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new view RTE presenter Des Cahill says his 'appreciation of what women go through' has grown since becoming a grandad

Sports presenter Des Cahill says the arrival of baby Bobby Patrick has given him a great perspective on life


RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill and his wife Caroline Curran with their dogs, Lauren and Harvey. Photo: Tony Gavin

RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill and his wife Caroline Curran with their dogs, Lauren and Harvey. Photo: Tony Gavin

RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill and his wife Caroline Curran with their dogs, Lauren and Harvey. Photo: Tony Gavin

RTÉ sports anchor Des Cahill becomes philosophical when asked what it is like to become a grandfather for the first time.

The man who became known as Dancing Dessie, thanks to his turn on Dancing with the Stars, is clearly besotted with his daughter Amy’s new arrival.

A baby boy named Bobby Patrick was born three weeks ago and the RTÉ presenter said he was already a dab hand at bottle-feeding and “getting the wind up”.

“I’m head over heels about him. It’s a very happy home when little Bobby is around. I’m an expert now,” he said.

“My appreciation of what women go through is far greater as a grandfather than as a young husband or father. I have a far greater awareness of how heroic a role a woman plays than I did as a young father.

“Maybe it’s because it’s my daughter and she’s telling you about stuff and you’re going ‘Janey, your little girl going through all this’.

“I think it’s shocking how young men are just so uneducated on birth and what a woman goes through.”

The Sunday Game anchor (62) freely admits his hands-on approach to his new grandson is a far cry from when his own kids were born. A busy sports reporter at the time, having started with RTÉ in 1984, there were international sporting events to cover while welcoming new arrivals with wife Caroline.

“I was away a lot after the births of mine. Amy was born in 1990 so I was at Italia ’90 and the Tour de France. Paul was born in 1988 and I was at Euro ’88, the Tour de France and the Olympics. I popped home for a couple of days, it was shocking! Whereas this time around, being there was great,” he said.

Mr Cahill will soon be back on the road covering the sports beat again for his ninth Olympics. He will arrive in Tokyo in mid-July, and there he will stay for three weeks.

He will be flying into Japan under strict Covid regulations. Given that the maximum crowd numbers will be 10,000 in the big arenas, he believes it could seriously lack atmosphere.

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“It will be strange. Normally you’d be all excited going to a new city. We’re actually not allowed leave the hotel for the first 15 days, not even to go to the shop on the corner or a bar or a restaurant.

“You can only go to the hotel, the broadcast centre or the venue. You’re literally in a bubble and the Japanese would be very strict.”

He cites Irish boxer Kellie Harrington as having a “real chance” of winning a medal.

Closer to home, he’ll be back fronting the Sunday Game from tomorrow on RTÉ One and said he would love to see crowds back for the GAA championship season.

“I can’t wait. Last week there were 2,400 at Croke Park and even though they were completely lost in the stadium, just to hear people shouting, cheering and boo-ing, it was fantastic. Of all the sports, nationally, I think the GAA probably is closer to people on a personal level,” he said.

About returning to his flagship Sunday slot, Mr Cahill said he was “just going to enjoy” it as he put his grandfather hat back on.

“I don’t want young lads to be getting slaughtered on Sunday night for having a bad match. Life is more important than all of these things. The new baby has just given me a great perspective on life.”

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