‘They’re connected to Ireland’ – Dermot O’Leary reveals how his parents are getting on since big move home
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‘They’re connected to Ireland’ – Dermot O’Leary reveals how his parents are getting on since big move home

X FACTOR presenter Dermot O’Leary has revealed how his parents Seán and Maria are faring following their big move back home to Ireland after almost 50 years in England.

The couple said goodbye to their beloved Essex last summer to make the emotional journey back to their native Co. Wexford.

Speaking on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Dermot said his parents are over visiting him in London at the moment and are “really enjoying” their Irish retirement.

When asked how Seán and Maria are getting on back in Wexford, Dermot laughed: "At the moment they're just eating porridge downstairs.”

He added: "A lot of that kind of post-Windrush Generation [post WW2 immigrants to Britain] came back to Ireland.

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"And a lot of people, I think – maybe just anecdotally from what I've heard – have struggled because they didn't go back regularly.

“I'm patron for the London Irish centre over here, which do a fantastic job in certainly helping a lot of that generation and the current generation now.

"I think because they've always had the connection from home and we've always spent the summers back home they've seen Ireland change and evolve.

“I think it's a bit of a culture shock but I don't think it's as much of a culture shock for them."

Dermot explained that dad Seán has wasted no time getting back into the swing of things since his arrival home in June.

Squeezed in a last visit and supper to O'Leary HQ before Mam and Dad take the trip back to Wexford. They've loved it here. Since they've moved in 68 the people have been nothing but kind, welcoming and generous to them in a time when it wasn't easy to be Irish in Britain. But, home calls. So thanks Maria and Sean, for being brave enough to pack up as kids, leave your homes, loved ones and move somewhere no one knows you. Here's to all our parents, and what they do for us. Your daughter has a PHD, your son... well he talks out loud for a living, but let's gloss over that. Est 1968, with a final supper of home grown potatoes, obvs, and one last wistful gaze at those beautiful big Essex/Suffolk skies. Here's to act three. X

A post shared by Dermot O'Leary (@radioleary) on

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"My dad, immediately, has been watching hurling and camogie every weekend so he seems pretty happy," Dermot said.

"And they're down in the south... So they've got the great coastal walks and everything down there.”

O’Leary added: “They're really enjoying it."

Dermot, 44, is back on TV screens in Britain and Ireland with the long-awaited return of X Factor to ITV and TV3 on Saturday and Sunday nights.

“We're just in the middle of filming the Judges' Houses bit,” Dermot explained. “We go to various nice locations around the world.

"We're quite honest about the fact that they're not all their houses now, otherwise Louis Walsh would own about 20 houses, including stables outside Barcelona!"

"Where is Louis’ house this year?" asked Tubridy.

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"His house this year is in Istanbul!" explained Dermot.

"Well that makes sense," said Tubridy.

Dermot laughed: "Of course, yeah - he's always there in the souks!"