Sunday, 2 November 2008


Gerry has been working as a Money Advisor for MABS in Buncrana for four years. MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting services) is funded by the Government and is a free, confidential, independent and non-profit making service for people in debt or at risk of getting into debt. The service can also help low-income families develop the knowledge and skills they need to avoid getting into debt and deal with situations as they arise. MABS also identifies sources of credit that best meets people’s needs and helps them access these sources. There are four important steps that MABS uses to help people get to grips with their finances:

1.Assessing the situation,

2.Working on your budget,

3.Dealing with debts and

4. Managing payments.

MABS also provides information and advice through their website or you can call the MABS help line on: 1890 283438

What music do you like?
I enjoy Blues and Gospel music. Eric Bibb is a favourite of mine at the moment; he’s a singer from New York and has just released his latest album Get Onboard. The album was recorded in Nashville and has Bonnie Raitt and Ruthie Foster featuring as guest performers. Eric is in his 60’s but looks far younger with his smooth skin.

What book are you reading?
Strip Jack by Ian Rankin, it’s an entertaining read. He is the author of the Inspector Rebus series of books which was made into a TV series and winner of the ITV3 Thriller Awards.

What was your favourite childhood game?
When I was really young I was obsessed with teddies. I would talk to them all day and dress them up. I still have four of my favourites. When I was a bit older my friend and I played with toy farms (we lived in London and didn’t see much of the countryside). We named them after my uncle’s farms in Ireland. Most of the games were about pony trekking and we would fight to get our favourite horses.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
I very rarely go to the cinema, although I occasionally go to the Film Club in Letterkenny. The last film I saw at the main cinema was Sex in the City. I took my daughters to see it and they loved the glamour.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
The crossword page. I am not much of a paper reader… I just don’t have the time. I get the paper on Saturday and it sits there unread until the following week.

What is your idea of a good night out?
I love going to the theatre or a live gig. The Grianan in Letterkenny and the Balor in Ballybofey are both brilliant and handy to get to.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
Before I went to Art College I got myself a job road sweeping on the North Circular road in London. We were in an open top truck, being shown what stretch of road we were to look after and as I was the only girl, I tried to be cool and jump out of the back of the lorry. Even though I did gymnastics I still managed to fall off the back in a very clumsy way. I was mortified as all eyes were on me. It was a very good job though and worth the embarrassment.

Have you a favourite TV programme?
TV dramas such as Prime Suspect are enjoyable. I also enjoyed The Street recently.

How do you relax?
Walking the dog. I have a lovely 18-month-old wired haired fox terrier called Ellie. She takes up a lot of my time as she is into everything.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
Gymnastics were my life. I wanted to be the next Olga Corbett.

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
Italy as it is such an un-commercialised country. Sardinia is particularly lovely.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
There would be a few. Tony Benn, Helen Mirren, Jonathan Ross (even though he was in trouble last week), John Hannah the actor, Ian Rankin and my colleague here at MABS, Liz Wilson. I think that would be a lively enough party.

Favourite animals?
Dogs, cats, horses, and loads of others….

What couldn’t you live without?
My two lovely daughters.

Biggest fear?
I am not keen on heights and I don’t like the tube trains in London either, they can be so oppressive and claustrophobic.

Biggest thrill?
When I was 14, my sister and I went to see Rory Gallagher sing live at the Albert Hall in London.

The world’s most irritating invention?
Cars with more than two headlights. Especially jeeps that have an array of spotlights for show.

What is your idea of a good night in ?
Tea, toast and a great Alfred Hitchcock film.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
The 1940’s and 50’s. The men wore suits and the women were so elegant. It’s probably linked into the glamour of the old Hitchcock films.

World’s most useful invention?
The telephone is very useful.

What do you have for breakfast?
Tea, toast, butter and marmalade.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
I was unknowingly brought up with a good sense of budgeting. My parents had very little and had to make it go a long way. I was told to live within my means and if I wanted something, to save up for it.

Personal philosophy?
Treat everyone equally.

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