The Irish Post, 17 March 2001
A THIRD-generation Irishwoman has been left devastated after her dream of working in Ireland was shattered - because she has a Liverpool accent.
Lisa Donnelly was rejected by a Dublin-based nanny agency because they said her accent meant it would be impossible to place her with a family in Ireland.
The rejection came despite Lisa being a qualified nursery nurse and having worked as a nanny for families in Switzerland and America.
I couldnít believe it when they told me,Ē said 33-year-old Lisa from her home in Liverpool. "I was in tears when I got off the telephone."
Lisa had sent off her application and references after being given the address of the Executive Nannies agency by a friend.
But when she telephoned to ask if they would give her an interview she was instantly rejected.
She said: ďAs soon as they heard my accent they didnít want to know. I was born in Liverpool and am proud of that but I love Ireland.
"I have studied Irish history and it was my dream to live and work in Ireland.
"It knocked me sick that 150 years ago many of our ancestors came to Liverpool from Ireland and now a woman in Dublin is telling me that they donít like my accent.
"I would love to work in Ireland but I am scared that if I contact another agency they might say the same thing and I couldnít face more rejection."
Lisaís mother Margaret - whose grandparents came from Co. Mayo - also contacted the agency.
She said: "I was advised that they would find it hard to place Lisa with an Irish family because of her Liverpool accent and she would only be wasting her time coming over to Ireland.
"I asked if they had bothered to check my daughterís excellent references and they said they had not."
Executive Nannies owner Rebecca Lyons said: "It was nothing to do with Liverpudlians as such but with strong accents. It was not the intention to cause any offence."
Placed on the web by John Wells 2001 03 19
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