'I had education from the university of 'hard knocks ' '

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'I had education from the university of 'hard knocks ' '


Michael Carlin remembers leaving school at 16 years of age to join his father in the family retail business. He reflects on the moments of his life when he has regretted this decision. However, he learnt much from living and working in the real world from a young age.


Michael Carlin


Trinity College Dublin




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Michael Carlin

Is Part Of

Childhood and Early Life


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Newry, Co. Down

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


In April, 1961 - just before my 16th birthday - my father opened his own retail business. I went in to help in the shop after school, on Saturdays and during that year's summer holidays. I never went back in September. I just loved working in the shop and I carried it on until the year 2000. During difficult trading time, I regretted not going to university. I had ambition to be a journalist, but that wasn't meant to be. Having left school at 16, I only had the 'junior' certificate. There have been times when I have felt badly about my lack of qualification. However, having left school before the 'senior' I had education from the university of 'hard knocks' and by the time my former school pals were collecting their scrolls, I knew a lot more about surviving in the real world.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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