Wife Kathleen reveals Gay Byrne’s tough battle with cancer

Gay Byrne has been going through a tough time with his cancer battle, his wife has revealed.

Kathleen Watkins said: “He’s had a bad three days but he’s come up again today, much better.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Maura and Daithi, the 82-year-old heaped praise on the staff of St Vincent’s Hospital who have been treating Gay, 83, for prostate cancer. He is receiving chemotherapy every two weeks.

Kathleen said: “I’d just like to say something about the oncology department which we deal with every two weeks now.

“It’s not an unhappy place. That may seem a very strange thing to say but it’s not. There is a lovely atmosphere there. There’s no sound or music of any kind playing, it’s very calm.

“The girls are very relaxed. They are professionals, highly trained, highly qualified. They answer every possible question you would want to ask.

“They are just wonderful people and they are available to their patients all the time.

“I often go in and be talking to people in different cubicles and we have a chat and it’s lovely to meet people. They are from different parts of the country. What really knocks me out is to see a beautiful young woman in her 20s or 30s wearing a turban having lost their hair.

“If they are caught in time, it’s wonderful. Early diagnosis seems to be the crucial thing.”

Kathleen, who has been married to Gay for 53 years, was on the show to promote her new children’s book, Pigin of Howth, about a pig hanging out with pals in the North Dublin suburb.

She said she invented the character of Pigin for her grandchildren and now plans a follow-up book for next Christmas.


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