THE girlfriend of Ryan Tubridy has denied nepotism exists in RTE after landing a major slot on RTE radio.
Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain will take over the Miriam Meets hour-long interview slot on Sunday mornings from Miriam O'Callaghan from July 14.
However, the 30-year-old, who has extensive broadcasting experience, said it had nothing to do with dating Ryan Tubridy – one of the station's biggest stars.
"People can say what they like. I don't think there is any sort of nepotism there.
"It's the people who are in charge of RTE Radio 1 who decide who are asked or not. I've been in the media for eight years, it's not a fly-by-night thing, I have worked really hard and am delighted to get this opportunity," she told the Herald.
In fact, the Mayo woman is working on two other shows for RTE, the second season of travel series Getaways and The Science Squad, which presents science as entertainment, as well as being in her second year of a PhD in Trinity College.
Although working with Miriam's radio team, including producer Eileen Heron, and the decision to call the new show Aoibhinn & Company, she makes clear she won't be attempting to step into the shoes of one of RTE's most talented women.
"Miriam is brilliant at her job and I'm in no way trying to take over from her.
"She does presenting spectacularly and is incredibly brilliant in her job. I am in no way trying to take over from her," she said.
Welcoming her summer replacement, Miriam O'Callaghan described Aoibhinn as a "wonderful broadcaster and, even more importantly, a really lovely person".
Another inspiration for Aoibhinn is Marian Finucane, who will follow her on Sunday mornings.
"There are some great female interviewers in RTE and Marian is one of my favourites because she really gets to the nub of the subject, she's someone I listen and learn from anytime she's on the radio," she said.
Starting in radio hosting her own Irish language shows on Raidio na Life, she has clocked up extensive radio hours, covering for Tom Dunne, Sean Moncrieff and Sile Seoige.
RTE said: "Aoibhinn brings a new woman's voice with a breadth of interest and knowledge that runs from mathematics, to science, to literature, to plain good fun."