Master & Apprentice Minister Paschal Donohoe speaks to his former economics lecturer, Professor John O’Hagan, about his personal and political journey. Paschal Donohoe took the Economy of Ireland course I taught when he was a student of economics and politics at Trinity, not many years ago. It is quite extraordinary then to witness this former student now as manager of the finances of that very same economy and, from July 13 as President of the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers, having a central role in shaping not only Irish but eurozone policy over the coming years. Paschal launched the thirteenth edition of the Economy of Ireland book, which I co-edited, in 2017 in the Salon of the Provost’s House, and did so with such warmth for and appreciation of his time in college. At that event he talked about the background to his arrival at Trinity, born in Phibsborough and living there today. He also talked about how he entered the university on a scholarship, for which he will always be grateful. The story of his first experience at Trinity he recounted again in my interview with him for this article. to pull the door and the door was very, very heavy. It didn’t open. I remember thinking to myself, is this a sign that somebody as young as me and from my background shouldn’t be going in there. I rapidly decided that it wasn’t, and I gave the door another pull. And of course, it opened, and I walked in. I learned when I went into the Gallery that day, not to mention the four years I had afterwards, that the hallmark of Trinity is, yes, great learning, yes, an extraordinary campus, but the other deep hallmark is a commitment to making this learning available for all. For all its students and for all who wished to become students there. Paschal of course availed fully of the extracurricular activities that Trinity offered, the following perhaps capturing also his will to ‘succeed’: ‘I remember my Dad getting up at 5:30am one morning, taking me in for Freshers’ Week so I could get the stand for Young Fine Gael set up in a prime location in Front Square’. The first time I was ever on campus I went into the Douglas Hyde Gallery. I can remember so vividly walking up, and to go into the Gallery I put my hand on the door and tried Young Fine Gael did become part of his life at Trinity, but so too did the Philosophical Society (the ‘Phil’). He not only took part in debates there but was Secretary of the Society in his Senior Freshman year, a commitment which extended into the summer break of that year.