Saturday 25 November 2017

Claire Byrne: 'Compared with raising babies, grilling politicians is just child's play'

Claire Byrne and Gerry Scollan
Claire Byrne and Gerry Scollan

Broadcaster Claire Byrne says grilling politicians is just child's play compared with raising a young family.

The mum-of-two returned to work 10 weeks after the birth of her daughter, Jane, last year.

"I find bringing up two babies much tougher than work," said the presenter.

"I like to be in control and when you have a toddler and a baby, you're not."

The television host is still adapting to life as a working mum.

"You do feel awful guilt," she admitted. "You learn to force yourself to walk away. It breaks your heart but it's the same for most mothers, you just have to get through it.

"I defy anybody to say having two children under two years is not difficult," she told the RTE Guide.

The broadcaster also stated that the cost of childcare is one of the biggest issues holding women back.


The second series of her flagship show, Claire Byrne Live, kicked off earlier this month, and her radio show continues to pull in strong ratings.

"I love it when you're on air for hours on election day and the results are coming in," she said.

Claire's RTE colleague Miriam O'Callaghan made headlines earlier this year when it was rumoured that she may run as a candidate in the next presidential election - but Claire insists that she has no desire to become a member of a political party or a future head of state.

Instead, she considers herself an "interested bystander, a moderator as opposed to a participant".

The broadcaster is looking forward to one of her busiest years in broadcasting.

"There's a Budget coming and I'm predicting a general election at the end of February or beginning of March.

"It's going to be a ferocious year," she said.

Claire is engaged to partner Gerry Scollan but says wedding plans are far from her mind.

"I don't know how I would get time to organise it at the moment," she said.

"If Gerry wanted a big white wedding we'd do that. Maybe that might be a bit strange because I've done it already, but he hasn't," she said, referring to her first marriage to producer Richard Johnson.

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