'Jobless Paddy' spends life savings on billboard advert
In response to mass unemployment and the prospect of having to emigrate, an unemployed Irish graduate has spent €2,000 (£1,745) on a massive billboard advertisement asking employers not to let him leave the republic.
Féilim Mac An Iomaire, who erected an advertising hoarding on the busy Merrion Road in south Dublin in an attempt to find a job, has said he has been overwhelmed by the response.
The ad contains a picture of the 26-year-old marketing graduate facing a number of famous landmarks from Sydney, London and New York with the message: "Save me from emigration."
His ad has struck a chord across Ireland at a time when about 50,000 citizens, many of them young graduates, are expected to leave this year for work abroad. There are still up to 400,000 jobless workers in Ireland due to the property crash and the country's fiscal crisis.
Mac An Iomaire said he came up with the idea after being unemployed for eight months after a year in Australia.
"I had a good bit of money saved when I came home from Australia but I was managing to live on jobseeker's allowance. I gave it a week of hard thinking to come up with the concept and nothing was going to stop me then," he said.
"The great thing is that everyone's been so positive about it. No one has really had a bad word to say.
"Everybody who is close to me knows I've been pretty miffed about being unemployed and feeling like I've been on the sidelines."
"I've had some really nice replies. Some CV experts are willing to spruce up my CV so I'm pretty overwhelmed with that," he said.
"It looks good for something to come out of it, anyway.
"I am not exactly looking for a concrete job offer. I would sooner go through the whole process of doing an interview," he added.