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#192289 02/05/10 04:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
In 2008 I took a 2 week trip to Ireland with my girlfriend. Among the 825 photos I took there were enough electrical ones.
As we're both students, we mostly chose our accommodation by price - lowest wins. So for 11/night or similar rates, you get what you pay for.

I already uploaded those pictures to the photo server some time ago, but trying to copy them from Photobucket I accidentally got thumbnails instead of full-size pictures. Now I re-uploaded every single one in full resolution and in some cases with additional information. Here you go!
There are so many pictures I decided to just give a link to my gallery rather than post the images in this thread.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Hi there Ragnar,
Gee, I'm suprised that djk hasn't replied to this thread, he's from Cork.
It's amazing how wiring systems in other countries stand out when you are visiting them.
Mind you, some of the wiring in them photo's defy belief.

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,253
djk Offline
Texas_ranger, you certainly do. It's not easy to find accommodation here for much less than about 60 / night (and that's cheap).

It is a case of you get what you pay for, but we also have wiring and building safety regulations and legislation which are clearly being flouted in the images you've posted up.

I genuinely think some of those places ought to be reported to the HSA and the local fire safety officers.

The wiring's not even remotely acceptable. You'd get away with that in a private home on the basis that it's your home and you can do whatever you like in it (although you'd possibly invalidate your insurance), but it shouldn't be like that in a public building.

I do not want to get into naming the actual hostels in question here, but I would ask you to please consider getting in touch with the Irish HSA (Health and Safety Authority)

email : wcu(at) (Irish Health and Safety Authority)

Preferably provide them with the photos and addresses of the places you stayed.

They have no business operating with systems / buildings in that condition.

Dublin City Fire Department can be contacted at :

Fire Prevention,
Dublin Fire Brigade,
Townsend Street,
Dublin 2,
Tel: +353 1 673 4000
Fax:+ 353 1 673 4084

and "email: fire(at)"

Cork City Fire Department :

Fire Prevention Office,
Cork City Fire Brigade,
Anglesea Street,

Tel. +353 21 4966333
Fax. +353 21 4310745
E-mail fireoff(at)

I think they would be very interested to hear from you.

Building like that are supposed to have a valid fire safety certificate to operate and I am at a loss as to how they could possibly have one with the state of that wiring!

Also, if you do not mind, I will take this up with the Minister for the Environment, if you would like to get in touch with me & give me access to the addresses of the establishments & the photos, I will pursue this further.

I think there are quite obviously grounds to lobby him to look at targeted inspections on budget hostel accommodation.

Unfortunately, I get the distinct impression that the recent boom in hotel building in Ireland has really pushed the quality of hostels to new lows.

That being said, there are also hostels with good quality accommodation and electrical systems.

It's terrible that some rogue operators are expecting people to actually sleep in accommodation with such shoddy standards though and it's rather embarrassing from an Irish tourism perspective too if this is the kind of nonsense that people are being expected to put up with!

Last edited by djk; 02/06/10 10:05 PM.
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 97
all looks pretty shonky! Hostels often had BS546 sockets to stop people plugging things like heaters.

this item
[Linked Image from]

is a secret key switch. there is a key shaped like a fish that is used to operate it. Often used on emergency ligting

Last edited by johno12345; 02/07/10 03:42 PM.

I took my time, I hurried up, The choice was mine, I didn't think enough
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
In order to report them I have to dig up all the exact addresses... might do that some time.

A short overview: the Dublin places were fairly bad, but very affordable, with one exception which was pretty good as far as the state of the building was concerned (the one with the extremely yellow walls, the BS546 socket, the cable TV socket and the key switch).

The Cork place was superb, except for the PVC trunking in the back yard, which might be ok too if the cables inside are rated for outdoor use.

Our experience in Galway was mixed, one place was alright except for the unlocked electrical cabinet doors, another perfect except for the very low sockets in the skirt board and the open water heater cabinet. The third one was dismal but had flawless wiring (all exposed conduit). Down side: moldy showers (the owner painted over the moldy tiles to "remedy" that) and the breakfast wasn't fit for human consumption (moldy toast, ants in the honey).

Killarney was pretty good, except they apparently lost power to a socket circuit and refused to do anything about it, forcing us to sit in the cold lobby (front doors always open) with our laptop. Belfast: ancient wiring, crazy staff and odd guests. Breakfast was more than half an hour late. Finally, a bald, heavily tattooed guy came in, apparently still mostly asleep. Didn't say a word to the 20 people waiting for breakfast. The first time he managed to get his jaws open was when I waved two 10 pound notes under his nose to pay for the accomodation wink

That's the way hostels are - here in Austria I spent quite a few school trips in hostels and my experience was similarly mixed even though they're considerably more expensive than in Ireland.

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