IRELAND

"I put off paying some bills as long as possible"

Thirty-five year old Irish Desmond Gilhooly spent eight years working in Facilities Management. Things were going well for Gilhooley, who won a promotion but then the malaise set in and there was no more work. Read more...

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Thirty-five year old Irish Desmond Gilhooly spent eight years working in Facilities Management. He was an employee at a small company which had recently won a large contract for a major UK retailer in Ireland. Things were going well for Gilhooley, who won a promotion but then the malaise set in and there was no more work.

I was called in to the office, and while I knew something was up as I was told to cancel my site visits for the day, I didn't expect the bombshell I received. I was told the so-called ‘credit crunch' projects were being put on hold so as not to incur the expense. My employer was unable to justify my employment without the work coming in.

I had other job interviews in due course, but I was told I was not experienced enough or was"too experienced". Eventually I had to bow down to the one inevitable trip I had been putting off, - a trip to the Social Welfare office to sign on for unemployment assistance, which is shortly coming to an end.

Both my wife and I have tried to cut back on expenses. We don't go out as much, we've reviewed our spending and cut out everything that we would have considered normal where possible. My wife is German, so where she had travelled home to visit her mother on a regular basis, she can't anymore.

Shortly before our marriage in 2007, we took out a small loan to cover some of the costs, but that's spread over five years, so the repayments are low. I also have a mortgage, which I am continuing to make payments on. I had thought I had taken out appropriate cover for all eventualities, however I made the mistake of trusting the bank. I was only covered for "medical redundancy" when I went looking to institute the protection payments.

My biggest concern at the moment is paying off all the bills, as money seems to flow out almost as fast as it comes in. I worry about it everyday, I put off paying some bills as long as possible, which isn't a good thing to do, but it's working for now. Both my wife and I had hoped to start a family in the next year, this plan is now on hold indefinitely.

I attended the Junior World Fencing Championships as a weapons control officer recently and it was the first time in months that I actually felt productive, but my time there drew to a close quickly and I'm back at home now. Back in the same cycle of signing on, collecting payments and paying bills.