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Anna Nolan: This is the real story, as I see it, about those rumours of a Ryan and Aoibhinn break up

Let's get something straight here. Former Rose of Tralee winner Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain is no shrinking violet.

She is not a girl that could be put under anyone's thumb. She is a strong, super-intelligent and warm woman.

And no one, not even Ryan Tubridy could stop her doing what she wants -- be that going out with himself or hitting the town on her tod.

Recent speculation around a split between Aoibhinn and Ryan because they haven't been pictured together in ages must bug the hell out of her, especially this idea doing the rounds that it's all because Tubs wants to jealously protect their private lives.


What a load of twaddle.

The very idea that any bloke in the public eye these days would have the audacity to say his girlfriend, "Lets not do this together because I want to keep 'us' private," is unbelievable.

Celebrity couples are photographed together when they go out and that's just part of the game, the give-and-take arrangement when a fickle public decides to hold you up a star. What's so terribly horrendous about that? Whether it's Anne Doyle with Dan McGrattan, Brian O'Driscoll with Amy Huberman or indeed Ryan and Aoibhinn, the public want to see beautiful pictures. And why shouldn't they?


I have never heard any of these couples complaining about a picture being taken on their way in to the VIP awards or the IFTAs. They've done the make-up (well, Brian has anyway), got the hair done, and no doubt have a little feeling of excitement as they make their way through the flashing lights of the photographers.

If Tubridy doesn't want to be photographed with Aoibhinn that would make him controlling, selfish and super sensitive -- and I'm sure he's none of these. Are you, Ryan?

In fact, let's be honest here, the very idea of assessing a relationship on the amount of times a couple is photographed together is questionable.

Ryan and Aoibhinn were photographed plenty of times at the start of their relationship. Obviously madly in love, they wanted to show the world how happy they were -- that is why we saw any number of photos of the couple at functions, parties and launches.


Now, less so. A sign of waning love -- or some sort of boorish over-protectiveness? Neither me thinks. That Ryan turns up at gigs or parties without Aoibhinn signifies little. They have simply moved onto a new stage in their relationship.

Aoibhinn, I imagine, is out just as much as Ryan. She just keeps it quiet.

And if she is staying at home, she's not crying into her cocoa while Ryan dons the dickiebow and paints the town red -- it's because she prefers a glass of red wine while watching True Blood.

There is no way that Ryan Tubridy would be suggesting to Aoibhinn that they should not be seen together -- because she's the type of girl that would tell him straight out that if she wants to party, no one is gonna stop her.

Twitter: It's dirty notes in a classroom

I REMEMBER one day in fifth class a note got handed around saying one of the girls, let's call her Mary Kelly, smelled badly.

It went along the lines of "Mary Kelly, she's a fool, she looks like a rabbit and smells of poo." Childish. Idiotic.

The person who wrote the note was one of those smart-arses who did things in an underhand way. Damage without confrontation. Sure, Mary wasn't real fresh, she came from a poor background. But that wasn't the issue. What stank about this humiliating exercise was that the writer of the note was a coward.

Not much different from Twitter.

And the Twitter or Tweet that Simon Coveney Twumped, or Twotted -- whatever the stupid verb is in relation to this idiotic mode of communication, was lazy.

I wonder if Mr Coveney let his now infamous Tworp, or Twipe, or whatever it's called, even settle in his brain before he sent it. Was he was in bed or in the office when he wrote this Twarp? Maybe he was scratching his bum with one hand, and Twelping with the other.

Articles and commentaries have editors to filter their cannon fodder. Broadcasters have producers. Tweets have only the Tweeter. Why do we tolerate them, whatever they purport to report?

Pope's visit set my heart-rate soaring

AS much as I have issues about the Pope, I couldn't stop watching the Sky News coverage of his visit to Britain.

It started when I was jogging in the gym. My utter dislike of the man combined with the coverage of the plane touching the runway made my heart race, made my adrenaline pump, and I ended up running at level 12 for four minutes straight.

My favourite quote of the week's coverage was one woman saying that she had been to Lady Gaga the previous week -- but that it didn't compare to the show this Pope was putting on!