KIERAN Cuddihy’s passion for journalism really kicked in when he did a stint on a Canadian community radio station. “I absolutely loved it,” says the Newstalk presenter, who qualified as a solicitor in 2009. When the Kilkenny native left Ireland for Vancouver that year, the recession had really begun to bite. “I just wasn’t that interested in a legal career. I was looking for something new. I did general labouring jobs in Canada, but there was something about journalism, it always sounded interesting and I thought here’s an opportunity to dip my toe in. I did and I loved it.”
Back home in Ireland, Kieran did a masters in journalism at DCU and then a work placement at Newstalk. He hasn’t left since. He regularly fills in on Newstalk Breakfast during the weekday schedule and he took the reins of new weekly current affairs show On the Record early this year. What stories has he particularly enjoyed covering? “Perversely, Brexit. There’s a bit of understandable fatigue with it now but we had the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke in and he was really interesting,” says the 35-yearold who’s married to Natasha. The couple have two children: Sam, three, and Grace, one.
As a Kilkenny native, Kieran is passionate about hurling. “I’ve always played with the club at home, up to a few years ago. I stopped because of injury. Now I’m involved in managing a team in a club at home.”
He’s based in Kilkenny but commuting to Dublin isn’t too tough — almost because of the frequent 4am starts.
“Because of the unusual hours, I’m never coming up and down in traffic.” What shape are you in? I’m in okay shape. Like everyone else, I think I could be in better shape. My sister and I did a half ironman last year. We’d both done a couple of other triathlons and at the start of the year we were looking for something to focus on for the year ahead. After the ironman we took it easy for a while. I’ve been getting back into shape again recently.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I generally eat a quite healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast might be porridge or eggs, for lunch salads and sandwiches and for dinner it could be your standard curry, spaghetti, lasagne, meat and two veg, but we do them all from scratch.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
All the bits in between my main meals. I’m a terrible grazer. I’d nibble away all day on anything. If there were biscuits or chocolate around, I’d devour them. There’s no saying no. What keeps you awake at night? I put my head down and I’m gone in a flash. But the one thing that disrupts my sleep is my children. A lot of the time one or both of them would be awake. How do you relax? By going out for a run or to the gym or training in the evening. When you’re in the media bubble, it’s great to get out on the side of a pitch. It’s a world away from what I’m dealing with all day. Really relaxing. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Hitler and Stalin. It would be fascinating to talk to them about their decisionmaking process, about what they were thinking when different directions were taken in the War. Also Queen Elizabeth I because of the shape she had on the history of these islands and how long that lasted. And Collins and Dev. I’d get them to describe what they think Ireland’s like now and then I’d give them a rude awakening and show them exactly what it’s like.
What’s your favourite smell?
A brand new hurl when you just puck around for a while and then smell the bass. It’s like a combination of freshly cut grass and freshly cut timber. When did you last cry? I honestly don’t know. I’m not much of an emoter.
What trait do you least like in others?
I suppose falseness. Even if you have something unkind to say, just be honest and say it.
What trait do you least like in yourself?
I can be really pass remarkable when I’m people watching. My inner monologue becomes an external monologue. My wife says ‘would you stop commenting on everyone’. Do you pray? No, I don’t. Maybe a sign I’ve had too easy a life. I’ll probably be one of those death-bed converts.
What cheers up your day?
Getting outdoors with the kids in good weather, particularly after such a cold, wet winter.
HEALTHY EATER: Kieran Cuddihy likes a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and puts some thought into the preparation.