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Family first Mairead Ronan is like a 'new woman' since leaving radio to look after kids

Family comes first for RTÉ presenter - her own, as she puts motherhood ahead of her radio career


Mairead Ronan wants to spend more time with her children

Mairead Ronan wants to spend more time with her children

Mairead Ronan wants to spend more time with her children

Mairead Ronan admits she feels like a "new woman" having spent her first full week off work since she packed in her radio presenting job to concentrate on looking after her children.

And the Ireland's Fittest Family presenter - who hosts the grand finale on RTÉ1 tonight - admits it gives her extra time to also prepare the family for Christmas.

The 41-year-old lives in Clontarf in north Dublin with her husband and children Dara (14), Eliza (five) and Bonnie (three).

"The kids are peak excited," she beams. "I think they'll be worn out by the time the 25th arrives. "I'm cooking dinner for my family. I can't wait!"

The Ronans also have a six-month-old Lhasa Apso dog, Murphy.

"He is the love of our lives really, we adore him," she raves. "He's a gorgeous little thing. It's like having another child in the house."


Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

Mairead gave her last broadcast on Today FM last Friday week, having made the decision during the summer to pack it in.

"I was delighted to be able to announce it on my own show and then finish up four weeks' later, but it's been really lovely this week being at home with the kids, but I'm really glad about my decision," she tells us.

"I've started a trend. I saw somewhere today that Vogue Williams has given up her own radio show in the UK to spend more time with the kids."

The pandemic has made her think where her priorities lie.


"I think a lot of it (her decision to leave) is down to the pandemic," Mairead stresses. "The pandemic has been awful, really awful, but it has shown us what's really really important. I can easily be replaced on the radio. I cannot be easily replaced at home."

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During the various lockdowns she went for lots of walks around Clontarf and hung out in coffee shops.

"I went into work every single day into a dead Dublin city centre with absolutely no one around and parking my car in an empty car park, so while everyone else was having nice coffees, for me I was kind of sad how empty and closed Dublin city was, because it's so vibrant and I've spent all of my working live in there," she says. "It was a very strange experience, all of that was."

The two younger children were not in school when the pandemic began, and Dara was able to do online classes.

"I was not doing any home-schooling, I think I would properly would have cracked up if I had of been in that scenario, with a child in fourth class or first class. I didn't have that.

"Bonnie was still only one when this started. So, she was a baby. Eliza was kind of quite happy to have us at home a lot more."


Anna Geary has two families in tonight's final. The Cuddy family, from Co. Roscommon, come from a farming background and consist of Bernie (58), James (31), Lisa (25) and Emma (20).

She also has the Kinsellas from Co. Wexford - Patrick (49), and boxing winners Michael (21), David (18) and Caoimhe (15).

Derval O'Rourke is mentoring the Greenans, from Co. Cavan, who consist of former tug of war world champion Mark (60), and children James (31), Sinead 28) and Niamh (24).

Donncha O'Callaghan mentors the McIntyres from Co. Tipperary - dairy farmer Aiden (59), Eoin (26), Niall (24) and Clodagh (20 - who plays camogie for Tipp). Last year's winner Davy Fitzgerald has no team in the final.

Ireland's Fittest Family tonight RTÉ, at 6.30pm

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