This article examines Ireland’s implementation of the right to work for protection applicants, post Ireland’s opt-in to the EU Reception Conditions Directive Recast (RCDr) in 2018. Ireland sought to exclude persons potentially subject to Dublin Regulation transfers from accessing the labour market. Competing legal interpretations on this issue, now exist in Ireland, between the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) and the High Court. Engaging in an analysis of the legislative intent and emerging domestic case-law, it is argued that Ireland’s wholescale exclusion of persons potentially subject to a Dublin transfer from the labour market is not permitted under EU law. With this ultimately to be decided by the Court of Justice, it is argued that the legal interpretation of IPAT, which would grant protection applicants within the Dublin transfer process an entitlement to enter the labour market, is to be preferred to the interpretation of the RCDr proffered by the Irish High Court. The focus of the High Court on ‘abuse of rights’ obfuscated key legal protections EU law provides to protection applicants.