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Some mothers do 'ave 'em

Most mothers have pearls of wisdom and, even if we may not always want to hear them at the time, they can be relied on to motivate us through tough times. And if we don't pay heed, our mum's wise words can come back to haunt us.

Valerie Bowe, a facilitator in the areas of homelessness and adult education, has often been impressed to hear people repeat their mother's favourite sayings during hard times.

Herself a single mum in the 70s and now a grandmother, she saw an opportunity to ask well-known people what their mother's favourite sayings were.

She will use the money raised from her book, My Mother Always Used To Say, filled with these wise words to help other single parents with all proceeds going towards providing education bursaries for lone parents.

"My mother always used to say: 'Treat everyone you meet in life well and with respect, and life will almost always look after you.'"

Miriam O'Callaghan,

broadcaster (left)

"My mother always used to say: 'You'll eat, and you will like it.'"

Olwyn Enright TD

"My mother, Mabel, used to say: 'You are never better than anyone else or worse than anyone else.'"

Joe Duffy, broadcaster

"My mother always said: 'Never leave the house without make-up on, you never know who you are going to meet.'"

Mairead Farrell, broadcaster and TV panelist

"My mother always used to say: 'Marry for money and you'll earn it.'"

Michael Colgan, artistic director, Gate Theatre

"My mother always used to say: 'When the time is right, the time is right.'"

Hector O hEochagain, broadcaster

"My mother always used to say: 'Let there be no panic, and if there is let it be organised.' Also, she would say: 'Isn't it great to be alive and so many dead!'"

Celia Larkin, Beauty at Blue Door

"My mother used to always say: 'When you know you're beaten, give in gracefully.'"

Jeffrey Archer, politician and author

"My mother, Bernadette, always used to give me this good advice: 'Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.'"

Patricia Scanlon, author

"My mother always used to say: 'It takes all sorts to make a world.'"

Jeremy Irons, actor

"I remember my mother frequently telling me: 'Be careful what you want, for if you really want it hard enough, you might just get it.'"

Brian Keenan, writer and broadcaster

"My mother always said: 'In life you should always have a really good bed and a really good pair of shoes, because you are either in one or the other.'"

Gloria Hunniford, TV presenter

"My mother always used to say: 'Prepare yourself, the opportunity will come.'"

Gay Byrne, broadcaster (below)

"My mother always used to say: 'Put a bit of Savlon on it.' The universal cure!"

Ian Dempsey,


"My mother always used to say: 'Two wrongs are never right.'"

Kevin Dundon, chef and hotelier

"My mother always used to say: 'Fix yourself up, you're like the wreck of the Hesperus.'"

John Kelly, writer and broadcaster

"My mother always used to say: 'It's easy to say money doesn't matter when you have plenty of it.'"

Ronan Collins, broadcaster

"My mother, Hallfridur O'Neill, always says: 'What will be will be.'"

Rachel Allen, celebrity chef

"My mother and father always used to say that 'How are you?' is a greeting, not a question."

Maeve Binchy, bestselling author

"My mother, Nancy Power, would say: 'It's not everyone that money suits.'"

Christy Moore, singer and songwriter

"My mother always told me to look for the best in people when they saw the worst in me. And to believe that, in the end, love and kindness would prevail over cruelty and selfishness."

Bill Clinton, former US president (below)

"My mother always used to say: 'People have their own troubles, try not to add to them.'"

Olive Braiden, human rights campaigner

"My father always used to say: 'There is no one from whom you cannot learn something.'"

Sean Haughey, politician

"My mother, Sybil le Brocquy, used to say: 'Always keep the taxi if you want to arrive at your destination.'"

Louis le Brocquy, visual artist

My Mother Always Used To Say, by Valerie Bowe, is published by Currach Press, price €9.99 >> Don't miss your fabulous Mother's Day Gift Guide in the Herald on Friday