TV documentary shows real-life stories of woe in cost-of-living crisis

A new documentary features people who are doing their best to survive at a time of rising food, energy and housing costs.
TV documentary shows real-life stories of woe in cost-of-living crisis

STRUGGLING TO GET BY: Mark Dawnay and wife Debbie in RTE documentary Broke

YOU work all week, yet struggle to make ends meet during a cost of living crisis.

That is the story of many people’s lives at present, and a new documentary tells to the people behind the headlines, who are doing their best to survive at a time of rising food, energy and housing costs.

Called Broke, it airs on RTÉ1 on Monday, September 12 at 9.35pm.

From small business owners to healthcare workers, from young people considering their future in this country to others wondering how they will pay their next bill, this compelling new one-hour documentary features a cross-section of Irish society aiming to balance their pay cheque amid ever-increasing demands.

Among the participants are parents Linda and Gary Boyle, who recently shut the doors on their dream restaurant, Fusion Bistro, in Killybegs Co Donegal, after they grew worried that increased heating, food and petrol costs would leave them at risk of running up significant family debts.

Dubliner Mark Dawnay is a married father of three who has worked as a security guard for more than 20 years. What used to be a living wage is now increasingly difficult for him to survive on.

He has recently started taking on additional shifts and overtime just to pay bills, but is concerned about the impact these extra hours are having on his close-knit family.

Mark also worries that further price rises will place even greater financial strain on his already stretched household finances.

Aoife Guilfoyle and Andrew Richardson moved in with relatives in Dublin to save for a deposit on their new home. However, the couple in their mid-20s watched with concern as property prices continued to spiral. Despite saving €20,000, they feel priced out of the property market. Instead they have decided to use this money to emigrate to Canada in search of a better life.

Wicklow-based Ann Hayden is in her sixties and working as a carer for adults with intellectual disabilities in Carlow. She has seen the cost of her daily commute spiral in recent months and now finds herself taking on extra hours at work to meet her bills. This includes doing overnight weekend shifts.

She uses Alexa at home to manage her domestic heating costs and focuses on cheap or free activities such as walking and set-dancing to save money.

Patriciza and Ryszard Cichocka and their two boys moved to Galway in 2017. Since then they have had to move house five times, with their rent almost doubling from €850 a month to €1500 a month.

As renters on a low wage their eldest son Cyprian has just finished college and is desperately seeking accommodation in Galway.

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