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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Irish barstaff victims of new Danish slave trade

Understandably – the non Danish speaking or understanding world would have missed the shocking report that I noticed yesterday, whilst browsing on-line Danish news and current affairs sites. The headline read - "Irske bartendere ofre for menneskehandel" (Irish barstaff victims of trade in people trafficking). The article had been posted on the authoritative Danish investigative blog site “Rokoko Posten” and can be read or viewed here -

Below I have translated the article for the benefit of readers to show just what happens to a lot of our young people who have been forced to leave our shores for no other reason than the rapacious ravages of capitalism in crisis. It serves as a warning that even an ostensibly pro Irish (indeed almost obsessively and neurotically pro Irish) country like allegedly civilised Denmark can quickly become a place of nightmares and oppression for the unwary Irish immigrant.

Danes just cant get enough of the Irish but beware those blonde heads and winning smiles

Rokoko Posten article on trafficking of Irish bar staff - translated from the Danish by Paul Larkin

"Right across Denmark there are Irish pubs with real live Irish people standing behind the counter. But these young bar workers are victims of a cynical trade in people trafficking that seeks to satisfy the Danes’ seemingly insatiable thirst for authentic Celtic conviviality.

Every couple of metres or so in any of the larger towns in Denmark, you are likely to trip over an Irish pub, where the bar staff handing pints of creamy stout over the counter will almost certainly be a true son or daughter of Ireland - that bejewelled emerald isle out in the Atlantic Ocean. A happy story of mutual needs being simultaneously satisfied? The Irish desire for work being met by an equally desperate desire on the part of Danes to be less Danish precise and more Irish wild? Think again.

Today, Rokoko Posten can exclusively reveal that these pale young Irish immigrants serving in Irish bars in their thousands here, have in fact been enticed to Danish shores under false pretences.

“I was chained to the bar”
27-year old software programmer and computer genius from Dublin, Ryan O’Shannon, was promised a regular and substantial wage as a software developer by unscrupulous slave trade gangsters. But when Ryan arrived in Denmark via a sealed container along with 50 other victims the reality proved to be starkly different.

“The ringleaders took my passport and locked me in a cellar where they exposed me to Dubliners' music for hours on end until I knew every word off by heart.”

Still shaking after his long ordeal, O'Shannon explained that he was then chained to a bar in Copenhagen where surveillance cameras, and other gang members posing as staff, made sure that he served "porter" to the customers with genuine cheek-cracking Irish warmth and a permanent roguish grin pasted on his face.

“In their hunger for all things Irish,” Ryan opined, “these happy clappy Danes don’t realise that the permanent grins on the faces of the Irish staff are actually looks of terror and a cry for help. But what do they care as long as they are sculling pints into them and can abuse the bar staff with endless winks and shouts of "Slansshe! Aanother pint there ya boy ya", and then they start with their Tak Tak bloody Tak! I swear its like working in an army firing range.

For twelve hours every day, they forced me to play the stereotype jovial Irishman; sing ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ twice an hour and say completely ridiculous things we would never say at home like - ‘Aye, that lass is as full as a gypsy’s bra!' and 'tis a grand day out begob!' - in the middle of a snowstorm – yeah?”

More than a leprechaun

According to the Danish police, which is now working closely with the Irish authorities on this scandal, this "massive" human trafficking in Irish bartenders has depopulated many Irish towns of young men in an age range of 22-35 years. A slave trade that will leave serious and lifelong psychological scars on the youths who are abused in this way. Ryan O’Shannon explains:

"If I hear one more blonde Danish babe telling me that it's not really sexual - she just loves my twinkling blue eyes, my soft, lilting Irish brogue and my dark, dark hair (they swap this with 'red hair' by the way at the drop of a Jameson - they SO do not have any shame). I mean, Irish men have feelings too you know . I'm more than a leprechaun. What am I talking about? I'm not a leprechaun at all at all at all. See!? That's how it gets ye. Making a complete eejit of yourself. See!? There I go again with a clichéd Irish phrase. I just don’t know whether I’m real or just a walking talking parody of the real me. I’m second guessing myself all the time. I broke down and told someone that I was ready to crack and they thought I meant craic and began dancing a crap "Riverdance" in front of me. They've turned me into a monster. (The interview was concluded here as Ryan became quite clearly stressed and he was led away by a slave trade counsellor)."

Article Ends.

Author’s note – yes immigration is a serious issue and a scourge on the country but sometimes you just have to have a laugh.

@Paul Larkin
Carraic, Gaoth Dobhair
Mí Lúnasa 2010
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Title: Irish barstaff victims of new Danish slave trade
Date posted: 02 Aug '12 - 08:51
Filed under: General
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