Monday 21 January 2019

Young, free and single after my split with Ryan

TV beauty Aoibhinn ni Shuilleabhain has finally broken her silence on life as a single woman.

She and presenter Ryan Tubridy had kept everyone guessing as to the status of their relationship after they split last September -- only to show up together at the Late Late Show host's book launch.

Speaking for the first time about life after her high-profile romance with the gangly presenter, she revealed how she has been enjoying lots of nights out with her gal pals as she readjusts.

But the notoriously private former Rose of Tralee said she finds the curiosity in her personal life "baffling".

"I don't think everybody is subject to the same amount of curiosity," she told this month's issue of Irish Tatler magazine.

"It's just a job, I am not it in for the celebrity, I think it's important to keep private life private. I know the argument is 'well it's public if you are going to events, if you are going to awards ceremonies', but you are invited to them and should you just not go to them because you are not willing to talk about your private life?

"The way I think about it is, if I am not going to ring up my second cousin and tell them about it, then they shouldn't have to read about it."

However, the teacher (27) revealed to Irish Tatler how she still shares a bond with her famous ex -- given their love of rural Ireland -- when asked about her future. "I would like to have a house in the west of Ireland and little people but we will see. That's too far ahead for me," she continued.

And the Mayo TV presenter said she was a late arrival to following fashion trends. "I was oblivious to it. I look back and I am mortified. I had fire engine red hair and my tongue was pierced," she said.

This even extended to her entering the regional heats for the Rose of Tralee contest, which happened soon after she graduated from UCD. "I was so embarrassed, everyone was dressed up in high heels and I had just my little flats on.

"My mum was with me and said, 'You have to wear my shoes!' so I squeezed into her high heels that were two sizes too small for me and did the interview on stage and then expected to go home and for it to be all over."

After winning the contest, she went on to enjoy a whirlwind year of travelling around, fulfiling her duties. This was followed by regular stints on The Panel alongside TG4 shows such as An Tuath Nua and Timpeall Na Tire, and the Reel Deal in 2009, and she will shortly start fronting a new choir competition called An Cor on RTE One.

However, she insists that when she's back in her classroom at St Mark's Community School in Tallaght she's just another member of the teaching staff.

"The students don't know me as someone who is on TV, they know me as Miss O'Sullivan, and I am their maths teacher and I will give them detention if they don't have their homework done!"

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