| 11.4°C Dublin

'I'm afraid to walk to my car alone' - Cliona

Irish country music sensation Cliona Hagan will be back on our screens this week as a guest on Francis Brennan's show High Road, Low Road.

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant travelled to Helsinki with the hotelier. For Cliona it was five-star luxury all the way, whereas Francis had to slum it.

"We had no idea before who was going to get which experience," Cliona said. "The fun of it is seeing how we both deal with what we're given. Francis was so funny, he's a great character."

Despite looks and talent, the young Tyrone woman did not have an easy path to fame. "It is not whatsoever a glamorous business. There is a lot of expense, a lot of heartache and a lot of sacrifice," she said.

As well as financial worries, Cliona often feared for her safety after gigs. "There have been a few incidents. I would never walk to my car alone after a gig now, I'd be afraid to do that. But most fans are fairly respectful."

Unwanted attention online has been another issue. "I have received rude messages in the past because I have a public Snapchat account. I just block people who do that."

With a new tour coming up and her television career flourishing, Cliona feels vindicated in giving up teaching music to secondary school students. "I set myself up not to be afraid of failure," she said.

Cliona's episode of 'High Road, Low Road' airs this Thursday on RTE One at 8.30pm

Sunday Independent