On her Twitter handle, RTÉ sports presenter Jacqui Hurley describes herself as a ‘messer’, so it’s no surprise to hear that whenever she and Des Cahill work together, “laughing and messing” often ensue.
“They have a job on their hands to get us to stop talking. Des is like me, he’s very extrovert — always having the chat. We’d be stopping on the road chatting to people and the producers would be saying to us: ‘Would you ever get back to the job’.”
Like two kids at the back of the class, then? “Absolutely.”
The Cork native is naturally outgoing and relaxed but says there have been “dark days” since her younger brother Sean died in a car accident in 2011.
“Life teaches you lessons — my mother always says that. When you lose a 25-year-old brother you realise that life is very precious,” she says.
“When I see my own kids (Luke, five, and Lily, two) it absolutely makes you appreciate how precious it is. It gives you great perspective. You only get to do this once — so why worry about something? You need to stay in the moment and be very positive.”
On the eve of the All- Ireland Hurling Final, Jacqui Hurley and Des Cahill host Up For The Match, on RTÉ One, tomorrow night at 9.50pm
What shape are you in?
I try go to the gym as often as I can — three to four times a week. I have my own programme I’ve built with weights.They do a body pump class in the gym — that’s probably my favourite class.
I’m in alright shape but nothing like the shape that I used to be in. I think two kids changes your balance in life.
I’m playing senior basketball with Meteors in Dublin. You might as well play for as long as you can, because there’s going to be a day when you’re not able.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I never miss breakfast. I have porridge with blueberries or berries. I believe it sets you up for the day. Everything in our house is homemade — I wouldn’t buy jars of sauce to make spaghetti bolognese.
Or, if I’m making lasagne, I’ll make everything from scratch. When we had kids, we realised the salt content in a lot of [convenience] foods is high.
We made a conscious decision that we needed to train ourselves to give them everything that they should be getting in life.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate — Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut — I have a weakness for it. And red wine.
What would keep you awake at night?
I’m a pretty good sleeper. I don’t worry — the worst has already happened to us. Life is for living. Go to bed. Get up the next day and start the day again.
How do you relax?
Watching sport. I know it’s my job but it’s also a hobby. Also, going to matches.
I love music and I love going to gigs and festivals, though I probably don’t get to do it as much any more.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Adele and Noel Gallagher. Musicians interest me because their lives are so much crazier [than sportspeople].
What’s your favourite smell?
Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf. For me, it’s light and breezy — I guess that’s what I’m like.
And freshly cut grass, it reminds me of the summer and the sporting season, particularly the GAA.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
Smaller would be great. My mother always says: ‘Look, I’m sorry there are some things I gave you that are fantastic and there are some things that are not’.
My legs weren’t built for mini skirts, they were built for pitches.
When did you last cry?
There’s no doubt there are hard days when I miss Sean and wish he was there.
I’ve also been at a couple of funerals of colleagues recently, which took us by surprise.
I always find funerals difficult.
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After my brother Sean died in 2011, my family & some of his friends set up @Team109Racing in his honour, to help young motorbike riders to make the breakthrough. This weekend the team stand on brink of becoming the first ever Republic of Ireland team to win a British Championship in the Dickies Junior Supersport class if Eunan McGlinchey can clinch the championship. He's had an amazing debut year on the track & he's a superstar. It's been an incredible journey, very proud of the whole team. Good luck Eunan! 📸 James McCann
What traits do you least like in others?
Dishonesty. I like people who are straight up.
What traits would you like to change in yourself?
I can be too loud at times.
Not everyone is an extrovert and sometimes it’s about recognising where you are and knowing your place.
I don’t always get that right.
Do you pray?
I’d class myself as spiritual without being overtly catholic.
I believe there is a higher power and I get strength from that.
I pray to Sean more than anyone else. I get different signs [from him] — I know not everyone is into that.
What cheers your day?
I like the sound of people laughing. Sunshine always makes me smile. I’m pretty positive most of the time.