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The Gateway to Contractor Hell

September 5th, 2011 · 44 comments

While vacationing in Ireland in May, Morgan and her husband ate at a new restaurant in the village of Durrus, in County Cork. “By the next morning,” she says, “the whole town was talking about the ‘gift’ left in the parking spots out front.”

Eoin Hourihane Carpenter & Building Contractor Has not been paid for work carried out, in The Gateway, Durrus

Eoin Hourihane Carpenter & Building Contractor Has not been paid for work carried out, in The Gateway, Durrus

related: You lied to me, Mr. Lundegaard.

FILED UNDER: Ireland · money · public shaming

44 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Mushroom

    Not what they meant when they said “Oh, send us a bill.”

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #2   Quite Contrary

    I vote the US government does this to the banks, insurance companies, and car companies that haven’t paid them back yet for bailing them out.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm   rating: 57  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   kermit

      Erm, they have. And the US government/taxpayers got a pretty decent return on their investment, too.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   FeRD bang

      Yeah, in fact at least one bank — Citi, perhaps? — even decided to flaunt their immense wealth in the face of being “bailed out”, by rushing to repay the loan ahead of schedule. A noble act? Perhaps. More likely they just did it so that they could more quickly return to the important business of being greedy bastards.

      (I’m sure they thought it best to show Uncle Sam the door, before resuming their regular program of activities. All that debauchery, kiddie-sexin’, and granny-murdering — standard fare, right? Well, believe it or not, some people just wouldn’t… yaknow… “get it”!)

      Sep 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   kermit

      Ferd, no offense, but I think your ridiculous hyperboles undermine any point you originally had.

      Yes, it’s cool and fashionable and so forth to hate banks. I’m sure it must be a nice break from hating the lawyers and the union leaders who benefited from the auto bailout.

      Unfortunately, all this anger does absolutely nothing to help people become more financially literate – which is really a huge factor in determining just how badly a bank/mortgage lender is able to screw anyone over.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   makfan

      Kermit, some of the banks did pay back their loans early, and one reason was to be free of the compensation restrictions.

      That said, your point is valid. For the most part, we recovered the money from the treasury and did OK.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 12:41 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      In the UK we didn’t even bail out our banks; we just bought shares in them instead as a means of injecting capital and now we own huge chunks of them, and everything they do is now to our benefit as majority shareholders. That doesn’t stop us irrationally hating them. Nor does the fact that the main beneficiaries of high-risk investments are pension funds that benefit ordinary people.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 9:14 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #3   JoAnne M.

    I totally wish we hadn’t paid our contractor ahead of time. Maybe I can go put a big sign over his house that says, “Deadbeat, he took our money and spent it all.”

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm   rating: 36  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   nick

      I’d love to do that to our contractor, but he lost his house to foreclosure and nobody knows where he went with everyone’s money. Bastard.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   jules

      I think this happens a lot more often than the opposite, though, as demonstrated by the OP, the contractors have better ways to exact revenge when they are the ones being screwed over.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      I would put up a sign like this about my contractor if it weren’t for the fact that he did decent quality work, in a timely fashion and at the agreed-upon price.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 9:16 am   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #4   Hirayuki

    Happy Labor Day! (Or should that be “Labour Day”?)

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #5   Prof Quatermass

    You can’t beat (probable) Catholics at P.A. They learn from the best…Their mothers.

    E.g Q: How many Irish Catholic son’s does it take to fix their mother’s house fusebox?

    A: Ahhh, you don’t need to worry about that son, I’ll just bump around in the dark for the next 3 weeks ’till your free again, dear.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm   rating: 49  small thumbs up

  • #6   Ashleigh

    How embarrassing. You should always pay somebody for building your Restaurant. Apparently this owner learned the hard way. xD

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #7   Alexis

    That is a quality sign.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Danny

      This is the first thing I thought of, as well. :)

      Sep 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   unsatisfied

      but, would you pay them for it?

      Sep 7, 2011 at 8:45 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   Dave9

    The brilliant thing about this is: Those load lifter’s hydraulics leak very slowly over time, so the arm will descend eventually, blocking the entrance.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm   rating: 40  small thumbs up

  • #9   Paul Johnson

    This is a pretty common practice the world over when a contractor doesn’t get paid.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   kermit

      What’s common practice when the contractor screws over the property owner by doing shoddy work and/or doesn’t even remotely finish on time?

      Sep 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Danny

      Paying him more than agreed upon, and then impotently whining on Angie’s list.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Citrico

      kermit: From what HGTV tells me, the homeowner gets on a TV show with an angry blonde guy who goes on tirades about shoddy work and bad contractors.

      Ahhh Holmes on Homes, possibly the most addictive renovation based show ever.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 1:02 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Rattus

      Aaaah, the pleasure that is Holmes on Homes. I bought wood from his brother once. And no, that is not a euphemism.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   reliantrobin

      I ♥♥♥ Holmes on Homes! I was pissed off when Discovery decided to take their Discovery Home channel and change it around to something useless because it meant no more awesome cooking shows from Australia, Canada, etc., and no more Holmes on Homes. While I still have yet to see the Cooking Channel bring back Kylie Kwong and co., I loved that HGTV brought back Holmes on Homes. Excellent! BTW, “buying wood from his brother”, huh? Is that what they call it these days? ;)

      Sep 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #10   rc

    in the USA, when a contractor doesn’t get paid, a mechanic’s lien can be place on the property, and nobody will buy it unless the lien is paid off.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Mrs.Beasley bang

      Which unfortunately for the contractor can mean decades and decades.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #11   Ana

    so if they continue not to pay will they drop the sign on the buisness?

    Sep 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #12   Antonio

    That’s what you get for not paying your contractor I guess.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #13   JetJackson

    Meanwhile the Irish government has determined that a possible solution to their economic problems would be to invest in research to develop a ‘sign-post’ as the cost of using Telehandlers to hold up signs across the country spirals out of control.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Bec

      The perfect businesses to own in a recession,
      Sign writer & “Telehandler” hire company.

      Sep 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #14   Belinda

    can someone phonetically spell the name of the contractor? I have no idea how to pronounce it. . .

    Sep 5, 2011 at 11:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Dave


      Sep 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   JetJackson

      Yeah I lived in Ireland for a bit… there is this place called Don Laoghaire which is pronounced Dun-Leer-ee. Not to mention the trouble I had working in recruitment trying to pronounce names like Aoife, Siobhan and Tadgh.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 1:23 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   The Elf

      I think that is what happens when you have one language tradition alive mostly via naming conventions and a few remote areas and another, unrelated, language used for everyday speech and writing.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 7:05 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Irish Guy

      Its spell Dun Laoighre actually and the english translations are bothed up from when the brits translated most irish towns and cities. Dublin was translated from “Dubh Linn” meaning black water (referring to the river liffey.

      And what abot Ohio in the states? not exactly spoken as it’s read is it? I am sure there are plenty of examples of american names which dont exactly read as they are pronounced.

      Sep 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.5   Donna J

      Uh, Ohio is pronounced Oh-Hi (or High?)-Oh, which is exactly the way it’s read. But I’ll agree with you that there are many names of states, cities/towns, roads, rivers, etc that could be confusing since they are Native American in origin (including Ohio, actually) though the locals generally know the pronunciation, outsiders would likely get it wrong.

      Sep 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #15   Balabusta in Blue Jeans

    “Owen HOO-ri-han” I think.

    Sep 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #16   The Elf

    Durrus? Isn’t that the guy who tried to take over the Klingon Empire against Gowron? Oh yeah, you’re never getting money out of him. That whole house lacks honor.

    Sep 6, 2011 at 6:55 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #17   Aoife

    Owen who-ra-han. And Elf, Irish language is very much alive over here, not just “via naming conventions and a few remote areas” (and I live in Dublin). It’s compulsory in schools from the day you start ’til the day you leave, there are plenty of schools that teach in Irish, and lots of people in large areas of the country speak it as their primary language. All forms/signposts/police must be in both Irish and English, you can take any state exams in Irish if you want, and we have Irish langage news casts and TV/radio channels.

    Sep 6, 2011 at 7:39 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   The Elf

      Okay – Since you live there I’ll most definitely trust your judgement on that matter. I had read contradictory information about Irish Gaelic being a dying language, but I don’t live there. Perhaps I just confused it with Scottish Gaelic.

      Sep 6, 2011 at 8:35 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #18   Confused.brit

    Elf, its actually the Cornish Gaelic tongue thats dying out and only spoken by one elderly gent.

    Sep 7, 2011 at 7:56 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   The Elf

      Thank you for the correction. I’ll get them straight next time!

      Sep 7, 2011 at 8:43 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   Siobhan Nic Gearailt

    As a proud Corkonian I can honestly say I was saddened by this, as it is a true reflection of how the economy is in Ireland…JK I laughed.

    Sep 7, 2011 at 11:33 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #20   lightning0girl

    Love it! Another good one from Toronto!

    Toronto rocks!

    Sep 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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