Derry Journal Friday’s Child: Q&A with Louise Irwin

Louise Irwin is originally from Prehen where she grew up with her parents and 2 sisters. She now lives in Limavady with her husband Shaun and family, but regularly travels between Limavady and Derry for work and to visit family.

Louise was a pupil of St Columba’s PS in Newbuildings and then Thornhill College. She worked for AIB, mostly in Derry, for over 20 years and left the Bank in 2017 to set up her own mortgage and insurance business where she helps people get on the property ladder, get the best possible mortgage deal or just to become better organised financially.

Louise loves to travel, meet new people, and spend time with her family.

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How would you describe yourself?

Louise Irwin today and in her youth.

Up for a laugh and easy to get along with.

Happiest childhood memory?

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When I was younger I went to Irish dancing classes with Mary McLaughlin School of Dancing. During the summer we would regularly travel to competitions all around Ireland, when we were travelling to big championships we would all travel together from Derry in a group of cars. There were loads of us, we would stop for tea and snacks along the way and the craic was great. I remember Mary blessing all the cars when we all met up at Prehen to travel to the All Ireland one year in particular, we had great times.

What was your first job?

I worked as a sales assistant at Dunnes Stores in Springtown. I made some great friends in Dunnes. From time to time we would go over the Rafters for a few drinks after work, it was great, those were the days.

Favourite book?

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I used to read a lot when I was younger but don’t have much time to read these days. I really enjoyed Pride & Prejudice when we studied it at school though.

Favourite film?

It’s a Wonderful Life. I love old movies, they just don’t make them like they used to any more!

Favourite television programme?

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I really enjoyed Doc Martin when it was on, really good show that gave me a good laugh. I have to admit I really enjoyed I’m a Celeb over the last few weeks too!

Favourite expression?

All lured! This really confuses my husband who is from outside Derry.

Favourite method of relaxation?

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Heading away to a cosy hotel and having a drink beside a lovely turf fire.

Favourite holiday destination?

France! I have been obsessed since studying the language at school, thanks to the great teachers I had.

Who would you most like to meet?

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I think it would have been really interesting to have had a conversation with Jackie Kennedy when she was alive, I would love to know the real version of her story. I find her life story really interesting and she had such class.

What makes you angry?

People who think they are better than someone else.

What makes you happy?

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Hugs from my daughter and seeing the happiness on her face when she experiences something she enjoys.

What human quality do you most admire?

Honesty.

What human quality do you least admire?

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Vanity.

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

I used to work in a Bank and had an elderly customer who was irate because she had an issue with her bank card. We got her problem sorted and as we chatted more I was relieved to find that we got on really well. So as she was getting up to leave, she held her hands up to put on her gloves but I misjudged the situation and thought she wanted a hug. Before I knew it my head was on her shoulder…I think the poor woman was horrified…

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

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Losing my Grandparents.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing someone I love.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

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Having my own family and my daughter Lily-Grace who is an absolute blessing.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who was kind and helped others.

What is your most treasured possession?

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I am sorry to say it would have to be my mobile phone. I have so much info on it I would be lost without it.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

I would make sure my family were looked after, buy a holiday home in France and take everyone away for a good holiday together.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

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I would wish that I could have guaranteed happiness for the rest of my days – easy!

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

She was here for a good time and stayed for a long time!

*If you or someone you know would like to be Friday’s Child, please e-mail [email protected] and mark the subject line as ‘Friday’s Child’.

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We will send out the questions and will ask you to e-mail them by return when completed and to please provide a brief overview/ introduction (150- 200 words) about yourself (or if you are assisting someone else, the person who is Friday’s Child), your life, family, what area you are from etc. We would also request two photographs of the person, one recent picture and one photo of you or the person as a child or in their younger years.