A formerly successful waiter, used to living the high life, in ‘Mr. Chippy’, one of Donegal’s few Michelin starred restaurants has fallen on hard times on the mean streets of Connemara.
“It used to be great in Letterkenny hiy, it was pokes of chips and Football Special ’til the cows came home, but eventually even the cows emigrated, so I decided to take my chances Down Under, in Galway.” said the actor, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“I applied for a job in Supermac’s but they said there was nothing going and I should try this place Ros na Rún, well they took me on straight away and said if I was any good, in a year or two I could get a job making sandwiches and tea in the TG4 canteen.
“It’s a hard graft, hiy, being over foreign, when you don’t speak the language or nothing, some of the ones I’m acting with have been trying to get the sandwich gig for 5 years, or more. I just have to keep the head down and pretend to be making tea for this one extra who is glued to a chair, then the odd time this big Galway woman comes in and shouts at me, and I have to pretend to be surprised, but usually I am, because I don’t know what she’s on about. Now and again she’ll throw a glass of wine on me, just water mixed with ribena, it’s not Football Special but it keeps me hydrated, hiy.”
Ros na Rún was set up by Éamon Ó Cuiv in 2001, under his ‘Keep Connemara Busy’ scheme, it is staffed mostly by people on FÁS schemes, many of whom were told they would be learning mig welding or sheep shearing. Little is known about what goes on there as U.N. inspectors have consistently been refused entry to the Connemara compound.