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One a day Live

RTÉ newscaster Eileen Whelan opens up about becoming a mum again at 48

RTÉ newsreader Eileen Whelan has opened up about the fears she had before becoming a mother again at 48.

Seven years ago, she and her husband Larry, underwent IVF treatment to conceive their son Larry Jr, she told the RTÉ Guide.

The newsreader had her first child Seán in 1999 but returned to Ireland in 2000, after the relationship ended.

The broadcaster attributes meeting her US husband Larry Donnelly, a lecturer in law, to her friend and colleague Teresa Mannion, as it was her that suggested they attend the party he was at.

“Now listen to me mum, marry him,” her son Seán said on the couple’s third date and low and behold, less than two years later, they were married.

When Eileen disclosed with some of her friends that the newlyweds were trying to have a baby, they told her she was “mad”.

She continued: "I didn't think I was mad because we were really trying to get pregnant and we were so lucky."

After admitting to her sister that she was “really scared” about being a mother again, she was told to put it out of her head.

“She told me to put it out of my head, that I'd been a mother before and after all mum had reared 14 of us.

But it's really lonely when you have a baby. No one tells you about that. I suffered from that loneliness. It wasn't so bad the second time around for me

“I was back in Ireland, I was happy in my relationship. I had been with Seán's father and I wasn't happy. I still feel that pressure on my chest when I think back on it."

She spoke to the weekly magazine about being a 55-year-old mum to Larry, who’s now going into first class.

When I was just pregnant with Larry I was already thinking of his confirmation. I will be 60 or so

"But I feel so young and even when Larry says ‘mum, will you come out and play football with me’ and you’re thinking ‘Oh God’ but then when you’re out there running around you’re thinking this is fresh air and exercise and I’m still able to kick a ball and play tennis.”

Eileen credits her mum Ellen, who she lost in 2015, with helping her get through motherhood’s toughest moments.

"In those moments when little Larry is driving me nuts I'm thinking 'Jesus mum, how did you do it?'