Hostel Owner Says The Irish Down Under Are “Letting The Nation Down”

Irish bar and hostel owner Thomas Dunne stirred up a lot of controversy last month when he refused to take in Irish backpackers and he’s since had a lot more to say.

The Dublin-born owner of the Main Street Backpackers in Queensland chose to comment on the imposition of fines for two rowdy Irish backpackers who damaged at his hostel last month, branding an Australian court’s decision too “lenient”.

“It’s an ongoing problem, but this year has been the worst,” Mr Dunne told the Sunday Independent. “Of the eight Irish people we’ve had this year, six of them were kicked out in the first couple of weeks.

“I have no problem with skill-based migration and the great majority of Irish who emigrated worldwide over the past 100 years have been a credit to Ireland, being high achievers and setting up many fine institutions.

“But the unskilled Irish backpackers coming to Australia in the past few years are a big let-down to Irish people everywhere. We’re Irish and people tell me I’ve got to look after my own, but my own are wrecking the joint and causing problems.”

Mr Dunne made the decision not to allow any more Irish backpackers into his establishment last month following the arrest of the two men for damage done to his accommodation.

The teenagers were charged the equivalent of €76 and ordered to pay the hostel owner a further €119 each after breaking a louvre, a table and two chairs.