herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Miriam denies calling on mums to stay at home

RTE ROW: Star claims website was 'misleading'

MIRIAM O'Callaghan has hit out at an RTE website for reporting that she said working mums should stay at home.

The mum of eight was upset at being painted as a villain after a misleading headline appeared on the RTE Ten site.

"Miriam: Mums Should Stay at Home" was the title given to a story including quotes on her views on working mothers.

It prompted the Equality Authority to label her remarks as "unfair".

In an interview at the weekend, the popular broadcaster admitted her "guilt" at being a working mum.

Her comments were then featured on the RTE website.

However, she said that she requested the headline be changed and the title was later changed to 'My guilt as a working mum'.

And Miriam today told the Herald she was "praising all women, those who stay at home and those who go to work, but I just always say do what's right for you."

"Strangely for a short time yesterday, the RTE Ten site put up a headline on the piece they had written saying I said mums should stay at home. But they realised it was a big mistake on their part, and changed it as soon as they realised it was so inaccurate."



choices

"As ever, I find women so supportive and for instance, Twitter was full of praise from women agreeing that ultimately it's just about doing what's right for you, as I said.

"It's what I have always said and believe and it's so important that all women stick by each other, whatever choices we make."

In Miriam's now controversial interview, she said: "Women like me, who work outside the home, are fooling themselves and pretending that the kids are just as happy when we're working but that's a fallacy.

"There isn't a day where I don't sneak out my front door because little children will always cry when you're going to work. Even my older children would prefer me to be here."

Equality Authority spokes-man Brian Merriman said: "It is down to each individual mother to decide whether it's right or wrong to stay at home or go to work because so much depends on the income situation of a family.

"You can't just generically state that a woman should be at home with her kids."

Miriam also admitted that she is "lucky" to have two nannies, Lorraine and Bridget, who have helped raise her children.

But she insisted that she would never want to "preach" to other women.

"I don't have any idea about what the right way to parent is or the right way to be a working mother, I just do it instinctively, the way I think I should," she said.

Meanwhile, she is revelling in the success of her summertime show Saturday Night With Miriam, which secured massive audience figures of more than 520,000 viewers.

Miriam said the figures are "fantastic".

In less than a year, Miriam's viewership has increased by 11pc, jumping from 468,700 viewers for last year's series average to 520,100 last weekend.

Only eight episodes were filmed for last year's season, but the popular programme will run until August 13.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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