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I'm so glad I didn't get into property - Ronan

RTE DJ Ronan Collins has revealed how he was constantly offered money to buy property during the boom -- and thanks his lucky stars he turned it down.

The popular entertainer told how he has been affected by the economic crash and has now returned to touring in a bid to make up for the loss of earnings.

But despite losing a large sum of money on his pension, he remains relieved that he didn't enter the property market.

"I was offered money by brokers, by builders and by the banks. Because I had a bit of a profile, I was offered money by any amount of people and I was interested and thought maybe I would go into it," he said.

However, he says the decision not to enter the property game lies with his wife, Woody.

"The bottom line was that with every deal they also wanted a personal guarantee in the form of a tie to your house if anything went wrong and the answer was 'no' every time. My wife came from the kind of background where to get a home and own your own home meant everything," he said.

"I certainly know of some people who got caught up in it and it's just awful."

Last week, fellow DJ Tony Fenton was declared bankrupt after it emerged he owes almost €900,000 in unpaid taxes. The DJ said he lost a lot of money after investing in the property market here and in the UK.

Ronan also revealed that while he opted for a pension over property, his private pension had suffered losses and was not worth the amount he had put into it over the years.

"The business I'm in, I've been 33 years with RTE and 40 years in the entertainment business. I work for myself and I was very late at getting around to organising a pension, so it was still tied to the market when the crash happened. I got an awful wallop.

"But I just woke up and thought you're still healthy, you still have work and you have the ability to go out and do things. And I do these things not just because I have to, but because I love doing them," he added.

To make matters worse, Ronan added that freelance work has dried up in recent years and he is now earning half of what he was making six years ago.

"Long before the crash, I went back to performing. While it does help to support us, it's also part and parcel of what I've been doing for years," he added.

ccrawford@herald.ie


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