Sunday 22 September 2019

'I wouldn't be living in Dublin if I hadn't bought last year'

My money: Domhnall O'Donoghue

Domhnall O'Donoghue
Domhnall O'Donoghue

Domhnall O'Donoghue is a journalist, actor and author from Navan in Co Meath. He plays the role of Pádraig in the TG4 series Ros na Rún. He has also starred in the well-known TV series The Clinic and The Tudors.

He lives between Dublin and Connemara in Co Galway - where he is based for about six months of the year for the filming of Ros na Rún.

He released his new book, Colin and the Concubine, earlier this year. Visit for more details.

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

Don't overspend - you might have an income today, but tomorrow you might not. Enjoy treats, but avoid splashing out on Dom Perignon.

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

As often as she'd remind me to wash my teeth, my mother always advised saving what I could, when I could - as even a few bob adds up.

What's your favourite coin?

The old 50p coin - such was its value in the late 80s, you could almost acquire half the contents of the local sweet shop with it.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

I often visit expensive destinations as a travel journalist. I recently went to Iceland and it cost €15 for a glass of wine. My new book, Colin and the Concubine, is set between my hometown of Navan and Istanbul's luxurious Pera Palace hotel, which I also visited on a press junket. Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express there. It's magical.

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

Our [my boyfriend and I] couch for our new apartment. The couch was half-price, but still cost €1,000. Our kitchen table was just €20 from Donedeal, so it balanced out the splurges.

What was your worst job?

Eight years ago, I went back to college to study a master's in screenwriting - so I got a job in a pub. At the time, I was appearing in a series of Bulmers commercials. Every second punter made some comment about it, ranging from: 'I love those ads!' to 'The acting career's not going too well, huh?' I lasted a single night.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Nothing of note. When I was 10, my dad caught me wasting my pocket money in a slot machine when we were on holidays. It was one of the few times I've seen him angry - I suppose he'd witnessed so many lives destroyed by gambling. Even at that early age, he wanted me to be sensible with money. He succeeded.

What was your best financial killing?

I reviewed Spain's exclusive SHA Clinic (world exclusive clinic for the stars) and a very well-known millionaire congratulated me for not just being the only guest not paying thousands for their stay - but the only one to actually earn money from it.

Are you better off than your parents?

Unlike me, they've never asked for a few quid to tide them over until payday - so I suspect not.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Just for small things like dentist or doctor check-ups.

iTunes or Spotify?

I stream music using Deezer. My CDs are gathering dust in the bottom of my wardrobe.

Would you buy property now?

I wouldn't be living in Dublin if I hadn't bought last year. Paying rent north of a €1,000 per month for some damp, basement bedsit is nothing short of criminal - but it's a reality for so many.

Do you ever haggle?

Haggling gives me anxiety, but I'll root out a bargain the way a dog would root out a piece of meat.

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

Internet access, my phone, and a Butler's cappuccino.

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