Saturday 1 October 2016

'What do I do with my free time? Wipe bums!' - Claire Byrne gets real about motherhood

Published 22/04/2016 | 13:41

Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne hosting some of RTE's election coverage
Gerry Scollan and Claire Byrne at the 3rd Annual Bloomsday Ball in aid of National Maternity Hospital Holles Street
Claire Byrne covers the May issue of Irish Country Magazine

She's one of Ireland's most respected broadcasters, but Claire Byrne is as down-to-earth as it gets.

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The RTE presenter (40) has two children - Patrick (three) and Jane (two) - with fiancé Gerry Scollan and said all of her spare time is spent with her family.

"What do I do with my free time? Wipe bums," she joked to Irish Country Magazine

"I wiped my son's bum on Sunday because he's toilet training and he turned to me and said: 'Mummy, you're really good at this,' and I thought, 'Yes, I was born to wipe your ass'. All of his little intonations were perfect and I was like, 'Thank you'."

Gerry Scollan and Claire Byrne at the 3rd Annual Bloomsday Ball in aid of National Maternity Hospital Holles Street
Gerry Scollan and Claire Byrne at the 3rd Annual Bloomsday Ball in aid of National Maternity Hospital Holles Street

"I just have very little time to be honest and I know there are some people who are really good at fitting everything in who will see that and will think that everyone has time to do that, but at the moment I just feel like if I get a dinner on the table and I get to work, that's really good going."

Read more: 'I thought I'd never find love again after my marriage ended,' reveals Claire Byrne

Claire, who has previously spoken out about the sexist line of questioning of how women balance a career and motherhood, echoed her statements saying, "both people in a couple will have the pressure of getting out the door and of being in the world and doing their work and looking after their children.

"I just wonder how we've gotten ourselves into this situation culturally where the pressure is seemingly all on the woman when, in our house anyway, it's spread between us."

Claire Byrne hosting some of RTE's election coverage
Claire Byrne hosting some of RTE's election coverage

The Laois native didn't hold back when it came to grilling party leaders in the run up to the election and was widely praised for her tactics on her show, Claire Byrne Live. She added that she felt a responsibility to deliver to the Irish voting public watching at home.

"It was my job to elicit as much information from these people as possible, to make sure that they answered the questions they were being asked and not another question they wanted to answer.

"I think that when you keep in your mind that your job is to ask the questions that people at home want answered that will get you through. And it worked and we were really pleased."

"I was really, really nervous about it. And then I think there was almost a biological reaction that shut down the nerves and just went into business mode, so through Sunday and into Monday, I was just ready for it."

Claire Byrne covers the May issue of Irish Country Magazine
Claire Byrne covers the May issue of Irish Country Magazine

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