Home Irish Showbiz Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh enrolls at UCD

Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh enrolls at UCD

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Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh has admitted she is anxious about starting college at the age of 44.

The RTE presenter commenced classes on Monday, and said she is finally fulfilling a need within herself, after skipping third level education to go straight into the hothouse of Montrose.

“I have never been to college. I went straight from doing my Leaving Cert into RTE. I know that sounds mad. I wouldn’t wish it on someone now,” she said.

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The mother-of-four has started a course in Women’s Studies at UCD after years of feeling insecure about never having gone to college.

“Oh God, I am scared going back. The girl beside me or the man beside me with their degrees and I am going to go ‘What are they talking about?’ But I will get there.”

“It’s just new. I am just scared. And I am never scared. I would rather stand up there in front of a room full of people. I have no problem with a crowd. This is the challenge.”

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The proud Gaeilgeoir also revealed she’s glad not to be attending the same college as her daughter.

“Thank God. I think she would die if she bumped into me at the student union bar,” she admitted.

Speaking about choosing to do a course on Women’s Studies, she said she noticed a common thread in her career.

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“A lot of my work is focused on women,” she says, referencing the female heroines of the 1916 Easter Rising and the contemporary feminist issues. “All these women [from the past and in the modern day], female genital mutilation… I have been passionate about that when nobody wanted to know about it.”

She added. “I love that it (the course) is nothing to do with work or the Irish language, but it is actually to do with something that is within me.”

As Blathnaid begins her third-level education at 44, The RTÉ star debuted the first show in her new radio series at the weekend, Bláthnaid Libh, on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. The Saturday morning magazine show will be broadcast from 11 am to 12am each week.

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“This is very women- driven, not in an anti-man way. What are you doing on a Saturday morning from 11-12?

“We’ll be featuring mainly human interest stories.

“As a mother you are on your way to a football pitch and we are going to talk about things like child sexual abuse.

“That might sound funny on a Saturday morning but in a ‘what to look out for’ way.”

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“I am also delighted to have the opportunity to broadcast in my own native tongue, because I can be more at ease as Gaeilge,” she told the Sunday Independent.

Each week, the presenter will have well-known personalities display how much they remember from their school Irish in ‘Bain triail as’, which translates into English as ‘give it a go’.