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Sinead Ryan: So Celia, does your ex still think he did a good job?

So, another door closes on yet another business. A Blue Door, specifically. Yes, Celia Larkin, one-time boss's moll, right-hand gal of the main man, has found out, unlike her ex, that living in the real world is a painful experience.

Unlike the estimated 2,000 other small business owners who will shut their doors this year, Celia got to share the story of her beauty salon's demise with a wider public in a hand-wringing epistle to the people in a Sunday newspaper.

"The writing has been on the wall for a while now," she said. "Maybe I didn't manage it properly; maybe I could have done more, I don't know."


She's not talking about her relationship with the bigwig who made us all believe we were rich, but her sadness at shutting down her business which opened with more publicity than the Aviva Stadium, so if that wasn't enough to make it work, what was?

Celia is doing things the honourable way -- she was at pains to tell us if we have a voucher it'll be paid; if we're a creditor, it's okay.

This, of course is a Good Thing and means that her rubbing shoulders with the Drumcondra mafia for so many years didn't leave too much of a stain. Who thought we'd look to Bertie's gal for a lesson in principle?

Of course, telling us all about her woes is preaching to the converted. Celia honey, we know -- we're living the dream too. The shattered, torn one you're waking up from. The one whose idealistic bubble was burst by the pin of reality.

We, too, believed your ex-boyfriend. He had a way about him, a honeyed tone that soothed us too -- he made us want to succeed. You weren't the only one. He set the whole thing up -- made us believe we could borrow loads of money, live out the dream in our little shop, or new apartment, or second home.

We thought we had it made, girl, and just like you, we've smelled the roses and what a rotten, decaying bunch they are.

Listen, Celia's man doesn't take her advice any more -- their partnership is as shot to pieces as the now defunct beauty salon. His top advisers now would be his two millionaire children who are still living the high life. Good for them, but it's not exactly the norm for the rest of us any more, is it?

Celia, would you meet up with Bertie for a coffee maybe? Perhaps he'd run to a sandwich in Fagan's? Let him know what it's really like because, honestly, he doesn't get it. Don't be telling us through the pages of a newspaper -- we were there before you.


Do you still have the contacts to get together some of the Cabinet -- the fellows your guy gave the big jobs too? They need to hear your story too. Tell them about doing things honourably, about not screwing over your staff, your customers or your creditors.

Tell them about the massive loans you took out, the bills you have to pay and how hard it is living on €204 a week. It wouldn't have put a dint in Bertie's make-up bill, never mind your own.

They need to hear it, because Celia, they've been deaf to the rest of us for years.

Celia told us touchingly, that she was insulated from the last recession in the 1980s because she was "protected from the fear of job loss", and "the thought of being unemployed never entered my head".


Love, there are loads like you this time round too. They're on strike in the passport office; they're on private buses bringing them down the country to cosy decentralised offices every day; they're whingeing to their rich union bosses.

We're borrowing to pay them all instead of letting small businesses like yours flourish so that you can employ others. It's crazy, we know, but who can hear us?

Celia, yer man is tending to the hanging baskets now for the next three months, in between the odd book signing.

Now's your chance, while you both have a bit of spare time. Call around. Do the beal bocht on him, rather than the other way round.

Knock some sense into him and lob it to him right between the eyes. Go on, Celia -- you'd be doing us all a favour.