Doireann Garrihy joins Maura Higgins in defending Molly-Mae following online backlash

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RTE’s Doireann Garrihy has joined Maura Higgins in defending Molly-Mae Hauge from the “pits” of abuse the former Love Islander has endured since her recent comments about privilege and poverty.

The influencer has been roundly slammed after she debated on a podcast how anyone can achieve anything if they simply work hard enough for it.

Listeners took offence after she failed to acknowledge her privileged upbringing as well as the massive boost her appearance on Love Island gave her.

Presenter Garrihy said: “God forbid any of us ever said something tone deaf at the age of 22 that we might later regret or want to take back.

“This level of vitriol is the pits. In other news, it’s Caroline Flack’s anniversary next month.”

It follows Maura Higgins comments in which she also jumped to Molly-Mae’s defence.

She was responding to Shaughna Phillips, who appeared on series six of the ITV2 show, when she shared her thoughts on the matter on Twitter.

“Molly Mae is young, who’s had a lot of success really quickly, and not a lot of ‘life’,” Shaughna had posted.

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“So I can understand why she holds those views. We all say things when we’re younger and look back and think ‘well that was stupid’ lol. No shade, I wanna live in her bubble.”

Responding to the tweet Maura said she was “surprised” by her thoughts.

“Surely you know as someone in this industry how lonely and scary it can be when the whole internet is slamming you,” Maura said.

“Your entitled to your opinion yes but I’m really surprised you commenting on this at all.”

However, Shaughna said she was “defending” Molly-Mae in her original tweet.

Speaking on Steve Bartlett’s The Diary of a CEO, Molly-Mae had said: “You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.

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“When I’ve spoken in the past I’ve been slammed a little bit, with people saying, ‘It’s easy for you to say that, you’ve not grown up in poverty, you’ve not grown up with major money struggles. So for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct'.

“But technically what I’m saying is correct – we do.

“I understand we all have different backgrounds and we’re raised in different ways and have different financial situations, but if you want something enough you can achieve it.

“It just depends to what lengths you want to go to get to where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any length. I’ve worked my absolute arse off to get where I am now.”

However, the influencer, who is also the “creative director” of fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing and is paid a reported sum of £500,000 a year, has been criticised for the comments.

Ellie-Mae O’Hagan, head of left-wing think tank CLASS, said: “The Molly-Mae thing goes beyond influencers.

“I’ve listened to people who have two jobs and still can’t pay the bills make similar arguments.

“Most people are emotionally attached to the idea that hard work reaps rewards. How to address that is complex and not easy to answer.”

BBC presenter Jess Davies tweeted: “I respect Molly Mae for making the most of her opportunity & grabbing it with both hands, but I DESPAIR at the quote about everyone having the same time in a day as Beyonce.

“The reality is that social inequality means there’ll never be an even playing field.

“Race, Health, Gender, Social class, Sexuality, Mental Health, Disability - the list goes on. Society is not designed to give everyone equal opportunity and this is unfortunately just tone deaf straight out of a Girl Boss meme.”

Dazed journalist Anna Cafolla also added her voice to the criticism, saying: “Influencer culture is tacitly right-wing. Social platforms bank on individualism championed by girl boss stock characters so young people don’t have the tools or space to educate + self-critique - not algorithm-friendly.”

Other social media users turned to calling Hague a “Thatcherite” following her comments, with one calling her “Thatcher with a fake tan”.

Away from social media, users of Wikipedia edited Hague’s entry to name her “Molly-Mae Thatcher”, changing part of her entry to say she is best known “for having worked harder than anyone less successful than her”.

The changes have since been removed.

RTE’s Doireann Garrihy and Maura Higgins jump to defend Molly-Mae from ‘pits’ of abuse

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Many celebrities have jumped to the defence of Molly-Mae after she was hammered on social media for recent comments on a podcast.

The former Love Islander discussed how anyone can achieve anything if they simply work hard enough for it.

People were furious after she failed to acknowledge her privileged upbringing as well as the massive boost her appearance on Love Island gave her.

She told fans that everyone has ‘the same 24 hours’ but people were quick to remind her that she didn’t grow up in poverty.

And after 24 hours of being blasted online, many have jumped to her defence.

RTE presenter Doireann Garrihy said: “God forbid any of us ever said something tone deaf at the age of 22 that we might later regret or want to take back. This level of vitriol is the pits. In other news, it’s Caroline Flack’s anniversary next month.”

Maura Higgins also came to her pals defence when Shaughna Phillips, who appeared on series six of the ITV2 show, shared her two cents on the matter on Twitter.

“Molly Mae is young, who’s had a lot of success really quickly, and not a lot of “life”,” she posted.

“So I can understand why she holds those views. We all say things when we’re younger and look back and think “well that was stupid” lol. No shade, I wanna live in her bubble.”

Maura took notice of the tweet and said she was ‘surprised’ by her thoughts.

“Surely you know as someone in this industry how lonely and scary it can be when the whole internet is slamming you,” she said.

“Your entitled to your opinion yes but I’m really surprised you commenting on this at all.”

Shaughna said she was ‘defending’ Molly-Mae in her original tweet.

2FM Breakfast Friday 7 January 2022

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To fall in the mud is human, but to finally let go of the past is sublime

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Ireland’s Fittest Family

RTÉ One, Monday, 8pm

Seán Ó Riada – Mo Sheanathair

TG4, Sunday, 9.20pm

RÓisÍn Reimagined

TG4, Monday, 8.15pm

The Big Night In

RTÉ One, Monday, 6.30pm

Imagine being invited on to Ireland’s Fittest Family, only to find out you’ve been pitted against David and Stephen Flynn, aka the Happy Pear twins — famously vegan; known for their early morning wild swims and all round healthiness.

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Spare a thought then for comedian Neil Delamere, who faced that dilemma in this year’s seasonal special of the competitive fitness show.

He was in admirably good shape for a comedian, and he had three other hardy looking members of his family along for moral and physical support; but Delamere looked well out of his comfort zone as he leapt into the show’s “stinky swamp” in freezing weather, with only the comfort that he was doing it all for charity to keep him warm.

He was promptly “sucked down into the bog” for our amusement.

In the end, his family came third. Out of four. Which isn’t bad, to be fair. Ireland’s Fittest Family is a genuinely hard slog, best experienced from a warm sofa.

The Happy Pear team won. Of course they did. For the others, it was like entering a karaoke contest and being drawn against Adele. As for Dancing With The Stars, in which Neil Delamere is set to appear in the New Year, it should be a doddle after this.

Seán Ó Riada was only 40 when he died in 1971, but he looked much older. People did back then, and the drink didn’t exactly help.

His granddaughter Doireann Ní Ghlacáin, also a musician, points out that Irish traditional music has changed a lot since then. It’s now “sexy, sweaty and deadly craic… and I fecking love it”.

Her relationship with Ó Riada is more complicated. Doireann admits she hasn’t “really embraced my grandfather’s legacy”, and has “harboured a lot of resentment towards Seán”, having always believed that he “drank himself into an early grave”, leaving her grandmother, Ruth, with seven small children and little money. She herself died of cancer just six years later.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, Seán Ó Riada – Mo Sheanathair took Doireann on an emotional journey to discover the real man behind the legend, speaking candidly to members of her own family, and others best able to place Ó Riada in his Irish and European cultural context.

There were great stories, such as Ó Riada as a young man in Paris being offered a recital by a prestigious French radio station on foot of a letter he’d sent listing his many compositions. The only problem was he hadn’t written any of them yet, and so quickly had to make the boast a reality.

He went home soon after, realising that his destiny lay in Ireland, first to Dublin and then the Gaeltacht in Co Cork where he set about making authentic national music for Ireland.

The film rightly laid as much stress on his unjustly neglected classical compositions as on the traditional music for which he’s best known. The extent of the work he left behind made his early loss all the more poignant.

In the course of her journey, Doireann came to have more sympathy for the hardships faced by Ó Riada. “I wouldn’t be angry with him at all,” said his son and fellow composer Peadar. “People live their life as best they can.”

Doireann duly let go some of the censorious certainty of youth to concede at last: “It’s not up to me to pass judgment.”

At her grandparents’ grave, she played an air for them both, ending a magnificent, tender film.

It was Seán Ó Riada who did more than any other Irish composer to popularise the lost tradition of sean-nós singing.

Róisín Reimagined invited six contemporary Irish composers to create new arrangements of some of those songs, for singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and the Irish Chamber Orchestra to perform at Kilkenny’s St Canice’s Cathedral, sadly without an audience for obvious reasons.

The concert was charming, wistful and warm, though it would, admittedly, have been equally enjoyable on the radio.

Unqualified as I am to pronounce on such matters, I also couldn’t help wondering if these versions, pretty as they were, really stayed true to the original tradition. Isn’t sean-nós meant to be more jagged and idiosyncratic, rather than beautified?

Here the edges of the music were smoothed off in a wash of orchestration. But arguably that’s what Christmas is all about. It soothes rather than challenges.

Spare another thought, finally, for veteran broadcaster Michael Lyster, who, three years after stepping down from The Sunday Game, was invited out of retirement to film the pilot for a new quiz show, The Name Game.

The show didn’t exist. It was all a prank by The Big Night In, Ireland’s answer to Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, with hosts Doireann Garrihy (backstage with a fake Essex accent) and Dermot Whelan (sporting a fake beard as one of the contestants) pulling the strings to ensure that everything which could go wrong did.

It was very funny, and Michael handled each hiccup with consummate professionalism; but the poor man must have gone into it thinking he might have a new job on his hands, only to be sorely, cruelly disappointed.

Doireann introduced proceedings by asking the studio audience: “Did you all have a fabulous Christmas?” They whooped and cheered obligingly.

This was shown only two days after Christmas, though. How daft do they think we are at home to be fooled into thinking it was recorded in real time? Viewers can’t have had that much sherry.