Thursday 19 July 2018

Money Talks: 'When you are an actress other skills help provide in lean times'

Eileen Walsh
Eileen Walsh
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

The Cork actress Eileen Walsh is well-known for her role in The Magdalene Sisters, the award-winning film about three teenage girls who were sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Walsh also starred as the lonely housewife in Eden - a role for which she won the best actress award at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in 2008.

This February, Walsh will star in The Same - a new play written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh. The play, which is being produced by the Cork theatre company, Corcadorca theatre, tells the story of a young woman who meets an older woman and makes a surprising discovery. It runs in Cork City Gaol from February 13 until February 25.

More information on the play can be found on

What is the most important lesson about money which your career as an actress has taught you?

That your mother is always right - you do need something else under your belt when you're working as an actress. Other skills help to provide in lean times. No one likes being unemployed. Having other work means your mental health is taken care of too, as you're not constantly waiting on the next audition.

What's the most expensive place you have travelled to as an actress?

Anywhere is expensive when you've two kids in tow.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old Irish coins have to be my favourite. I remember my Grandad giving us horse money - that is, the 20p - to buy sweets on a Sunday. But we'd be praying for the bird money - that is, the 50p.

Are you better off than your parents?

I'd say yes as they struggled and had six kids. They were pretty amazing. My Dad worked so hard and mum stretched money well.

Two kids is much easier on the wallet - for now!

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

A funny little cartoon car - a Nissan Pao.

What was your worst job?

Cleaning the rust off fizzy drinks cans to sell. I'm sure that wouldn't pass health and safety now - or then.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Becoming an actress.

What was your best financial killing?

Our London house. We bought it from a little old lady who magically seemed to only want to sell it to us.

She went with our lower offer as she really wanted a family to live there - and not a landlord who would rent it out. So we were lucky. 

Do you use any money-saving apps?

What? There are money-saving apps!?

Android or iPhone?


Do you know how much is in your current account?

Yes. It's watched like a hawk. 

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

No. Just waiting on the big payout.

Have you ever switched utility provider?


iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes - out of laziness.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Aesop body wash. I've been on set a lot lately - so I've been an online queen.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or a tracker?

Yes - and it's fixed.

Would you buy Irish property now?

My friends were very savvy to buy Irish property two years ago. It's always good to buy property - that might sound smug as I know plenty of people who can't get on the ladder.

I guess buying is the only smart option - until we have a system with careful rent control.

Cash or card?


Do you ever haggle?

I love a haggle. I learnt from my Dad.

Sunday Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business