Una Healy: Lockdown as a single parent 'was very tough'

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·3-min read

Watch: Una Healy recalls her audition for The Saturdays

When the UK went into the first lockdown back in March 2020, Una Healy was still adjusting to life as a single mum, after separating from rugby player Ben Foden in 2018.

What Healy didn’t expect from that first lockdown was just how tough it would be as a single parent in the UK, living miles away from her family in Ireland. Speaking on White Wine Question Time, she said she felt like a hermit during that time.

“It was very tough the first time around,” she told host Kate Thornton.

“I was in the UK —just myself and the two kids — and I had no support, no family around me. I wasn't allowed to bring the kids to the supermarket, so I was getting deliveries and I was literally like a massive hermit in the house with the two kids and I found it really hard.”

Listen: Una Healy reveals her first impressions of her Saturday’s bandmates

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So hard in fact, that soon after, she made a decision to move herself and the kids back to her native Ireland.

Read more: Una Healy says she's 'very happy' nearly 3 years on from 'traumatic' Ben Foden split

“I said I'd never ever go through that again, so that's why I've moved back to Ireland, actually,” she explained.

Una Healy on the catwalk during the Oxfam Fighting Poverty Catwalk Show fashion show, held at Ambika 3 during London Fashion Week A/W 2019. Picture date: Monday February 18, 2018. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Una Healy on the catwalk during the Oxfam Fighting Poverty Catwalk Show fashion show, 2018 (Matt Crossick/Empics)

“I'm here now. I've got my parents that live next door, basically, so I've got lots of support and just other people.”

Describing going back home as “exciting”, she felt the whole move was really symbolic as it reminded her of when she first came over to the UK years ago to join The Saturdays.

“I found it was quite like exciting moving across the sea because when I moved to the UK 12 years ago, for The Saturdays, I came over on the ferry with my car and it's kind of like done a full circle going back again!” she laughed.

The Saturdays perform on stage at Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)
The Saturdays perform on stage at Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

She continued: “I'm happy to be home. I am very settled in here now. I'd always come to visit, and I will still have quite a few friends around, so it's actually really nice.

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"I love it. I do think it's important to kind of cleanse and to make a new start.”

As well as the joy of moving near her parents again, the singer, who has a new single Swear It All Again out now, said the lockdown also gave her a chance to bond with her two kids, Aoife, 8, and Tadhg, 6 – and finally get to grips with her new solo parent status.

Una Healy has two children with ex-husband Ben Foden, Aoife Belle and Tadhg John (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Barclaycard)
Una Healy has two children with ex-husband Ben Foden, Aoife Belle and Tadhg John (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Barclaycard)

She told Thornton: “I think that's kind of why I don't want to complain about it, because in that first lockdown — when it was just me and the two kids —we really did cement as a unit, the three of us.

"That was a very important time, I think, for me, as a person and as a mother.”

Healy split from her last boyfriend Limerick pro hurler David Breen in 2020, but recently told The Sun that she is now ready to find love once again.

Hear Una Healy talk about how she struggled with life as a single mum after her split on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Watch: Ben Foden opens up about his split from Una Healy