The woman – called Magda – has also been defended by the Polish embassy who says some of her comments were taken out of context.
“Do I feel guilty about living on benefits? Certainly! I don’t want to live at the government’s expense, which is why I treat this help as an opportunity to start my own business,” says the woman in the extensive interview.
‘Magda’ says she receives an allowance of €188 per week plus €59 for her flat in Donegal and €20 for fuel – giving her a total of €267. This is €67 more than she was earning as a waitress in a local hotel and more than she might hope to earn from the social welfare system in Poland.
“How am I holding up? Great. I move on and change. I can breathe,” she says of her situation.
According to a translation of the article ‘Magda’ describes Donegal as “either the most beautiful, or the most remote and boring in Ireland.”
“Wherever you look, there are green hills, beaches stretching out to the horizon, and it looks like a postcard. On the other hand, you could walk on the beach for an hour and you won’t meet anyone except for an old man in a wind jacket.
‘Magda’ says her life involves going to the local beach to watch the sunrise: “It charges me for the rest of the day” while she has used the time out of work to take up yoga, surf, decorate her house and have a healthy diet.
“Unemployment benefits are for people to stop for a while and think about their lives. I for one discovered that I no longer want to work for someone. I like having things settled my way,” she is quoted as saying.
In a statement, the Polish Ambassador said he hoped that the Irish people realised the work ethic and values of the Polish community and that these attributes are inaccurately presented in this article in the Polish newspaper.