Croat in Ireland Details Other Side of “Irish Promised Land” Story

Lauren Simmonds

One Croat in Ireland has detailed how he often finds himself on the verge of purchasing a ticket back to Croatia, more specifically to Dubrovnik, from what is often marketed as the promised land – the Emerald Isle.

Ireland has become a favourite destination alongside the likes of Germany for Croatian citizens seeking a better life and more economic stability abroad. Since the country joined the EU back in July 2013, the barriers to foreign labour markets within the EU dropped and allowed for the ease of entry of Croats hungry for a fatter wage packet and the chance to get jobs based on skill rather than connections.

While many are glad to have left, others are greeted with quite the shock after the novelty of life in Ireland has worn off, and it isn’t just this Croat in Ireland dreaming nostalgically of home in Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of March, 2020, the beginnings of almost anything are always difficult, and for this Croat in Ireland and for many others like him, one has to get used to the different customs, the very different Irish climate, they need to find an apartment… but Mario thinks that he’s doing well, and his desire for learning and new experiences hasn’t left him.

Mario Miletic changed his address at the end of January this year. A Dubrovnik man who founded the Croatian Parking Services Association and very often and very openly criticised various social anomalies online, but also warned others about the bad situation in Croatia, decided to seek his happiness in Ireland, which, as stated, has become a new home for thousands of Croats over the last few years.

He told Dubrovacki dnevnik a little more about his experiences, as well as a decision he had long thought about. After landing in Dublin in January, he had to return after a week for personal reasons, but did not give up on the move to Ireland. He said that staying here in Croatia was simply not an option.

“I’ve been thinking about leaving for years, since the first legal process was initiated (a precedent for an administrative lawsuit against the University of Dubrovnik was obtained). Before leaving, I decided to do everything in my power to try to change things and try to make a positive impact on society, so I set up a civil society association with my colleagues. The idea of ​​leaving was, de facto, realised by itself. When you decide to do something, everything comes together for you to be able to accomplish it. Although, the internet has helped a little bit,” says this Croat in Ireland who is currently working as a bartender in an Irish pub, but doesn’t intend to stay there.

Therefore, he applies daily for job advertisements, aiming to get a job in the IT industry. He has even contacted Google and is aiming to continue his education, perhaps to graduate from college in Ireland. The decision to leave was not an easy one.

This Croat in Ireland often finds himself on the verge of buying a ticket back to Dubrovnik.

“The departure was extremely difficult, it still is, and I’m on the verge of buying a plane ticket to Dubrovnik every day. The people close to him in his life, right up until his last day in Croatia, didn’t believe he was really leaving. And now it’s hard for them, at least that’s what they say,” Mario said.

“My first experience was a bit negative, it was a clash of customs. But after things were explained, the positives prevailed and I returned again. As the Irish explained to me, the weather in February 2020 was the worst in recent years, after our January sunshine, this was a huge change for the worse. For now, I think I’ve done well, the language isn’t a problem, the fact the system is all online is a great thing for me, and I’m learning a little more. The biggest challenge is finding a reasonably priced apartment because they’re astronomical when compared to what we’re used to,” said Mario.

The biggest Croatian problem is the reluctance of institutions to change anything, according to Mario.

In Croatia, he said, he was extremely disturbed by the lack of functioning of institutions, which isn’t the case in Ireland, which, Miletic points out, respects the rights of workers. General inertia, nepotism, an atmosphere of less value, lies that came from representatives of political power and, as he says, an artificially created negative atmosphere, are just some of the reasons for his departure from Croatia, despite the pangs of his heart that often lead to him wanting to buy a return ticket home to Dubrovnik.

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