"I feel I have a lot to offer my grandchildren in an educational way.
I had a great conversation with Luke recently about the historical background to Jesus.
Their language skills and how they use it as they learn. They laugh, they play, they shout, they argue, they sulk, they fight with one another, but I love them dearly, deeply and with all my heart. "I do not like the idea that these children will grow up, hopefully happily, have partners, have children, go into the world, have jobs, earn their living, study, fall in love, fall out of love and perhaps I might not be around to savour that part of their lives.
"I have seven grandchildren at the moment, and another is on the way.
My daughter Michelle has Jake, 13, Luke, 11, and Maggie, 6. My son George has George IV, 6, and Ava, 4, and there is another one due. "My daughter Alison is in London and has Emily, 4, and Grace, 1.
I think it's wonderful to have many activities when they're very young, because something will emerge which will be major.
Something they'll have a passion for, maybe a hobby for life. It was for Cian, who is the eldest, that I started to make up stories when he was small, and they're the stories that are coming out now in October in my children's book, Pigin of Howth." Gay Byrne adds, "I love treating them to the little brown paper bags of sweets, going into the shop and buying a big bag of sweets for them all." Miriam Ahern, mum of Cecilia and Georgina, and a charity fundraiser, has five grandchildren between the ages of two and nine. 'I want to watch something else.'" Former TD and Senator, Mary O'Rourke, has six grandchildren.