Tuesday 28 February 2017

Keith Duffy on empty nest syndrome: ‘I love the thought of two more kids because I hate the empty house’

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jay Duffy, Lisa Duffy, Keith Duffy and Mia Duffy pictured at the Keith Duffy Foundation Charity Ball at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry to raise funds for Irish Autism Action and Finn's First Steps Charities..Picture: Brian McEvoy
Jay Duffy, Lisa Duffy, Keith Duffy and Mia Duffy pictured at the Keith Duffy Foundation Charity Ball at Powerscourt Hotel in Enniskerry to raise funds for Irish Autism Action and Finn's First Steps Charities..Picture: Brian McEvoy

Keith Duffy has revealed that he’d love to have more children with his wife Lisa as he fears he’ll be lonesome when his daughter Mia (16) leaves for university.

The actor and former Boyzone star (41) said he is struggling to cope with his children growing up and flying the nest and fancies a second bout of babies.

“I feel I was very young the first time around,” he told The Irish Mail on Sunday.

“I think I would enjoy fatherhood now. Every Saturday morning I would probably regret it but I like the idea of it.

“I am only 41 and a lot of people are only starting families at my age these days,” he said.

The actor has two children with his wife Lisa, Mia (16) and Jay (20).

Keith Duffy,Lisa Duffy with kids Mia Duffy and Jay Duffy pictured at Keith Duffy's Masquerade Ball in aid of Irish Autism Action and Saplings School Rathfarnham
Keith Duffy,Lisa Duffy with kids Mia Duffy and Jay Duffy pictured at Keith Duffy's Masquerade Ball in aid of Irish Autism Action and Saplings School Rathfarnham

"I have an amazing relationship with my son Jay. He is more like my best friend and Mia is flying it. Mia is very adamant about what she wants to do. She wants to go to DCU. Her nan and granddad live near there so I am thinking the day is going to come when it’s just me and Lisa in the house. I will miss them terribly.”

The actor recently opened up about his daughter Mia, who was diagnosed with autism at 18 months, and said he was immeasurably proud of her.

"I never thought she'd be in mainstream school, I never thought she'd sit State exams, I never thought any of this would happen for her," he said.

"Mia was non-verbal until she was seven. At the time, she was very isolated in her own world. She wasn't responding, she didn't have much eye contact, she wasn't interested in spending time with anyone," he said.

"She spent a lot of time in her bedroom under her bed with a blanket over her head.  We were quite a young family, it was so scary; we didn't know what to do."

Duffy maintained that he and his wife Lisa were "lucky" as, through the help of other parents at the time of her diagnosis - which in itself was a difficult process - Mia received "the right intervention".

"Most of the country at this stage knows that my little girl has autism. [But] back when she was 1 or 2 things were very, very difficult.

"There weren't many services in the country. Everybody told me that early intervention was essential although I couldn't avail of any.

HAPPY DAY: Boyzone's Keith Duffy with daughter Mia in 2008
HAPPY DAY: Boyzone's Keith Duffy with daughter Mia in 2008

"Early diagnosis is obviously essential so you could put in place early intervention - none of this was available."

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