Monday 25 June 2018

'I lost money on three-card trick in student days'

Roisin Shorthall
Roisin Shorthall

Roisin Shortall is a Social Democrats TD for Dublin North West. She was first elected to the Dail in 1992. She co-founded the Social Democrats in July 2015.

Shortall, who was born and reared in Drumcondra in Dublin, now lives in Whitehall in Dublin with her husband, Seamus. They have three daughters. Before entering politics, Shortall was a teacher for a number of years.

What's the most important lesson about money which your career in politics has taught you?

Without doubt that your health, rather than your money, is actually your wealth.

What's the most expensive thing about being a parent?

Minding your children - either taking time out of the workforce to do so, or paying for childcare

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

The touristy areas of Paris are extremely expensive. A few years ago, I ended up paying €16 for a pastry and a coffee in Montmartre.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old half-crown. It was large and heavy and had a beautiful horse on it. It was always a great treat to get one as a present.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A car. I've only once bought a brand-new car, but generally I buy two or three-year-old cars as they're better value. I recently bought a 2016 Renault Zoe, which is an electric car. It's a great car for city driving, it's good for the environment - and it costs next to nothing to run.

What was your worst job?

Canning peas in Britain as an 18-year-old. It was so monotonous.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Losing the equivalent of a week's rent on the three-card trick while a student in London.

I learned a lesson!

What was your best financial killing?

Having a tenner on Ben Nevis (a 40-to-1 winner of the Grand National) while on our honeymoon.

Are you better off than your parents?

At this stage I am, but they were able to live reasonably well on one salary. Most couples nowadays couldn't do that.

What's the best advice you ever got about money?

Be happy with enough - advice I got from my father. He worked in industrial relations in a gas company all his life. He was very unmaterialistic and influenced me in that regard.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes, when a family member crashed my car.

iTunes or Spotify? Or CDs and records?

I'm into CDs, but recently I've rediscovered my old LP collection.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A pair of shoes.

Would you buy Irish property now?

No - it's way overpriced.

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

My car, my phone, my hairdresser.

What do you find to be the most expensive thing about living in Dublin?

Housing, whether you're buying or renting.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I tend to save for any big purchases or outlays. The one thing I always save for is the next election - they're expensive and I like to have the money saved in advance.

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

I'd share it with those close to me, but I'd also love to have the opportunity to fund a couple of educational projects in my constituency.

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