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London Rental Opportunity of the Week

London Rental Opportunity of the Week: An Actual Portakabin in Dublin

No it's not in London it's— look, it's difficult to explain.

What is it? A Portakabin! An unfurnished Portakabin! So just to clarify! If you wish to live in this €1,300 Portakabin! You have to buy and bring your own bed!
Where is it? Drimnagh, Dublin 12, which no disrespect but when you Google the words "Drimnagh, Dublin" the fourth suggestion is the word "crime", which bodes extremely un-well;
What is there to do locally? Normally I do not know how to answer this part because I still haven't been to Dublin, but I read a Conor McGregor long-read over the weekend and now know the city intimately so in answer to the question "what is there to do locally?" I can say with new clarity: get really, really fucking beaten up for living on slightly the wrong street;
Alright, how much are they asking? €1,300;


Portakabins, eh? Portable cabins. Corrugated iron and floor tiles. At once cold in winter and warm in summer. Terrible acoustics. Imagine you could tin humans. Like you would a sardine or a soaked bean. Like you would a peach or a Fray Bentos pie. Would it not, really, just be a Portakabin? Would that not be the best way to preserve humans for a long shelf life and only a relative loss of flavour? If you dented a Portakabin full of humans, you'd still take a risk on eating the meat inside, wouldn't you? Portakabins are essentially just big tins.


  • My first lesson at secondary school was in a Portakabin, one of those wide-berthed four room jobs that was up extremely on blocks, and I will always remember that lesson because it was with this insane R.E. teacher called Mr. W——, a man so physically unhealthy he was essentially yellow, like he was as yellow as it is possible to be without an ambulance slowly following you home to see if you collapse, as yellow as one human can go without receiving emergency treatment for jaundice, and Mr. W—— told us to all write down the day's date in the top-left corner of the page, and then a heading for the day's learning, which we were all to underline, Welcome To Secondary School And The New World Order, and when he saw that I had written in my book in pencil rather than pen – a hangover from the primary school I had been at weeks beforehand – he pounced forward, suddenly beige and furious, and ripped the first page out of my text book while yelling. Like what the fuck, you yellow nonce. Get a grip on yourself. Anyway that was Portakabin #1
  • For some reason every time I have been to a music festival of any sort it has involved at some point a trip to a Portakabin to fill out some forms or collect a tote bag full of pens or charge a phone or work on a laptop. There is some weird authority that is imbued in temporary structures when they are pitched in the middle of fields, nestled on a bed of compacted gravel and hooked up to a generator-supplied electricity source, notes from someone else's interview with a three-piece that they're only doing as a favour for a PR mate scattered across the floor, handwritten on the back of A4 print-outs of something else entirely, so that's Portakabin's #2 through #6
  • In Saudi Arabia, on a press trip, I slept for a night in a Portakabin parked in the middle of the arid desert, on a single bed with a flat pillow that came in a single-use plastic wrapper, with a very slow-moving shower and a two-hanger wardrobe, and with a sort of lemon-shit toilet smell, and let me tell you, lads: that was not a good way to sleep, at all. That was not a pleasant place to sleep in.


So we all agree Portakabins have a very niche set of purposes and that they are barely fit for any of said purposes. Essentially, if you are using a Portakabin as anything other than a temporary office on a building site, then you are using a Portakabin incorrectly. That is all they are for. They are grey horrible rooms we create only out of the most sheer of necessity. They are only for putting a communal tea urn in and a cheery woman called Shan who does the weekly paychecks.

Hold that thought and delete it, though: what if… what if you were to live, in a Portakabin? In Dublin? Just in someone's yard? And pay €1,300 per calendar month to do that?

(Photos via

I'll go briefly through all the problems with this, because the overarching problem here is quite obvious – "it's a fucking Portakabin" – but I know a lot of people in, and this is picking a community completely at random, but say in Facebook comments sections, a lot of people like to think they can really ha-zzah! me by saying something along the lines of "some people would be thankful to live in this shitty, shitty Portakabin in a fucking car park in Ireland" or "wow, privileged much? google slums, bro, maybe u have heard of them" or "I could live here quite happily! I only need a tiny fucking miserable scrap of space and a double plug socket so I can run my PlayStation and laptop at the same time for my Twitch stream! This is actually good!" and to them I can only say i. that is the problem; ii. two things can be bad at once; iii. respect yourself more.



I mean this thing costs €1,300 a month, at least pretend it's not already falling apart and that I need to bring my own lightbulbs lest I spend a six-to-12 month lease falling asleep on a bed I had to buy to the white glaring light of an exposed energy-saving bulb—

Why did you paint it that colour. Why would you paint anything that colour. "Hey, I'd like to live in a Portakabin." "Oh great, I've got just the one: minor issue, it is painted the colour of a unisex bathroom in a since abandoned and mid-80s psychiatric hospital that has all those ghost sightings attributed to it" "No that's great, actually; that's my exact aesthetic"—

Bear in mind that the Portakabin isn't even as big as a small studio flat and also any vague illusion of size and space will be ruined as soon as you put a bed, a sofa, a wardrobe or a TV in there, or even a couple of stools and a small standing shelf set—

I mean, it appears that in terms of outside space, what you have available to you is a loose-surface carpark and a big pile of bin bags, your money really isn't going very far—

And gentle reminder that this all costs €1,300 per calendar month, £1,182 as of today's market rate, and basically enough to get somewhere, you know, actually nice. The ad has since been taken down from after being flagged up last week, but it's still a nice little indicator of what landlords – who we should lock in the Tower, remember, en masse, and slaughter our way through them in order – think they can get away with, in offering the very, very base of what human habitation can be classed as and charging through the nose and ears for it. And not even declaring their income when they do it. So in review: I am not a fan of Portakabins. I am even less of a fan of landlords.

@joelgolby (h/t @honestpaul, Lovin Dublin)

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