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Trying time Tommy Bowe reveals that wife's parents have not yet met their 10-month-old grandson


Former Ireland rugby player Tommy Bowe

Former Ireland rugby player Tommy Bowe

Former Ireland rugby player Tommy Bowe

Tommy Bowe has revealed that the Covid crisis has meant his wife's parents have not yet been able to meet their ten-month-old grandson.

The former Ireland rugby international is married to former Miss Wales Lucy Whitehouse and the couple live in Belfast with their two young children, Emma, who is nearly four, and baby Jamie.

Tommy and Lucy relocated to Belfast as that's where the Monaghan man has been primarily based since he first moved there in 2002, initially for college and later to play for Ulster.

"We have kind of set up home here, we are very happy here," he confirms. "Lucy is a nurse, she is obviously on maternity leave at the minute, but she is happy with her job and Emma has started pre-school."

The 36-year-old now spends most of his time traveling south for work, be it co-hosting Ireland AM in Dublin for Virgin Media, presenting Eir Sport matches in the capital, Limerick and Cork, or going back to Monaghan to look after his clothing and shoe company interests there.

"Lucy's family are from Wales and because we haven't been able to fly and they haven't been able to fly here they've yet to meet him," he reveals.

"My parents of course are in Monaghan and we maybe got down a couple of times and are taking as many precautions as we can to try and keep our own family safe, but also people working alongside safe, and limit our contacts as much as possible."

Like all parents with young children during the pandemic it's can be difficult raising them.

"Emma is nearly four and had been going to kindergarten, which unfortunately has now stopped," he says.

"At the minute she is learning to count and she she's learning to read stories and expand her imagination. It sounds really fun stuff, but at the same time I'm sure its really crucial stuff and if they don't learn that at that young age, you're always playing catch-up. So anybody with parents at the minute will have that worry where their kids will be after this. "

While Jamie is learning to crawl, Emma is obsessed with Disney Princesses and Peppa Pig. Sport is something Tommy would be keen for them to try at some point.

"I would like either of them to take up rugby, I would have no qualms at all. ...I'm a huge believer in team sport and it could be any sport in general, but in particular team sports, the camaraderie, and the values you get from playing team sport. Learning to deal with failure, learning to lose. Learning to win, win graciously. I think they're huge things. It's not about sport, its about life."

Tommy used to say with his brother in Dublin when presenting Ireland AM but because of lockdown moves between Dublin and Belfast, where he gets to carry out much of his day-to-day business on the phone in the car.

He laughs when asked about himself and co-host Alan Hughes sometimes having on-air arguments.

"That's a daily thing," he chuckles. "I think what's important and I have to remember this, three presenters sitting on the sofa all agreeing to the same thing is boring television. There are definitely going to be times that myself and Alan butt heads or myself and Karen (Koster) butt heads, but I think that makes good television."

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