Tuesday 22 October 2019

RTÉ star Ray D'Arcy speaks about his relationship with parents and how he didn't hug his mother until seven years ago

Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy pictured at a photocall at Donnybrook in Dublin. Pic: Collins
Ray D'Arcy. Photo: Andres Poveda

Ray D’Arcy has spoken about his relationship with his parents and how he didn’t hug his mother for many years.

The RTE star (54) said having children has changed his view of the world. 

L-R: Ryan Tubridy and Ray D'Arcy enjoy a conversation at a photocall at RTE Donnybrook in Dublin. Picture: Paddy Cummins/Collins
L-R: Ryan Tubridy and Ray D'Arcy enjoy a conversation at a photocall at RTE Donnybrook in Dublin. Picture: Paddy Cummins/Collins

The radio and TV presenter has two children, Kate (12) and Tom (7) with his wife Jenny.

“I didn’t hug my mum until six or seven years ago,” Ray said.

“But I hug her all the time now and tell her that I love her. I’d never have done that years ago but as you get older, especially when you have your own children, you see the world differently.

"Also when you have children, you want to keep the generations connected and you feel more of a pull home. You want your children to be part of this family and to know the mother that you knew.”

Ray D'Arcy with Gay Byrne at RTE Radio 1
Ray D'Arcy with Gay Byrne at RTE Radio 1

Describing his mother Mary, Ray said: “She’s probably referred to locally as a saint. My mum is amazing, a very thoughtful, insightful and intelligent woman. She’s now in her 80s but travels to Dublin most Wednesdays to go to a movie and can chat about any current news story.”

The Kildare born broadcaster also spoke briefly about his relationship with his father, Ray Snr, who died in December 2017.

“We weren’t’ that close,” he told this month’s edition of the RTE Guide.

“I miss him in small ways,” he added.

An army man, Ray’s father spent a lot of time abroad on tours of duty while he was growing up.

Speaking about the changing roles of fathers in modern Ireland, Ray said: “My father was from a generation that wasn’t hands on and never changed a nappy. In a way I feel sorry for those men because they missed out on so much. The more you give to a relationship the more you get  back.”

Ray, the third eldest of nine children, grew up in a council estate in Kildare town and described himself as “an old head on young shoulders”.

“I don’t know where it comes from,” he said.

“The only thing I can think of is that I’m from a working class background and would have gone to school with people who were from the middle and upper class, rich people.

"So whatever they aspired to, you could too, but you had to work a little harder.”

Ray also revealed how he dreamed of becoming a doctor after a stay in St Vincent’s Hospital when he was 10-years-old, but he missed out on getting into medical school by a single point in his Leaving Cert results.

An avid runner since he took it up at the age of 39, Ray is hitting the road this month with his radio programme for five live shows after which there will be a 5km ‘Run with Ray’ event.

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