BROADCASTER Joe Duffy has revealed that he fears for his children's safety after covering a spate of attacks on his radio show.
The 'Liveline' host and his wife June are parents to 17-year-old triplets – Sean, Ronan and Ellen – and the teenagers often travel from the family home in Clontarf in to the city with friends.
"There's a bus stop near the house and it's only eight stops and you're in Marlborough Street but I do worry about my kids being in town. There has been so many unprovoked attacks in the last few years," Mr Duffy told the Irish Independent.
Duffy has issued his children with strict instructions on how to deal with trouble.
"I've told them if they're mugged to hand over their mobile phone, their handbag, their laptop, that it's just not worth it," he said.
"And I tell my lads – and I want other kids to take my advice – forget about what someone else has said to you, walk away, forget about it. Tomorrow is another day.
"It's in these moments of madness in which whole lives are destroyed."
But the Duffy household itself could be in turmoil this year with all three children sitting their Leaving Certificate.
"Bizarrely, it helps that all three are doing it at the same time. If one of them was younger, it could be a distraction. It's pretty intensive but I'm not putting them under any pressure." The 51-year-old conceded that in the current climate, his three offspring, like so many Irish youngsters, may leave the country.
"I would be upset but that has to be on the agenda for all of them now.
"That option is unfortunately there. They talk about it; what they are going to do after their exams. Maybe a year in Australia or a studying thing. Hopefully, they will continue in education and I would be right behind them on that," he said.
But the RTE star himself believes that 2013 will have to be better. "2012, as far as the great unpleasantness that has been visited on us, had to have been the worst yet, in terms of the calls I got to my radio show," he said.
"Last year, people thought the Olympics or the Euro championships might help. They were wrong. It was a terrible year, which is why people want to go in to 2013 for a new start. Hopefully, January 1 will see a new start."
- Joe Duffy's 'Local Heroes', which celebrates those creating jobs in their communities, returns to RTE One at 8pm.