The irresponsible nature of the narrator's father is one of the key impressions that we have of his character throughout this powerful memoir. His tendency to take the money that should go towards feeding his family and instead to use it to fuel his alcoholism is one of the more shocking aspects of this biography. In Chapter Seven, the children are shown to have absorbed their mother's attitude towards their father by what they say to him after he has cashed the cheque that his father had sent for the birth of the new baby in their family, Alphie. When their father cashes the cheque, their father tells them to go home and that he will follow them in a few minutes. Note how they respond:
Malacy says, Dad, you're not to go to the pub. Mam said you're to bring home the money. You're not to drink the pint.
Straight away they see through their father's deception and identify that he is going to spend all the money that was sent for the new baby on alcohol. The rest of this chapter is tragic in the way that the narator's mother has to send out her sons to find him and stop him from drinking all of the money away.