Saturday 21 October 2017

My wife saved me from losing everything -- Collins

Nick Bramhill

RTE DJ Ronan Collins has credited his wife with saving him from financial ruin.

The veteran radio presenter, who lost a fortune on his private pension after the crash, admits he would have been tempted to gamble away the family home had his wife of 34 years, Woody, not talked sense into him.

The 59-year-old admits that during the boom he was bombarded with offers from people to invest in property on the condition he signed his home as personal guarantee, should anything go wrong.

"Not for the fist time in our lives, she saved the day," he said.

"I was offered money, as were lots of people through the boom years. They'd say things like, 'The bank are willing to give you this money and you can buy a block of flats in Manchester or Belfast and all you have to do is to pay back the interest and it'll wipe its face, it'll flip over.' All these cliches. 'Will you just sign this [your house], in the event of anything going wrong'.

"But my wife said 'no, they're not touching our home. It's not a house, it's a home'. She was absolutely right. We had a beautiful family home and she saw that more quickly than I did."

In an interview with 'The Morning Show' on TV3 yesterday, the former musician, who joined RTE in 1979 and has remained there since on a freelance basis, said he's enjoying life as much as ever, combining his daily Radio1 show with hitting the road again with the nostalgic show, 'Reeling In The...Showband Years'.

And explaining how he's come to terms with the fact that he lost a fortune on his pension, he said: "At one stage it had a massive paper value. Of course, I couldn't touch it then and when the downturn came, my savings disappeared to about 20pc of what I'd put in.

"It wasn't devastating then because it wasn't real. Now it's real because I'm going to be 60 this year and had it all worked, it would have been wonderful.

"But I've healthy children, I'm still with my wife and we own our house. I don't owe millions to anybody or to any institution."

And he has no plans to call time on his 33-year-old radio gig yet, adding: "I still love it every single day. I do the radio programme on my own and it's a joy. It's certainly not a job for me, because the word job makes it sound like a chore."

Irish Independent

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