Business Personal Finance

Thursday 27 June 2019

'I'd buy a holiday in Botswana's Okavango Delta if I won Lotto'

My Money

Fianna Fail European election candidate Barry Andrews. Photo: Conor McCabe
Fianna Fail European election candidate Barry Andrews. Photo: Conor McCabe

Barry Andrews is running as Fianna Fáil's candidate for Dublin in the European Parliament elections on May 24. Andrews is a former TD who served as Minister of State for Children from 2008 to 2011.

He was also chief executive of Goal from 2012 to 2016. When he stepped down from that role, he became director general of the Dublin-based think tank, the Institute of International and European Affairs.

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

In my time in Goal, I experienced both sides of the coin. I saw the impact which small cash could have on people in the world who are caught up in conflict or in a humanitarian crisis. I've seen that in Syria, South Sudan and Sierra Leone. I also learned how important compliance and financial control is when running an organisation across 17 different countries - in war zones and other complex situations.

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

To put a few quid away for a pension. I was a school teacher in my early 20s and I got that advice from a teacher who has since passed away.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Switzerland. I only spent a few days there and it's a beautiful country; but I was happy to return home. Coffee, transport and so on are very expensive.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old punt coin with the stag on it.

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

A car. It's a necessary evil in family life - for all the runs.

What was your worst job?

I was a 'Stop-Go' man for a road control job in north Dublin for about a week. I did it to fund a foreign holiday.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I had half ownership of an apartment in Aungier Street which I sold in 1996, just before prices started to pick up.

What was your best financial killing?

We had our house valued last year and it resulted in a lower interest rate on our mortgage - which will lead to big savings over the long run.

Are you better off than your parents?

I'm not hugely different. I'm probably financially better off. My parents struggled in their early years. But my parents also had more quality time and social interaction with neighbours than people do today. Today people spend a lot of their time online and looking at phones.

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

I would like to invest in a trust which puts money into early years education in the likes of Sierra Leone and other countries in the developing world. The luxury would be a holiday in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

When I get around to it, I will be making an insurance claim for the bikes recently stolen from our shed.

iTunes or Spotify?

I use Google Play and Shazam.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A replacement bike - after the recent robbery.

Would you buy Irish property now?

I would - but only to live in. I wouldn't buy it as an investment.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I don't especially save or spend. I only save by default as a lot of the things I like to do are free - like cycling.

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

Coffee. Real newspapers. A few pints at the weekend.

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