Wednesday 14 November 2018

'My children coming along have made me softer and more understanding,' says Claire Byrne

Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Claire wears: Blouse, €195, Rixo London, Brown Thomas; Necklace, €249, Brown Thomas. Photo: Daniel Holfeld
Claire Byrne at the IFTA Awards 2018
Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne and Gerry Scollan on their wedding day
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

RTE presenter Claire Byrne has said that motherhood has softened the "bullish" aspects of her personality.

The Claire Byrne Show host (43) has three children with husband Gerry Scollan - Patrick (five), Jane (four) and Emma (one) - and said that she didn't always believe that children would be part of her life. "It's only in the last five years that all of this has happened for me, but you just get on with it. There's no instruction manual and it is the most important job in the world. Life has changed so much for me.

"Had I not had children and remained as I was, I would have found a happy path too and accepted that path. There comes a point in life when you just have to say, this is the way it's going to be, so let's get on with it," she told the RTE Guide.

After a summer off, Byrne is back on the small screen and as such, is more available for interview to promote the new season of the popular current affairs programme. And she has opened up about how being a mother to three young children has made her "softer...a bit more understanding", adding that "my children have given me greater empathy".

Claire Byrne and Gerry Scollan on their wedding day
Claire Byrne and Gerry Scollan on their wedding day

During her career, which has taken her from TV3 (now Virgin) to RTE, from daytime chat show to evening current affairs, she wouldn't be drawn too in-depth on the discussion of gender, but she did say she "refused" to see it in her work.

"I have just operated as a person working in the industry," she said. "Maybe it's the bullish part of me, but I just keep on keeping on. I refuse to see those things and if I do see them, I just brush them aside and keep going."

She went on to say that "nothing else" should matter in anyone's work except for their ability and work ethic.

In a separate interview earlier this month, Byrne said she's learned to navigate the rather tricky waters of media appearances.

“When I started first, it was novel and exciting, and I suppose I didn’t know how to deal with it. I would spill my guts and tell an interviewer everything about my life," she explained.

“Whereas now, I realise that in order to keep your sanity and your family precious and private, you don’t need to be out there all the time. Really, do people need to know intimate details about my life? The answer is no.”

Claire Byrne at the IFTA Awards 2018
Claire Byrne at the IFTA Awards 2018

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