Doireann Garrihy chats wedding plans, life changes and her new home

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

Doireann Garrihy is happy. Really happy. In fact it feels like this DWTS co-host and 2FM breakfast show presenter has come home. And in many ways she has. If you look at her closely here, chilling on her couch at home, contentment is what you see. And, it’s something we haven’t necessarily seen before. Because you see, this is Doireann’s home, this is her home that hard work has literally built. Years of saving her way through radio, TV and podcasting jobs has landed her here, in her funky 2-bed semi-D, seven minutes from her parent’s house, in Castleknock, Dublin.

This also happens to be the first time she has opened her front door to press, making this an exclusive at-home shoot. But, it’s not just the house that has her beaming, there is another element to her happy equation – it’s called love.

This 32-year-old Garrihy is hook line. And he, podcaster, comedian and author Mark Mehigan is similarly smitten. Currently, they are the quintessential love puppies, still in the heady glow of 5-month engaged bliss. How we’d love to have captured that at home here today, too. But they’re cute enough to know that that is a stretch too far, that that might just be a bit too cringe – which is fair! But still, we asked, because we are curious.

Because they are a cool little couple (mind you, they’re not little, Doireann is 5 8’, and Mark is 6 1’ which is totally irrelevant really but irrelevant details do paint a picture!). And the pictures of them together at various events (take a look online) do show them stuck together, physically very close. It really is adorable.

Our curiosity about them goes deeper though. Both are comedians who roast (Mark) and do impersonations (Doireann) for a living. They are a couple with many punchlines. And, with good hair! While we’re not sure about Mark’s hair-ancestry (Doireann has good hair roots: Mum Clare, Aoibhin and Ailbhe!) his tousled semi-quiffed locks are nearly as cool as his (almost) all-black wardrobe. He’s a bit of a dude this lad and, this dude has a past (don’t we all?). But, it was a past that made him want to change his future. So he did.

In March, Mark published a really compelling book, This Is Not a Self-Help Book, about his experience of alcohol and cocaine addiction, and his subsequent recovery. His ambition is not to change people’s lives but to encourage those struggling to ask for help. This is all new territory – for both. They met not even two years ago and it was Mark’s first sober date of his life. Both instantly knew that this was it.

It is now taking place later this year.

It will be one winter wedding we’ll have our begging bowl out for!

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

Thank you for welcoming us into your home, Doireann. Is it a house full of love?! Are the two of you skipping about the place?!
I suppose we are, yeah! It’s almost six months since we moved in and I cannot believe how fast time has flown. We are having a lot of fun.

We’d have loved a bit of Mark today but alas no…no sign of him!
He made himself busy! We do a lot together but there are certain things where we’ll say, ‘Ah no, you do that on your own’! We are conscious of being separate entities!

Five months engaged now – has it been the happiest five of your life?
Definitely. The day of my engagement was the happiest day of my life. It was such a warm day, such a lovely time of year as well. It was the 30th of November, the first weekend of true Christmas buzz in Dublin. We went into town and got together with family and friends and it was heavenly. All our festive plans turned into extra engagement celebrations. Then it was straight into Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). I got engaged on a Thursday and I was back to work on the Monday and it was like, ‘Does anybody even know I’m engaged?!’ [laughing]

You do feel a bit different, don’t you?
You do! It was like, how dare the clocks keep ticking and the rat race go back to normal! [laughing]

Are you still in the headiest of glows now, to the point that you can’t yet see any flaws in him at all?!
[Laughing] Oh no, we definitely see flaws in each other and I think living together kinda puts the magnifying glass up to that, as well. We only met in October ’22 so I think people would probably look on and think ‘That’s quite fast’ but, without wanting to be too cringe or cliché about it, when you know you know! We’ve both seen a lot and done a lot and we both met at a time that was right for each other.

Now strange question Doireann, but we’re curious about your wardrobe set-up and, Mark’s especially! Is there anything in there that is not black?!
[Laughing] Do you know what…I think Mark is probably one of the most stylish people I have ever met!

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

He’s very stylish, we agree Doireann, though love does have the rose-tinters on ya!
[Laughing] He does wear a lot of black but he wears it extremely well and he knows when to inject colour [laughing]! I know this is cringe to say but I think he’s a very handsome man!

And colour looks great on him!

Even cringier!
[Laughing] I feel like he’s ahead of his time in that he has a sort of capsule wardrobe of really good staples and then he accessories with cool pieces like jackets or shoes or sunglasses. He has actually quite a sustainable wardrobe in many ways [laughing]!

We’ll nominate him next year in the Sustainable category in the Platinum VIP Style Awards! We love his hair too. Does it take him long to sort out the fringe flick in the morning?
No time at all! It’s sickening the way some men can roll out of bed and look a certain way and there we are doing all these things to look somewhat good. He’s very low maintenance.

We’ll quit the Mark adoration after this next question now, but he’s very tall, too, isn’t he?!
People often say that to us; I’m 5’ 8 and he’s 6’ 1.

Both being comedians who roast and impersonate, do you take the mick out of each other at home or is that too close to the bone?
Of course, we do! Is that not the foundation of all lasting relationships?! [Laughs] Mark has the quickest, sharpest wit I have ever come across, he can out funny anyone in a room. I listen to his podcast The Weekly Roast and have to pause it repeatedly because there are jokes within jokes within jokes. He is a gifted comedian. He leaves the impersonations to me…his South Dublin accent can’t quite stretch any further than Ballsbridge!

Is there a date set for the wedding?
There is! A date is set for the end of the year!

Oooh! That’s fierce exciting! The end of this year is so near and, very close to DWTS’ pre-Christmas recording schedule…
DWTS was a huge success this year but we never know for sure if it will be back though I don’t doubt it will not be.

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

Mark’s just published his book, This is Not A Self Help Book, But It Might Just Help You. How has the publication of such a personal memoir of his struggle with addiction impacted him?
Well, I think you’d have to ask him that…

How has living with a non-drinker impacted you?
Only positively. Since I met Mark how I socialise, or how we socialise, has changed. But realistically I think it’s probably a life stage thing as well because I don’t go out a lot anymore. I love to meet up with my school friends in one of our houses and have a few drinks, or with my sisters or with my family, but apart from that I really don’t go out a whole lot. Mark and I are both real creatures of comfort, too. Mark has this phrase he uses about ‘settling in’ and every evening we have a ‘settling in’ time so, he’ll be like, ‘Okay, you have that during the day and I have this at this time so we’re probably settling in at 5pm’! Which means we’re both definitely at home and the only reason we’ll be leaving is to walk Bertie!

That must have suited your former life on 2FM Breakfast!
I used to be desperate about going to bed early and I’d be scrolling on my phone until 11.30pm. Now we’re both tucked up in bed by 10pm and it really has had a positive effect on me and that’s not to  downplay it because of course being in a relationship with someone who is in recovery is something I need to consider day-to-day. Of course, it’s a thing that runs parallel in our lives, but it’s nothing that has had a negative impact really.

The sober-conscious culture is ever-growing. It does make you think will alcohol be like smoking in years to come, where we’ll be shocked by how much we all used to drink.
I know, I know. There does seem to be a shift. People around my age and life stage do seem to be focussing more on getting up and being alive and invigorated at the weekends and not wasting their day at home recovering on the couch. Of course, sometimes I love to go out on a Saturday night and be on the couch the whole next day. But yes, I do think we will look back in years to come and go, that was a lot.

Okay, the house. All your hard work funded the purchase of this home, which you bought with the housing crisis in full swing. You must have set up a fairly solid savings vault on Revolut?!
It was not easy and it did take a lot of planning and saving. The sense of achievement I felt when I got the keys was massive and yes, I was really proud. But when I got the keys it was just me and Bertie here in a house that hadn’t been touched since the 80s. There were times throughout the renovation when I thought, ‘What have I got myself in for?’. Luckily I moved into Mark’s house in Dun Laoghaire while renovations were underway; I was also extremely lucky that my dad, who was in construction for so many years, was such a brilliant help. I also had two amazing architects, both girls, similar in age to me, and they asked questions and were informed by me and how I lived. They asked things like, ‘Are you someone who goes on the laptop with your feet up on the couch’?

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

Function before form, isn’t that what they say?
Totally. All of these details have made it a space that I find so comfortable and liveable.

You guys both fixed up the garden over the weekend in advance of VIP’s arrival so are you both handy enough at DIY?
Mark is definitely handier than I am, more proactive than I am. He’s also really creative with a great visual eye so his input has been great. When I first bought the house I didn’t even know Mark so I cannot quite believe we are both here now and that we are engaged and that this is our home. It’s just mad how fast it’s all happened.

Let’s talk about your podcasts…
Yes, the podcast! I started with The Laughs of Your Life podcast five years ago and I never could have anticipated how that would have grown and evolved, it’s just been amazing. It was just an idea I had on the road from Dublin to Clare one day and once I got to Clare I sent a voice note to my family and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ From then it’s grown and we’ve had a little over 100 episodes. But I kinda felt that while it’s great that I have that podcast where I’m an interviewer, I think I lost a bit of me having my own say. So that’s why the podcast, Doireann and Friends was born, which I’m delighted to say we’re bringing back again this summer! It’s a mishmash of some of the same, with great guests and celebrities but, a lot more of me and my general musings – with some impressions!

And it will run until the first Monday of August. 
You roll from gig to gig, from project to project.

Are you just making career-hay while the sun shines?
My mum says I just love to have projects on the go – like dad – he never stays still for long. I love working hard and I’m not ashamed to say that. And putting on Laughs of Your Life live in the Bord Gais last year – to actually be in a room with people who have come on this journey with me – was amazing. It’s not easy to get kids babysat and to get into town to a show, I don’t take that support ever for granted. But by keeping all the balls in the year, whether it’s radio or TV, podcasting, or social media, it has allowed me to keep things interesting.

Doireann Garrihy Pic: Evan Doherty

While you can see your followers on social and the JNLR figures on radio and TV – seeing physical bodies in a room like in the Bord Gais must hit differently.
Oh massively. And Donncha (rugby legend and breakfast co-host) was one of my guests one of the nights, and Carl as well – they are both like brothers to me – but Donncha has seen a lot of crowds in stadiums and he said afterwards, ‘Doireann, I don’t think you’ve taken enough time to realise what it was like in that room on both nights, there was such an energy of love and support. And you need to celebrate that instead of moving on to the next thing constantly. You need to revel in it because it is an achievement’.

He’s right. Also because it can be hard to put yourself out there, can’t it? You may make it look easy, you may come across as confident and self-assured but deep down we’re sure you are not.
Oh totally. Anyone creative goes through bouts thinking, ‘Am I doing the right thing, am I on the right path, am I still connecting with the people I originally did?’ I think it’s important to almost keep yourself on your toes. But, I think there’s a difference between hate and constructive criticism. As hard as it can be at times you need to be open to constructive criticism. And as for the haters, I just block them out, I don’t go there.

Do you get a lot of hate?
For the most part, it’s fine. I kind of opened up about it on Instagram there recently when somebody asked me how had I got into the shape I’d got into. Basically, someone had sent me a screenshot some years ago of a forum online that was discussing how much weight I had gained during lockdown, saying things like, do you see her on this camera from this angle, on this show, on this night. And it was a dissection of how much weight I’d gained. At the time it absolutely crippled me and affected me for so long. But now if there is negativity about me online, I don’t go near it.

Steer well clear, Doireann. So, you love a project – and the biggest project of 2024 is the wedding! Excited?
[Laughing] What a project! I’ve been trying to make a conscious decision to do a bit less this summer because I don’t want to be wrecked for my wedding day. It’s gonna be magic.

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