Grief drove me from Den -- Norah

Melanie Finn and Eimear Rabbitte

NORAH Casey has revealed that personal heartache prompted her to quit RTE's Dragons' Den.

The well-known broadcaster and media mogul lost her husband Richard Hannaford and the man she describes as "the love of my life," in October 2011, after a short battle with cancer.

And the mum of son Dara (13) explained how her priorities definitely shifted as a result of undergoing such a huge loss.

"I think because my circumstances changed over the year, I would have been happy and comfortable sitting in Dragons' Den, had that not happened," she told the Herald.

"But I pulled back on the business a bit. I had great directors that took over and I started to get back in my own media career a bit. So nothing changed except me -- I switched my focus over the year and I love it.


"I still get up at four every morning for three hours of Newstalk and I love Cork as well but it's tough. I balance motherhood because it's only me and Dara now and we're incredible close. Newstalk works because every evening I'm with him and we do the homework together and go to bed at half nine.

"Even on Fridays, I get back to Dublin as quick as I can."

The Harmonia boss is the latest Dragons' Den star to quit the show, alongside Niall O'Farrell, Sean Gallagher and Bobby Kerr as producers ShinAwil scramble to find suitable replacements before filming starts in early 2013.

However, Norah explained how she'll always be on the look out for the right business opportunity.

"I'm still trying to find something that's going to make me a lot of money because magazines won't."

She added: "I like the magazines but there will always be a ceiling on what you can earn."