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Her marriage to rugby star Ben Foden collapsed in 2018 amid claims he had cheated. But three years on, Una Healy is in a positive place after moving back to her native Ireland with daughter Aoife, nine, and son Tadhg, six, to be close to her family.
While the 39-year-old admits the lockdown was tough as she faced uncertainty in her music career and struggled with homeschooling, she says the family battled through and she’s excited to get back on the road again.
Una found fame in the girlband The Saturdays with Frankie Bridge, Mollie King,Rochelle Humes and Vanessa White. They haven’t released material in seven years, but she says they all stay in touch in a WhatsApp group and admits she’d love to do a reunion…
Hi Una. What’s it like to be back home in Ireland?
I came back a few months ago because of the pandemic – it made sense to be close to my family. I can come back and forth to the UK for work now I’m double jabbed. Having my family around me to help with the kids is great. My mum is a very hands-on granny. But she’s very soft – she’s so different to what she was like with me as a child.
Do the kids love it there, too?
They really do. They’ve got loads of new little friends and they’ve settled into school.
What is your favourite thing about being a mum?
I just love it. I’m filled with pride for everything – even if it’s just a little thing they’ve won at school. It’s like reliving my youth too, because they’re at my old school. They’re lovely, I’m so proud of them. Aoife’s personality is like mine. Tadgh is really laid back and easy going. They get on well but they have their own little individual characters.
How did the last year affect your career?
Musicians were impacted as we couldn’t perform, which was really sad. But I was still able to write and record. I continued doing my show on Absolute Radio Country remotely. I’m hoping to get an album together and get back out on the road.
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How did you get on with homeschooling?
It was a challenge. The teachers were brilliant because it was thrown at them, too. Tadhg had only just started school and Aoife was in Year 2. Trying to teach them both at the same time was difficult. But we all got through it, didn’t we? Now they’re back at school, I find those hours so precious because I get to catch up with work and maintaining my fitness. I’m big into keeping fit – that’s my “me time”.
So do you manage to find time to work out very often?
I have a routine on the cross trainer and using kettlebells and hand weights. I do that three times a week. And I run or swim twice a week.
Where do you find your songwriting inspiration?
I write a lot about my life and how I’m feeling. But it’s nice to write about things people can relate to as well. You want it to feel like it’s a universal song.
Do you stay in touch with The Saturdays?
I haven’t seen the girls in a while due to the pandemic but we all keep in touch on a WhatsApp group. That’s the good thing with social media, you never really lose touch. They’re all doing well.
Do you think you’ll ever do a reunion?
We haven’t discussed it but I think it would be a shame not to do something in the future.
What would you tell your younger self?
I’d say follow your dreams, believe in yourself and never give up. There were many times I felt like things weren’t going to happen and I got disheartened. But I never gave up.
Tell us about your campaign with NOW to help parents keep their kids occupied…
There are 5,000+ episodes being added to the children’s content on NOW. To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Arty Crafty Kids to help parents with ideas for activities to do with their kids. These lovely little crafts are based on characters from the shows. They are quite easy to make but they’ll pass an hour or two.
Una has collaborated with streaming service NOW to help parents keep their children entertained with crafts, inspired by over 5,000 episodes of kids’ shows being added to the NOW Entertainment Membership at no additional cost. Watch the craft tutorials at youtube.com/c/nowtv
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