After a lengthy dispute over traffic access from the M50, Dublin's first Ikea outlet is to open in July. Situated in Ballymun, it will employ about 500 people. As its managerial and supervisory positions have already been filled, what is left on offer are 280 "co-worker jobs". For the hundreds of thousands unemployed in Ireland, even this relatively small amount of jobs provides a glimmer of hope. What Ikea didn't expect to find was a queue of 4,000 people waiting outside Ballymun Civic Centre for its open days on 18-19 April. The event was organised by the company merely to provide information on the available positions; job applications must be made online.

Many people in attendance were not living in the Dublin area and had travelled from all over Ireland to be there. All ages were represented however a large number of recently graduated young people were in evidence, each of them qualified but with no prospect of finding careers in their chosen professions. The positions available in Ikea are warehouse jobs, sales and customer service, food service and check-out positions, the majority of which have a starting wage of