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'Financially, every single penny is accounted for'

geraldine daly

'Financially, every single penny is accounted for'

A broken marriage prompted Geraldine Daly to return to her native Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, from Brazil four years ago with her two children, Elodie and Mateo, then aged five and one.

"I left Ireland at the start of the Tiger and I came back at the end of it so I bypassed it completely.

"It was like coming back to a brand new country. Everything was so much more extravagant.

"Physically the countryside looks completely different but one good thing is that it has become such a multi-cultural society and that is great," she said.

A single parent, Geraldine relies on occasional work, mainly provided by the seasonal tourism industry in Bundoran, where she now lives, but she admits that making ends meet is hard.

"Financially, every single penny is accounted for. At the moment I am doing a couple of nights in the hotel and it is making me feel like I am rich," she said.

Geraldine, who works occasionally on local creative events like the Ballyshannon Carnival, admits she relies heavily on bartering for survival.

"My little ones get to do stage school because I will do voluntary work in return. I have a friend who teaches guitar to my daughter and I help him out baby-sitting. I also rely on my family a lot for babysitting, which I couldn't afford otherwise," she said.

She is hopeful that her children will have a good future in Ireland.

"I would love that they would at least be able to finish their third-level education here.

"Bringing up my children here hadn't been part of my plan but when I take everything into consideration, I wouldn't chose anywhere else to raise my children, recession or no recession. It has a lot to do with the community," she said.

Irish Independent