Characters, — January 18, 2011 17:42 — 0 Comments

Hector: in Penny Apples

On Santanta’s instigation I took another look recently at Bill Cullen’s ‘It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples’.  A decade old now, it feels as if it’s of another age. And it tells of another earlier age, the 40s and 50s in working-class Dublin. 

Whether you regard Cullen (currently the Alan Sugar of Ireland’s version of The Apprentice) with admiration, as the ultimate in poor-boy-made-good, or with distaste, as a typical ‘cute hoor’ of the extinct Celtic Tiger variety, is purely a matter of personal opinion. The tenor of this autobiography is of the ‘didn’t I do well?’ variety. I skimmed rather than read it. You might choose to do neither!

The book’s title comes from a valedictory comment of the author’s mother, a Dublin street market vendor, amazed at the rapid rise of her son who, as she spoke, had just borrowed

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