Sinéad Kennedy has her mind made up. She is leaving the capital and returning to live in her native Cork with husband, naval officer Conor Kirwan.
There’s a hitch — she has yet to find a house. But that’s not about to stop the high-energy RTÉ presenter.
“Hopefully it’ll be Kinsale — I want to be by the sea. We don’t a have a place yet. But we’ll get there one step at a time,” she says.
When we chat, she’s in Cork to open Homesense, a new interiors store on the Grand Parade. And she’s in home heaven. “The timing is perfect — it’s feeding into my guilty pleasure. I’ve bought the shop already.”
Though naturally full of the joys of life, she took on a serious commission when last year she travelled on board the LÉ Samuel Beckett to interview the crew and immigrants rescued from the Mediterranean in harrowing circumstances. “That’s definitely my proudest moment with regards to work, ever — it was really important to me that was an accurate portrayal of what’s happening in the Mediterranean.
“It’s a very sensitive situation... this is people’s lives — a traumatic and horrendous experience for them.”
The humanitarian crisis is ongoing, she points out. “The LÉ Eithne is down there at the moment doing what they can to help.”
What shape are you in?
The usual shape, which isn’t great. I’m still not going to the gym. I did join the RTÉ gym but I’ve gone three times in as many months. I’ve no excuses — they even do classes at lunch time. The thought of it is just traumatic. I have stopped drinking fizzy drinks though. I’m quite impressed with myself because I’m seriously obsessed with Coca Cola.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I make a conscious effort to have breakfast — overnight oats, or regular porridge sometimes with almond milk or good old Weetabix — you can’t beat it. And I’m not adding sugar to anything. I’m using Canderel as a sweetener instead. Other than that, I’m cooking more home dinners. Conor is great in the kitchen. I’m blessed.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
These days my obsession is interiors. I spent all my time on Instagram and Pinterest, taking it all in.
What would keep you awake at night?
I constantly worry about the fact that I’m dangerous with money. But I think my husband worries more about it than I do. When I’ve done a crazy day’s work, I hop into bed and I generally don’t have too many problems sleeping.
How do you relax?
I love to chill out in Dublin city centre at the weekend when I’m not working — have a few drinks, a nice bite to eat. Just doing nothing is how I chill out because I’m constantly on the go.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama.
What’s your favourite smell?
I’m obsessed with Yankee candles — I’m buying one today, Black Coconut. They last forever and there’s such a strong scent. And perfume wise, it would be Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. It’s so fresh.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
Plenty. But that involves going to the gym and I’m not willing to do that. It would be lovely not to have cellulite but I do. You just wear a longer skirt. And I’d love to be able to get a tan. I could live in Jamacia for the rest of my life and not get a colour.
When is the last time you cried?
I watched A Dog’s Purpose the other night. I bawled. I haven’t cried like that since Marley and Me. I’m pretty soft though I act like I’m not.
What trait do you least like in others?
I don’t like ignorant people. I actually can’t cope with them.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
My naivety. I always see the best in people and that’s not necessarily a good thing. I can be a little bit selfish when it comes to my plans. If I think we need to go on holidays I’ll decide we need to go even though we can’t afford it and if I bankrupt us for the next three months. I have to cop on a little bit.
Do you pray?
I would say the odd prayer sometimes at night. I wouldn’t be the most religious.
What would cheer up your day?
Ice-cream always. Sunshine. And buying things makes me happy.
Homesense — a TK Maxx store — is located in the Capitol development on Grand Parade and at Westend Shopping Park, Blanchardstown.
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