Teachers flock to attractive 'tax-free' jobs in sunny UAE
With salaries and job opportunities falling here, hundreds of qualified teachers are taking up attractive tax-free offers in schools across the Middle East.
Next month 50 Irish teachers will be flying out to take up positions with primary and post-primary schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
A sense of adventure is the attraction for some, while others view the opportunity as a chance to build up savings towards a house back home.
"As a couple, my husband and myself have been working 11 years as teachers and, in all that time, we've barely been able to save for our future," said Myra Reddington (33), who is off to Dubai in five weeks.
"We're actually going to be paid a little bit less than what we're earning here but with nothing going to the tax man and our accommodation paid for, we'll be coming out almost €2,000 ahead each month."
Seeking adventure, newly-qualified teacher Katie Fortune (23) said she could not wait to "get out of damp Ireland and get some sun in Abu Dhabi".
"For us, this is an investment in our future," said Ronan Murphy (35), who is leaving Cavan to head to Abu Dhabi along with his wife and three children.
"We're excited to take up a new challenge after 14 years teaching in Ireland. Financially, it's a sound investment, and it's a chance for our children to experience a different culture."
Peter Mullan of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) said he was not surprised Ireland was losing nearly 50 teachers in a month's time - adding that more would leave unless the Government rolled back on pay cuts.