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Low-paid seasonal work is available in the tourist industry, usually in restaurants and pubs. Sometimes volunteer work is available in return for bed and board, for example from the Burren Conservation Trust (065-707 6105; jdmn@iol.ie; Admiral’s Rest Seafood Restaurant, Fanore).

Citizens of other EU countries can work legally in Ireland. If you don’t come from an EU country but have an Irish parent or grandparent, it’s fairly easy to obtain Irish citizenship without necessarily renouncing your own nationality, and this opens the door to employment throughout the EU. Obtaining citizenship isn’t an overnight procedure, so enquire at an Irish embassy or consulate in your own country.

To work in the North, citizens of Commonwealth countries aged 17 to 27 can apply for a Working Holiday Entry Certificate that allows them to spend two years in the UK and to take work that’s ‘incidental’ to a holiday. You need to apply for the certificate, before you travel, to the British consulate or high commission in your country. In the Republic, a similar system entitled the Working Holiday Authorisation allows citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Canada to work casually so they can take an extended holiday, and again you must be apply while still in your own country.

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born parent may be eligible for a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode, which entitles them to live and work in the UK free of immigration control. Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent, or a grandparent born before 31 March 1922 in what’s now the Republic, may qualify for a UK Ancestry Employment Certificate, allowing them to work full time for up to four years in the UK.

Visiting full-time US students aged 18 and over can get a four-month work permit for Ireland through CIEE (617 247 0350; www.ciee.org ; 3 Copley Pl, 2nd fl, Boston, MA 02116).

Nixers (www.nixers.com) is a useful noticeboard site for those in search of casual labour.

Business hours

The standard business hours are generally the same for both the Republic and Northern Ireland and are shown below, with any variations noted:

Banks 10am to 4pm (to 5pm Thursday) Monday to Friday

Offices 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Post offices Northern Ireland 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 12.30pm Saturday; Republic 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday. Smaller post offices may close at lunch and one day a week.

Pubs Northern Ireland 11.30am to 11pm Monday to Saturday, 12.30pm to 10pm Sunday. Pubs with late licences open until 1am Monday to Saturday, and midnight Sunday; Republic 10.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, 10.30am to 12.30am Friday and Saturday, noon to 11pm Sunday (30 min ‘drinking up’ time allowed). Pubs with bar extensions open to 2.30am Thursday to Saturday; closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Restaurants Noon to 10.30pm; many close one day of the week.

Shops 9am to 5.30pm or 6pm Monday to Saturday (until 8pm on Thursday and sometimes Friday), noon to 6pm Sunday in bigger towns only. Shops in rural towns may close at lunch and one day a week.

Tourist offices 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm Saturday. Many extend their hours in summer, and open fewer hours/days or close October to April.

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