'I never thought I would be an Irish mammy but I am the biggest Irish mammy ever' – Maura Derrane
9th March 2019

RTE star Maura Derrane has opened up about her family life with husband John Deasy and their five-year-old son Cal, describing herself as the “ultimate Irish mammy”.

The Today host (48) said she and Deasy, who spends a significant amount of time in Washington D.C. for his role as US special envoy for the undocumented Irish, divide parenting duties, but it’s “not easy” when she’s the sole parent in the house.

“There are so many other people like us right now, I don’t think we are special in any way,” she told Irish Country Magazine. “John has been away an awful lot in the past few years, being back and forth to the States. Sometimes it’s not easy, but look, other people are away on oil rigs for months at a time. I think if one person is at home, it’s easier, let’s be straight about it. My mother was always at home when I was growing up and things do go smoother. If you have good childcare, which I do, then it is relatively easy.”

She said she finds herself becoming a “soft blob” around her son and can’t resist him. “John and I try to work it out. Certainly on a Saturday morning if I trust to go back to bed for a few hours if I am tired and John will look after Cal so I can do that,” she said. “Honestly, it would be great if you could walk away sometimes but when you have a kid you turn into a soft blob and you are going to be slave to that child until they are about 25. I never thought I would be an Irish mammy but I am the biggest Irish mammy ever.

Since first meeting in 2002 at a Fine Gael Christmas party, during which time she was working as a crime journalist, their relationship, spanning nearly two decades has grown from strength to strength and both understand the unique pressures the other is under, especially now that they are parents. But one thing that is off limits is any type of media coupling and she says they have repeatedly turned down offers for magazine shoots and television interviews, preferring to stand on their own two feet in the public eye.

“We both have always felt like it is much more important to keep our individuality when it comes to our careers. We have stuck to our guns on that,” she said. “So many people have asked us to do interviews or to go on shows but we refused to do it. We don’t need to do it, so why would we? I am not an accessory to him. I’m me and he is him. That is the way it was before we were ever married.”

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