I am Hugh Leddy, and this book is my personal story. My story, whilst not unique, is in fact typical of many others who dealt in property, who were not careful or cautious, got ambitious and greedy, and ended up paying the price, that is, insolvency with personal debts of €1.5m, signing on the dole in summer 2009.
I decided to write this book to catalogue my own experiences of how personal resilience is essential on the journey of correcting debt. I wish to identify with the huge number of the Irish population currently struggling with unmanageable personal and business debt, to show that they are not unique or alone.
The situation people find themselves in is deemed the worst since the foundation of the state. While it is horrendous for the unfortunate number of people involved, we need to think and stay positive, and not dwell on the debt but rather the solution, i.e. income generation. The Irish have built America and are known for helping people the world over. In the coming 10 years, people will have a chance to make a difference, in stemming the flow of family home repossessions and suicides. While this book is my story, I plan to ignite a new level of thinking, understanding and support from a huge section of Irish society who are talented, lucky and were cautious and can justifiably use the words “I told you so” and “you wouldn’t listen.” To achieve this, those in difficulty need to acknowledge their problem, ditch their pride and be thankful for any support that comes their way.
I have worked for 10 years of the last 40 at land dealing and property speculation. At one point I received a cheque in excess of €600k and also told people at a meeting that “I was not stuck for €100k”. Little did I know that within a few short years, my business would come crashing down and that I would have to attend the dole office, or that there would be no money for food or children’s education.
Having acclimatised to being on the dole, I was still determined to find work of any type and succeeded in November 2009 and found employment in the security industry. I found this experience very challenging, but I persisted and ensured the fridge was full and both our children are now educated and finding their own way in life.
The perception in Ireland is that people in debt have no money, means or ability and will never be able to do anything, and consequently are unworthy of assistance. My aim with this book project is to change that mind-set. By supporting this project you will ensure the book gets published and people will be motivated to not give up, stay resilient, be creative and seek solutions to the circumstances they find themselves in.