Inside RTE star Tommy Tiernan's private life from kids and marriage to painful family split

By Dylan O'Neill & Sam Roberts

From the loveable dad Jerry in Derry Girls to the host of the popular Saturday night chat show on RTE, Tommy Tiernan has imprinted himself on to the hearts of Irish audiences, but what is known about the comedian and his personal life?

Fans will be looking forward to the return of the hugely popular presenter to RTE One at 9.35pm on Saturday for his weekly slot.

And being the host of a chat show, Tiernan doesn't get much opportunity to answer the questions he poses to his guests, and from what we know, he seems pretty comfortable to keep his private life out of the spotlight.

Tommy married his wife Yvonne in 2009. He has six children - three from their marriage and three from his previous relationship with Jayme Street.

Speaking about his modern family arrangement, Tiernan said: “It's not familiar, put it that way. Most people in the country grew up in one family,” he told the Irish Independent.

Tommy Tiernan and wife Yvonne (Instagram)

“Each of the families I'm connected to would regard themselves as self-contained families.

“I'm not at the head, the mothers are at the head, I'm more like the mischievous lieutenant, whom people don't really trust or listen to.

“Family life just happens in front of you and you can't control it."

Yvonne is no stranger to performance world, with her own interview series and podcast called "The Couch with Yvonne Tiernan" as well as managing and performing, with bands such as The Chieftains, The Grey Willows and The Raines.

She is currently training to be an therapist with the non-profit group Let’s Get Talking, which he does on top of acting as executive producer on the Tommy and Hector podcast.

In those rare moments when he talks about his family, Tommy has called his wife a “very tolerant woman" when it comes to being mentioned in his stand-up.

"My wife tells people that I have a real wife and a comedy wife. That's how we survive as a couple but the reason people laugh at what I say is because it's recognisable and couples relate to it."

Both spouses are incredibly proud and supporting of the work the other does. Yvonne once wrote for the Irish Examiner that “for a long time I managed other people who are performers.

“One thing I do know for certain is that I couldn’t love the man I married any more than I do and I am a much better person for being married to him.

“My husband Tommy is one of the most generous people I know. Not just in a material way, but with his time and his loyalty."

However Tommy's earlier life was rocked by a painful family split which he don't thinks he has ever recovered from.

The comedian had three children with long-term girlfriend Jayme Street before marrying Yvonne Mahon in 2009.

Speaking back in 2019, he talked candidly about feeling 'lost' when his first family broke up.

“I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from splitting up with my first family. That’s always a tough thing," he explained.

"Once you move into uncharted territory, it’s tough, and for my generation we were the first Irish generation who have got divorced."

He told the Sunday Independent’s Life magazine at the time: "We had no map. You do feel lost. It’s a little like gay couples - we had no example to see how to do the best by everyone in the situation.

"I wish I had more confidence in it - in the decision itself.

“And I wish I had more confidence in the new situation - how to be a father who is not living full-time with his children.”


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