Michael Noonan’s closest neighbour on the Limerick housing estate where the minister has lived for more than 40 years personally made one special Budget Day request to the man next door.
Paul McMahon, a retired AIB employee said: “I met Michael when we were getting the Sunday papers at the local shop and told him I hoped he’d lighten up all the heavy stuff with a few quick one-liners. As well as being a brilliant politician, he is also a very witty man.”
Mr McMahon lives at 21 Gouldavoher, yards from Mr Noonan’s semi at No 19. Mr McMahon, 73 said: “My wife Helen and I brought up our children alongside Michael and Florrie’s children. We went to all their children’s weddings and they came to our family weddings.
“Michael is a great neighbour and if you need help with something, he is the first person you’d go to. My son-in-law had a lifesaving liver transplant operation a year ago and Michael gave us unbelievable help with all the travel up and down to Dublin. People are all the time calling to his house and nobody is ever turned away. His door is always open to people who have problems or concerns.
“The budget is a very big day for Michael and a very important day for the country and I know he will do us all proud. Michael is a very genuine person and there’s no bull about him. He’d always stop and have a chat. I don’t bother him talking politics and financial matters.
“He has also shown great courage with the way he coped with Florrie’s terrible illness. We were all devastated to see her swept away, a young woman who taught all our children in St Paul’s primary school.
“He then had to have major heart surgery and he looks great for a man of 71. When I met him at the shop on Sunday, he was wearing a pair of oul’ runners and looked like a fellow out for a jog.”
Mr McMahon said if he did have a shopping basket for his neighbour, it would include more tax relief on pensions and water charges and help towards the costs to families involved in sending children to secondary school.
He said: “He has enough on his plate without having to listen to me. But I hope his budget will be well received.”
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