Sunday 25 March 2018

Paper prophet: Jason O'Callaghan (Singer)

With the arrival of the recession, have you cut back on any spending?

Yes, as my main business is my band, the Irish Rat Pack, our main customers are wedding couples. With the slowdown the market has got smaller, so we have to offer more value for money and up our advertising spend. Every euro counts now more then ever.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

Sunday dinner with my family and two nephews, Jack and Ryan; my laptop, and my mobile.

Do you shop in Lidl or Aldi?

Yes, but not as often as I should.

What's your worst customer service experience?

We have done hundreds of hotel weddings over the past five years, but the worst hotel I have had to deal with was... no, it will remain nameless.

What car do you drive, and how much does it cost to fill up the petrol tank?

I drive a Nissan Pathfinder and its costs around €80 to fill the tank.

What was your first job and salary?

My first job was as kitchen porter in my aunt's hotel, but I don't think she even paid me. After that, I was a lounge boy in The Submarine bar in Crumlin. It might have been about £15 a night back in 1988.

What would you like to achieve in business/work this year?

I left journalism to go back to college and work with cancer patients as a psychologist. I am just finishing my honours degree in April and am doing work experience with ARC (Cancer Support Centre) and within Tallaght Hospital. So I have seen what goes on in the charity/health sector and how under-resourced they are. I joined Fine Gael two years ago and am hoping to win a seat in my home constituency of Dublin South Central in the next election.

Do you have any family connection with business?

My grandfather was a Fine Gael councillor in Tralee in the Sixties.

Which businessman or woman do you most admire?

Michael O'Leary. The Government needs to take a page out of his book. We cannot spend €50bn a year if we only take in €30bn. Until we reduce costs, we'll never get back on our feet.

What was your best investment?

Property. I was lucky to sell my portfolio in Dublin and France in 2006 just before the bubble burst. I reinvested in my band, which has been very successful.

What's the biggest financial mistake you ever made?

I bought my current house in 2007 at the height of the boom -- but thankfully I am not in negative equity and my mortgage is very manageable.

Do you know what interest rate you're paying on your mortgage?

As soon as I heard that one bank was increasing its rate, I fixed mine with Bank of Ireland so I think it's about 4 per cent.

Have you switched your bank or moved your mortgage in the last couple of years?

No, but I shop around every year for all my insurance needs.

If you won the Euromillions jackpot, what would you do with the money?

What I would do is not tell one single person about my win.

What have you got in your wallet today?

Cash, one credit card, one debit card, college ID card and some business cards.

If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?

FG deputy leader Dr James Reilly -- I think he'll revolutionise the health service. We need someone who knows the system to fix the system.

What would you spend more money on each year, petrol or restaurants?

Diesel, as the band travels nationwide to do weddings.

Have you ever been overcharged by a bank?


Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes, someone smashed into my car while I was stopped at lights years ago.

How much is a bag of chips?

€2.50 in the Borza on Cromwellsfort Road -- best chipper in Dublin.

Rat Pack singer Jason O'Callaghan is seeking the Fine Gael nomination in Dublin South-Central at this Thursday's Fine Gael convention in Saint Agnes's Primary School, Crumlin, Dublin 12

Sunday Independent

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