Earlier this week, RTÉ launched their new season with 18 hours of new Irish-produced drama, the return of Fair City, a bumper sporting calendar, new investigative programming, as well as exciting new documentaries, arts and children's programming.   

Big changes were announced on RTÉ Radio 1 as Claire Byrne takes the helm at the mid-morning radio slot; Sarah McInerney and Cormac Ó hEadhra take the wheel at Drivetime; Áine Lawlor and Mary Wilson join Ireland's number one radio show, Morning Ireland, and Bryan Dobson moves to lunchtime radio news with RTÉ News at One with Bryan Dobson.

And for Claire, the week has been wall to wall news, such that she could "It's certainly not like any other August week I've ever experienced in my career! It's just non-stop news."

Add to this the fact that the star presenter contracted Covid-19 earlier this year, which saw her broadcast from her garden shed while she quarantined from her family, and it's surely been one of Byrne's most memorable years yet. Although she's happily recovered, she's said it's taken months to fully get over the virus and has developed "a new allergy". 

Still, the presenter made time to spend quality time with her family, and leaned into the push for staycations as travel restrictions remained in place. In the process, she discovered a love for a very different kind of family holiday.

"When I had Covid, I was well enough to work so I was working from home. Over the summer we went camping, which was an experience!" she laughs.

"We've never been camping before, we took a tent, the children and the dog and we went camping in Wicklow. Absolutely beautiful and we got great weather. Then we went camping in Belfast, which was just torrential rain and storms." 

"We fell in love with camping, we'd do it again", she adds, but the real lesson was in how making cherished family memories doesn't have to rely on a big blow-out holiday each year. 

"We also realised that children don't care whether you get on a plane or a boat or not. They care about going on holidays with their parents. We'll be doing a lot more of staying at home in Ireland because it's easier and it's cheaper. 

"It doesn't matter where you are as long as the children are having a good time." 

As for how her children have responded to the virus – especially while she was sick – she said she was surprised at how "adaptable" they were in the midst of such chaos. 

"Even the three-year-old loves doing the hand sanitiser when we're going into the supermarket. They just get it, they just understand it and if something's not happening they'll say, 'Oh, that's because of the virus' and they got on with it.

"I'm sort of heartened when I think of that and when I think of the ones that I have that are going back to school. I think they'll just work it out ... maybe quicker than we do, in some cases!"