Sunday 20 October 2019

Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain: I took out my tongue piercing before Rose of Tralee win

Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy with Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Aoibheann Ni Shuilleabhain and Kathryn Thomas at the launch of RTE's autumn schedule for Radio 1
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

The pillow talk between Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain and Ryan Tubridy must be interesting.

Because it turns out Aoibhinn shares her long-term partner's interest in American politics - Tubs has written a book on JFK in Ireland, telling the story of President Kennedy's 1963 visit here.

Ryan Tubridy, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Ryan Tubridy, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain

"I read every night, so I'm likely thinking about what I've been reading," said Aoibhinn, about the last thing she thinks about before drifting off.

"At the moment I'm making my way through Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices - it's a tome but provides a brilliant insight into international politics and diplomacy."

Aoibhinn (31) also revealed that former US President Bill Clinton would be one of her ideal dinner guests at the home the couple share in Monkstown in south Dublin.

"They'd have to be talkative and interesting with a glint in their eye," she said.

"My ideal dinner party would include Bill Clinton, Phil Lynott, Stephen Fry, Katherine Hepburn, physicist Richard Feynman and 1950s US model Bettie Paige. Imagine how much fun that would be."

In a series of 20 questions she answered in Woman's Way magazine, Aoibhinn named "takeaway on a Saturday night in front of the TV" as her guiltiest pleasure.

Aoibhinn, who won the Rose of Tralee competition in 2005, revealed that she only took out her tongue piercing three days before the festival.

"I felt I wouldn't be the best representative for Mayo if I kept it in," she said.

Meanwhile, it's a busy time for the maths lecturer.

"We're finishing the voice-overs for the third series of The Science Squad which will be on RTE One on Monday nights," she said.

"I'm also teaching and researching as part of the School of Mathematical Sciences in UCD."

Aoibhinn revealed recently that her school guidance counsellor steered her away from a journalism career towards a life of science.

"I had a great maths teacher in primary school and a great physics teacher in secondary school and they saw my aptitude for maths and turned me off journalism," she said.

"Without them, I wouldn't have studied theoretical physics in UCD.

"We had no option to study applied maths. A number of schools today don't offer honours maths and many of them are all-girls' schools, so that gender discrepancy was still there."


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