a s***hole just adds insult to injury


“Do I have a problem with being on benefits?” She ponders the question. “Yes. I don’t want to live off the state, that’s why I treat the benefits as an aid, which will help me to start my own business.”

“In the afternoon we grab a 3 euro coffee. We could have a similar one at home, but it is important to help the local business, explains Magda.

Irish Independent:

He in turn bragged about the county’s wonderful golf courses.

This last one confused me as I could not find any reference in the original article to the guy playing golf. Notice this though, it does not actually say he plays golf. Just that he is “bragging” about the golf courses. This is an interesting line as it creates a false illusion in your mind. He says in the original article that Donegal has nice scenery and good beaches and golf courses – is this ‘bragging’ or stating a fact?

Translation via RTE R1’s John Murray Show 

Indo Turns Sights On Social Welfare (Tetch, Reddit)

Pole in Ireland. I Love You, Unemployment (

Polish Waitress Packs In Job For ‘Good Life’ On Welfare (Greg Harkin and Norma Costello, Irish Independent)

Earlier: Anyone Speak Polish 

103 thoughts on “Ouch

  1. Doctor Gonzo

    First a bear tax/universal social charge.

    Now blaming the ‘immigants’.

    Much apu about nothing!

    1. Mot

      She does have a lot to answer for as she was a journalist for the Krakow Post, one can only assume that she has some sort of grasp of the Polish Language. However let’s take into account the discriminatory, British Daily Mail style and farcical journalism that is published under the name of this newspaper. I’m not really that shocked, but am disgusted.

    2. Adam Winters

      I am shocked. Greg Harkin is a seasoned journalist who seems to have done some very good work. How he got his name attached to this is bilge is inexplicable.

      The Indo editor must be phoning in his work. This was an incredibly bad translation that you couldn’t even blame on Google.

  2. Muffy

    Indo in rag journalism shocker. A tabloid in broadsheet form, so the dopes reading it feel more “upper class” than they are.

  3. Paul

    no one ever accused the Indo of reporting news. Utter fail, imagine if we had a press complaints council.

  4. Iwerzon

    If I was Polish Girl I would feel slightly pissed off – is this defamatory, libilous or anything else which she might be able to take the Indo to the cleaners with?

  5. Phill

    The Indo is such a rag. Disgusting article that will just serve to provoke further intolerence to immigrants in this country.
    How long before we see a BNP style party start to gather a following?

  6. dylad

    Wow , zero for effort but 10/10 for incitement to hatred and creating a distraction from real news.

  7. Father Filth

    Someone’s gone Lady Gaga with the Shite stirring spoon over there.. I managed to sneak in a mention of Matt Talbot and the Blue Shirts in my ‘ironic’ comment. Published almost instantly.

  8. Mike Duffy

    As soon as I saw that article mentioned on I knew it was rubbish and lo and behold it is

  9. Jay

    The Indo might have expoited this particular “case” which is despicable – but Welfare Tourism does exist in Ireland, sadly.

    1. Brendan

      Of course it does. Which makes the mind boggle as to why they have to make up this half-baked sh**!! Laziness I guess.

    2. rory

      Publishing this type of article, on the front page, of the most bought daily broadsheet in Ireland – It is not just demonising immigrants, it is basically inferring that all people on the dole are a pack of spongers.

      In a country where the elite are getting away with murder and the most vulnerable are suffering big time, this is just wrong on so many levels.

  10. Jay

    Actually translating the article myself now, “Madga” clearly boast the fact that she is living great on the Dole and would not work for minimum salary. The fact that this is posted on a Polish website doesnt do much to help the Welfare tourism situation…. So despite the cheeky Indo version, the problem remains.

      1. Ineverthoughtidenduphere

        What’s weak about acknowledging a problem regardless of the indo’s cage rattling take? One solution should be that the recipient’s home state should pay the difference between the host’s welfare rate/benefits and their national welfare rate/benefits.

  11. Paul

    It was strange how she described where she lived as s**thole, but also describes the beautiful beaches in same article. It all makes sense now. It’s such a divisive paper. It’s editorial line is to divide and conquer, alienating public servants, immigrants, single parents etc.

    1. Paul

      ^ that’s not me by the way.

      You have to read the comments flooding in to the Indo below this article – the most racist, vile stuff – which was the aim of the article. well done Indo, we can be proud of our media.

      1. Jockstrap

        They’re not publishing any of the comments critical of them by the way.

        How could you work there and have any self respect.

  12. Shane

    Slime. I am ashamed of this tripe. Thanks Broadsheet & Nat King Coleslaw. A clean, swear-free comment has required a lot of restraint.

      1. Mani

        I swear,’s comments boards are a refuge for the borderline literate and mentally unifinished. The kind of people who Make Their Point by capitalising letters.

  13. Neal

    This cements the indo. IMO as the biggest rag going. At this stage I feel the Star is a more credible source of info.

    1. jackdog

      Senator Harte on Highland Radio now giving the Labour Government view ” I would like to see her go back to Poland and if we can find out who she is, I’d gladly pay for her flight home.” Shocking stuff ,clearly this couple is identifiable,This is dangerous . State Pogrom or not?

      1. paddy

        Unbelievable! From James Connolly’s labour party. Even the national Front in France don’t come out with shit like that.

          1. Pena

            From socialists I’d expect more in general. Seems more like a reactionary conservative mindset in work there. So I guess “dumb” was the keyword and “socialist” just provovation….or dumb.

  14. Pedanto, the Hilarity Man

    Surprisingly, perhaps, Norma Costello comes across on her blog as a sound liberal-leaning woman – and a decent writer too. Who knows what happens at the Indo between submission and publication?

    I’ll keep my lighted pitchfork in reserve for that Greg Harkin, though.

  15. TheFerg

    Please forward this Broadsheet article to Polish colleagues and friends – I would be feckin fuming!!!!

    1. mickmick

      [Senator Harte…told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that he would “willfully pay for her airfare back to Poland”]

      Anybody who uses ‘wilfully’ in that context is a dunce.
      * hopes I haven’t made a typo *

  16. Gerard Murphy

    What do you expect from the S/INDO, people should wake up to their propaganda , check any of my articles which expose how they fill peoples heads with mis-information and right wing propaganda on a daily basis

    1. Louis Lefronde

      The bleeding heart left are not in any position to lecture about misinformation, distortion and agenda setting. Both the left and the right in the Irish media are an utter disgrace.

  17. Kdoc

    After I read the Indo article I immediately posted a comment questioning the veracity of the piece, but it wasn’t published.
    It must have been tough work to produce the distortion of the original article – it took two to do it.

  18. Katekatharina

    It’s a journalist’s job to find the truth and to expose the unethical. Greg Harkin and Norma Costello have deliberately distorted the truth and exposed only themselves as unethical. They have disrespected their readers. They should be ashamed.

  19. Anna

    She describes Donegal actually as a good place to live for the social environment is nice, it has nothing to do with being on welfare. What the waitress really says is: the welfare allows her just for a quiet, humble life because she knows how to handle it. About Donegal she says “there is everything here but jobs, half of the locals are jobless”.

    Yes, according to the article she is saying it is not worth working for the minimum wage or the wage she was getting in a hotel, 200 EUR weekly for a hard work.She talks about the last job she had- as a waitress – complaining about being made to work too hard and being cheated by her managers (the managers were unwilling to pay the extra money she was owed from the tips).

    The only really outrageous fact described in the article is, you are being made to work as a mule while on a minimum wage.

  20. Figlen

    Please write letters to the Editor of the Indo to complain:

    Independent House
    27 – 32 Talbot Street
    Dublin 1

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