| 8°C Dublin

Heartache for Aoibhinn and Ryan as love affair ends

"It's an upsetting time for both of them so they're not ready to discuss it yet," said a source. "They're both very private people and have always been very protective of their relationship so it's unlikely they will comment on it at all," they added.

Love first blossomed for the pair in March of last year, after Aoibhinn made an appearance on Ryan's Saturday night chat show Tubridy Tonight.

An RTE representative today insisted that they could not discuss the personal life of one of their biggest stars.


And Ryan's agent Noel Kelly has also declined to comment thus far, but it is expected that he will issue a statement on behalf of the father-of-two over the weekend.

Ryan (36) and Aoibhinn (27) are believed to remain on good terms despite the break-up and still share many of the same friends in common.

Neither party was willing to comment on the break-up when approached by the Herald.

Rumours first emerged that the high-profile couple's romance was on the rocks when Tubridy showed up solo to attend several big events recently, including the Electric Picnic festival earlier this month.

The popular presenter was there to chair a debate, but his usually supportive girlfriend was nowhere in sight and hasn't been snapped on Ryan's arm since May.

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.

Ryan has two children from his marriage to RTE producer Anne Marie Power and initially shunned red-carpet appearances with Aoibhinn.

However, they later became slightly more comfortable being photographed as a couple and occasionally commented on their relationship. Ryan made no secret of his desire to keep their relationship away from the glare of the media spotlight however. "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."

Significantly, Ryan has been reiterating that message this week, emphasising his own desire for privacy and urging the media to respect the privacy of other celebrities while reviewing the daily papers each day on his new 2fm morning show.

lnolan@ herald.ie