Accent Equality Legislation A Nightmare For Secret Cork Networks

Not being able to positively discriminate when it comes to giving your fellow Corkonians a leg up in the game of life is going to become a bit trickier.

New legislation proposed by the Dublin government will try to ensure employers don’t discriminate against job applicants or current employees because of their accent and where they’re from.

Big companies above in Dublin are well known for having intricate Cork networks and Rebels are going to have to be a bit less transparent in their bias for hiring fellow Corkonians over others if this yoke passes though the Dáil.

The legislation is moving slowly. Some hope it’ll be slow enough for Michéal Martin to be able to get Cork’s Simon Coveney into the Taoiseach’s job in December instead of Leo The Dub. Watch this space.  

Coming across another Corkonian in Dublin is like stumbling upon another human if you were crossing the empty and inhospitable ice world of Antarctica – after weeks of talking to the cold bitter air you’re immediately warmed by the heavenly presence of another Rebel.

Quickly you establish a connection: You played senior hurling with his brother’s best friend. Your sister played rugby with her sister. You shifted her years ago a disco in Grenagh. There’ll always be something.

The Cork Mafia
Other employees make half-serious jokes in the canteen about there being a ‘Cork mafia’ in their companies. They have stories about little groups of staff from Cork gathering around a watercooler having intense conversations that suddenly hush when someone else comes along.

“Sorry, eh….sure we were just talking about the Cork hurlers playing Waterford at the weekend there……haha….anyway I should have those reports done for you by Friday.”

But what was that Cork crowd really talking about? Suspicion mounts as later in the day an email goes out to welcome new employee, Samantha O’Leary from Ballincollig. Hmmm.

As a result of this kind of laudable pro-Cork bias, there are often large departments in Dublin companies that are mysteriously dominated by Corkonians (CEOs can often detect them by locating the best performing part of their business).   

When that department hire yet another person from Cork, the trend is remarked upon by curious ladder-climbers from other parts of the company, but quickly shrugged off by the Corkonians as an amusing coincidence.

To allay any simmering suspicion, they point out the Not Cork feen in the corner of the office who is “forced” to listen to the Rebel banter all day long - not quite revealing that despite his mild Dublin accent, his parents came from Ballydehob, he's a fanatical Munster supporter, his old doll is from Bishopstown and he visits her every weekend (she refuses to go ‘north’).

These feens are referred to in the secret Cork networks as DOPs (pronounced ‘dopes’) which stands for ‘Dubs On Paper’. Their accents are the only thing Dublin about them – in every other sense they are Corkonians.

Because they were brought up in a house with two Cork parents they can easily switch between the beautiful sing-song Rebel tones of their old pair and either one of the two deplorable Dublin accents they picked up at ‘skewill’.

As soon as they are out of earshot of their fellow Palers and among ‘their own’, they switch to a much more comfortable sing-song ‘Mitchelstown North’ hybrid accent to fit in with those lucky to be pure Cork. Double agents if you will.  

The truth is that many Corkonians who end up in Dirty Aul Town are drawn to each other naturally to help each other cope with not being in Cork. Lots of things about Dublin and ‘Da Doobs’ drive them mad and these Cork networks act like therapy sessions.

Internal messaging systems are dominated by links to Echo articles and local Cork news. Everyone in the office is trying to work out the ‘secret sound’ on Red FM and canteen conversations centre on the bedlam at the Dunkettle interchange on Monday morning or the new ‘Boatyard’ outdoor market opening near Cobh rather than anything in Dublin.

This is a necessary coping mechanism for Corkonians who choose to live ‘abroad’ in Not Cork and legislation should take this beautiful, empathetic Cork trait into account. For a start it saves companies a fortune in counselling fees.

Admittedly, it can get awkward when a Not Cork employee stumbles across what they think is a staff night out they weren’t invited to.

‘Your Man’, who left the office late, spots the eight Cork heads from his department having an after-work hooley in the pub around the corner from the office. He can’t understand why he was left out. If he could only hear them taking turns at mocking his annoying D4 accent he’d know why. And God forbid if he saw the office’s secret ‘Cork Heads’ whatsapp thread.  

So, watch out, feens. The Dubs are on to us. From now on Corkonians will have to thread more carefully.

That doesn’t mean we can’t ‘thread’ though!