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Aoibhinn has been my rock since Gerry's shock death, says Tubridy

RYAN Tubridy has credited his girlfriend Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain for helping him as he mourns the loss of Gerry Ryan.

And the Late Late Show host has declared that Stephen Gately's widower Andrew Cowles was more than happy with his Late Late Show grilling on Friday night.

Speaking at the launch of the Trinity College Shakespeare Festival in Dublin, he gave some insight into the difficulties of the past two weeks, since Gerry's passing.

And he admitted that former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn had been crucial in the grieving process.

Poignant pictures of Ryan's funeral showed Aoibhinn clutching on to her man as he said his final goodbyes to his colleague and friend.

And it became clear that the brunette beauty was a tower of strength for Tubridy. The couple faced the full glare of the media for the first time in their year-long relationship as Gerry's body was taken to his final resting place.

"You just have to keep people who matter to you around you when things are difficult," Ryan told the Herald. "I'm very fortunate that I have a good set-up -- friends, family, Aoibhinn is a part of that. And it's proven to be that when in doubt, go home."

Although the high-profile couple recently celebrated their one-year anniversary together, the pair are taking their relationship day by day.

"All is well, no complaints. I'm thinking about today, I'm not thinking too far ahead. It's been a great year but I'd like a little holiday now," he said at the launch of Trinity College's Dublin Shakespeare Festival yesterday.


Ryan came under fire in recent days since interviewing Stephen Gately's widower Andrew Cowles on last Friday's Late Late Show.

The internet entrepreneur was on the brink of tears as he spoke of his late husband for the first time on Irish television.

"I think this was Andrew's first appearance on television, from what I gather," Ryan said. "Not only was he nervous, he was also deeply deeply upset. And he was extremely fragile.

"I think it was difficult for him to do that interview -- I've talked to people who are in a similar state, I've been in a similar enough state myself recently.

"I do understand his upset and I think it's completely natural for him to feel that way."

However, the chat king insists that Cowles was happy with the interview and didn't feel it was too difficult to endure, as some viewers suggested.

"He gave a very solid, brave interview and I know for a fact that he's happy with the way it went.

"He felt that he wanted to come on the show and we could only welcome him on as we did."