| 11.5°C Dublin

'I've been inundated with goodwill letters' - Gaybo


Gay Byrne is fighting cancer. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gay Byrne is fighting cancer. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gay Byrne is fighting cancer. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne has spoken about his battle with cancer, saying he has had "reasonably good news about the whole thing".

The veteran radio and television presenter was diagnosed with prostate cancer last November and has been having treatment ever since.

He and his wife, Kathleen Watkins, walk every day around the park or the seafront close to where they live in Sandymount.

Kathleen, who has written the best-selling children's book, Pigin Of Howth - admitted that life was very difficult after Gay's diagnosis, because "everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong".

However, she paid tribute to the couple's two daughters, Suzy and Crona.

"We're lucky enough that one of them lives with her husband in Howth, and they're in and out to us," said the grandmother-of-five.

"They're like scaffolding around us, holding us up.

"We're also mindful that, nationwide, people are having these various problems with cancer and they have to travel for treatment."

Besides his cancer battle, Gay has also undergone a double hip replacement in the past year.

Speaking about his cancer treatment, he said: "I had it easy for the first six months because instead of doing the full chemo, I was on tablets.


"That meant getting up every morning at six o'clock and taking these big globules and going back to bed, which was the greatest part of the day as far as I was concerned.

"It was lovely snuggling in again until eight o'clock."

However, the broadcaster is now back doing full chemotherapy, at least every two weeks until Christmas.

"It's not a major imposition. You get into the cycle," said the 83-year-old.

Gay paid tribute to the outpouring of kindness he has experienced since his diagnosis.

He said he has been inundated with letters from all over the country, many from people he doesn't know.

"So many friends, just writing to say, 'Wherever you are, whatever the time, whatever the day, whatever you want to do, we're there, we'll be there'," he said.