Neil Molloy – better known as Molly on Galway Bay FM’s breakfast show – has hung up his headphones for now to become a full-time dad.
The broadcaster was still in something of a state of shock when he caught up with the Connacht Tribune this week.
“I’m used to getting up at 3.30am and being on the road by 4am. Today I am after going for a walk, having breakfast with my daughter and talking to friends on the phone. I’ve a little bit of an empty feeling. I’ve worked my entire life since I was 15 – it’s strange not being answerable to anyone.”
The native of Attymon came to the difficult decision to quit his very popular ‘Molly in the Morning’ breakfast show due to a confluence of personal circumstances.
His partner Leonora O’Brien founded and runs a software company called PharmaPod which reduces medication errors by pharmacists and doctors. Her job entails a great deal of travelling. And following a major take-up of the platform across pharmacies in Canada, the family decided the time was right to base themselves in Toronto for up to a year.
Neil said they had become ships in the night. He was doing a round trip of 340km each day commuting from Killucan, Co Westmeath.
By the time he returned home he was too exhausted to spend quality time with their daughter Fódhla, who is just 20 months.
“All she wanted was full-on daddy. It was getting to the stage that all I wanted was go to bed. I was going to bed the same time as babba,” he laughs.
Neil has been fronting Molly in the Morning since early 2015 with Ollie Turner. Their ratings have shot up from 12,000 to 24,000 in that short time, garnering them two national PPI radio awards, one for best entertainment inserts, the other for best comedy show.
Their sketch about Storm Emma featuring retired weatherman Gerald Fleming set to the 1990s Vanilla Ice hit ‘Ice Ice Baby’ attracted more than 200,000 views.
“I can safely say that I’ve never worked with anyone as good as Ollie before. He was very easy to bounce off. What I wanted on the show was to be a part of people’s lives in some way. The amount of text message we’ve got has been incredible, saying they loved us sharing our stories, so it’s clear we achieved that,” he muses.
“There’s not many jobs where you can be jumping around a studio every day. I loved getting the people of Galway on air – whether it was 80-year-old Bridie or a teenager.”
Neil started on Galway Bay FM 20 years ago as a broadcaster. He left to run the Hop Inn Pub in Athenry for ten years but the lure of the media never left him. He worked for a spell on Clare FM and starred as the character Martin Muff on the popular magazine show Republic of Telly.
He’s currently finishing filming on that show’s spin-off, Bridget & Eamon, playing Garda Paul.
He is not ruling out a return to radio at some stage. But for now his focus will be on raising baby Fódhla and settling into their new life in Canada – and where ever else life brings them.
“I’m glad I’m able to do it. This is the next step. Why wouldn’t I do it? It’s my own flesh and blood. It gives me a great chance to give the time that up to now I haven’t been able to give. I’m looking forward to a new chapter.”
‘Molly’ is being replaced by Alan Clarke who joins Ollie Turner on the breakfast slot.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie