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'Ryan and Aoibhinn haven't split' despite not being seen in months

FRIENDS of golden couple Ryan Tubridy and former Rose of Tralee Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain have dismissed reports that the couple may have split.

The Late Late Show host and the teacher are still together, and although Aoibhinn hasn't been snapped on Ryan's arm since May, it is in keeping with the low profile the couple wish to have.

The pair have been dating for more than 18 months, but haven't been photographed together for some time.

One report over the weekend suggested they may have gone their separate ways.

The rumour mill went into overdrive when Tubridy (36) showed up solo to attend several high-profile events recently, including the Electric Picnic festival earlier this month.


Tubridy was on hand to chair a debate, but his usually supportive girlfriend (27) was nowhere in sight.

But an RTE source close to the extremely private pair insisted they are still together and all is well in paradise.

"I have no idea where these rumours came from but it's not true," said the source.

Another said "I don't know what you're talking about," when asked about the possible split.

Ryan and Aoibhinn's relationship blossomed in March 2009 after the pretty former Rose of Tralee appeared on his Saturday night chat show Tubridy Tonight.

Sparks flew between the pair under the studio lights, and he reportedly asked her out for coffee immediately after the show.

A source revealed that the 2fm star was particularly impressed with the teacher/presenter's academic credentials -- not to mention her good looks.

"Aoibhinn's obviously a very pretty girl and she's certainly no bimbo. She's well able to hold her own in any situation," said a source at the time.

Aoibhinn was a tower of strength for Ryan as he paid a final tribute to his old pal Gerry Ryan in May, when the couple faced the full glare of the media for the first time in their relationship.


And although they initially shunned red carpet appearances together, they later became slightly more comfortable being photographed as a couple.

They occasionally commented on their relationship and showed up at events hand-in-hand.

In September last year, Ryan paid tribute to Aoibhinn, saying: "She's proven to be a great support to me through this whole time. The women in my life are just spectacular."

The couple's relationship has intrigued the nation since they first went public but Ryan is notoriously private when it comes to personal matters.

He has often spoken of his desire to keep their relationship off the radar, saying: "I understand people's interest but I suppose I was brought up in a way that would not have been impressed by somebody who mouths off about their relationships. In the months that we've been seeing each other we've only gone out once to a public function.

"I find it embarrassing to divulge stuff because a little bit of what I am should be kept to myself. I'm not scared of having my picture taken with Aoibhinn. I just don't want people to think that I'm looking for extra attention.

"I just happen to have met an exceptional person and we are both in the public eye. I am very protective of her and of us."