Paul Shovlin credits his pastoral upbringing in rural Donegal for much of what he has achieved in life. His dedicated and loving parents and the quiet rituals of country life were the twin supports that enabled him to forge his own path in the world.
Paul has lived through a half century of rapid change, as Ireland metamorphosed from rural idyll to a bustling modern economy.
In this honest and thought-provoking memoir, laced with a dry humour and intelligence, Paul looks back on his life, from his days as a student at the famous St Eunan’s in Letterkenny, which has produced so many of Ireland’s high achievers, to the fork in the road which led him to a successful career in banking, firstly at Ulster Bank and then as Chief Executive of Barclays Bank Ireland. During this time, he forged relationships with some of the country’s top business figures, and lived through the daily realities of running a bank in a struggling economy.
A labour of love by an ardent son of south west Donegal, the book tells his story from the early years on a small holding near Ardara,through to his days as Head of the Irish Division of a major international Bank.Along the way he met with and handled the slings and arrows of life in his own inimitable fashion,even risking life and limb in his pursuit of equestrian sport. Told with engaging honesty and clarity his story is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
A thoroughly enjoyable read. This book clearly demonstrates how a happy upbringing by loving parents could more than compensate for the harsh realities of rural life in the 50's and 60's. Paul has an amazing ability to recall incidents and events from his youth, and how they affected his outlook on life and contributed to his subsequent successfull career. When he deals with the world of corporate banking he never loses the reader's interest, despite the intricacies and complexities of the subject matter which most of us are unfamiliar with.
This most enjoyable book is both a warm memoir of an ardent Donegal man and a fascinating account of working in a multi-national bank...and leaving just before toxicity seeped into that world. His many other interests from family to horseriding and singing and travel are well described, as is his considerable voluntary work in retirement. The book will benefit from closer sub-editing in what will hopefully be a further edition...
I enjoyed this book; it is a warm and appealing account of the author's happy boyhood years in Donegal. It also gives an interesting picture of his subsequent busy and varied career in the world of banking.
I enjoyed When Push Comes to Shov very much. Paul gives an excellent description of and a vivid insight into what it was like growing up in South-west Donegal in the 1950s and 60s. His account of his successful career in banking is most interesting. The book is masterfully written, easy to read, and I would strongly recommend it to readers.
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