When money was too tight to mention – The Irish Times

My father, who died in 2017, was always proud of the fact that he’d had three retirement parties. He had a permanent job in the forestry service. Then he took early retirement and worked in the private sector, retired again, and then retired a third time.

From a large family on a poor farm in Co Clare, he was determined that all four of his children would have a better start in life. He was a good family man. He didn’t drink or smoke. However, he was naïvely generous, with an unfortunate tendency to lend his hard-earned savings to friends and family, though often these people had more than he did, and merely found themselves in “situations” – and he was seldom, if ever, paid back. What with that, and us, and the mortgage for the house he bought when I was eight, money was always tight.

Like many young

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