Boxing fan Mairead jetting off to back Katie for gold
BROADCASTER Mairead Farrell was jetting off to London today to cheer on Katie Taylor in her Olympic final, the Diary can reveal.
And she's keeping her fingers crossed that her travel plans go without a hitch as she makes a mad dash over to Britain to make it in time.
She had to work on the Ray D'Arcy show early this morning before leaving Today FM's studios of Marconi House and heading to the airport.
"I was just praying that the plane isn't delayed or that the train wasn't late. I had to leave work at 10am this morning and I've timed my journey down to the last minute to make sure I make it over to see the match at 4.45pm," the 30-year-old said.
The new presenter of RTE's Celebrity Bainisteoir is heading over there to soak up some Olympic sprit with her other half Louis Ronan, her long-term boyfriend.
The lucky pair managed to nab some coveted tickets to see the Irish world champion take on Russia's Sofya Ochigava in today's final.
Asked how she was lucky enough to join the Green Army in the ExCeL stadium, she revealed it was actually by the conventional route.
"Everyone's been asking me that. We just went online to Ticketmaster a while ago, before she had her first fight, we saw there were still some tickets left and we just bought them there and then," she said.
"Obviously we weren't sure if she would be in the final or not. We didn't know who we were going to be watching -- but it's brilliant that she's through."
She admitted she was "nervous and excited" about the final and was keeping her fingers crossed that Katie would do the business.
Mairead added how she's a big fan of the sport -- and even started boxing herself earlier this year in a bid to tone up her already slim figure.
She's also keeping things sporty when it comes to her professional life, given that she has just been installed as the new presenter of Celebrity Bainisteoir -- The Rivals.
"This year it has a twist in that it's two people who have something in common going up against each other, like two models or a husband and wife team.
"I took part in it myself two years ago and you get so attached to your team so I know what they're going through."
Asked to pick who she thinks are emerging as the early favourites, she pinpointed model Rozanna Purcell and gypsy king Paddy Doherty.
"They're really gung-ho about it and you can tell they're both really into it. It will be a close one to call," she said.
Mum to son Dara (5), Mairead has been happily dating businessman Louis for over 18 months and spoke recently how much their relationship meant to her.
She split from marketing executive Eamon Fitzpatrick over two years ago, having got married at the early age of 24, having her son two years later when she was 26.
However, she said that life goes on and the separation was very amicable.
"Myself and my ex have somehow managed to remain on very good terms. Both of us have moved on and are in happy relationships," she said.