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One Marian showed a lack of empathy on air - Marian Keyes

You can say what you like about Marian Finucane, and that she is grossly overpaid in relation to her output - €295k a year for four hours of radio each week - is certainly a popular belief.

But accusing her of having "the compassion of a cardboard box" is a new one.

Author Marian Keyes appeared on the Finucane show ten days ago to promote her new book, and the presenter questioned her about her long battle with depression.

While there was no sign of tension on air Keyes took to Twitter afterwards to complain about the interview, claiming that she was denied the chance to speak about "happy, hopeful stuff".

illness

"I tried my best," said Keyes, "but feel s****y and ashamed and frustrated that 'Marian's tragic tragicness' seems to be the most interesting thing about me."

Tough words indeed and, for someone with an illness such as hers, it's impossible not to take Keyes' side. Unless, that is, one considers the following.

In January 2010, on her battle with depression, Keyes wrote that "I can't eat, I can't sleep, I can't write, I can't read, I can't talk to people. The worst thing is that I feel it will never end".

In early 2012, she published a cook book to encourage people to explore cooking as a means of helping combat depression, which she described thus: "I couldn't sleep. I couldn't breathe... by the time I had come to the end of a sentence, I'd forgotten the start."

And again in September 2012, Marian wrote: "What I was feeling was fear. The sort of primal fear I'd only previously experienced in nightmares. It was with me all the time. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep..."

Only a few weeks Keyes said that: "It was like being awake in a nightmare. I couldn't sleep, but when I did sleep, I'd wake up in terror."

interviews

Many celebrities have a thing for which they are known and, like it or not, are constantly asked about. Miriam O'Callaghan and her hundreds of children or Ryan Tubridy and his relationship with Aoibhinn. They may want to talk about something else, but interviews often come back to that.

So is it any wonder than Marian Finucane should want to talk to Marian Keyes about the latter's depression?

After all, Keyes has been talking about it openly for many years, and as such has become well-known as a person who will comment on the subject.

So to chastise an interviewer as skilled as Finucane for not instinctively recognising that she wanted a bit more levity is an extraordinary thing to do.

In fact, it's an accusation that smacks of a complete lack of empathy...


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