Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

At the age of 11, the TV per­son­al­ity and hote­lier Fran­cis Bren­nan made hun­dreds of pounds sell­ing Christ­mas logs (dec­o­rated wooden logs sold for use as a cen­tre­piece for a ta­ble). “My dad was a gro­cer and he sup­plied the then Catholic Boy Scouts of Ire­land with sliced pans and so on,” says Bren­nan. “I’d go with my dad to help him de­liver the gro­ceries to the scouts head­quar­ters — and I al­ways col­lected a few wooden logs when vis­it­ing. I’d then dec­o­rate the logs and sell them to res­tau­rants and pubs at Christ­mas. So I al­ways had a few bob.”

Bren­nan, who is co-owner of the five-star Park Ho­tel Ken­mare in Kerry, says he learned how to han­dle money from a young age as a re­sult. His fa­ther also taught him to be cau­tious with the money he earned. “My fa­ther told me to al­ways keep a bit for the rainy day,” says Bren­nan. “So I was al­ways cau­tious for the rainy day. You could be a mil­lion­aire one day and broke to­mor­row — as has hap­pened to many peo­ple in this coun­try. I’ve never hired pri­vate jets. When I visit a city, I al­ways take pub­lic trans­port. Other peo­ple have cars wait­ing to drive off in or taxis to pick them up. I al­ways thought that was ex­trav­a­gant.”

He be­lieves his cau­tion with money helped his ho­tel through the re­cent re­ces­sion. “It en­sured we al­ways had a bit of money,” says Bren­nan.

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