The shape I'm in: Hector Ó hEochagáin, broadcaster

BROADCASTER Hector Ó hEochagáin is on the move again to celebrate TG4’s 20th anniversary.

The shape I'm in: Hector Ó hEochagáin, broadcaster

This time he is about to take to the skies for a tour of Central America to celebrate TG4’s 20th anniversary.

“I’m very proud. I’ve travelled to over 100 countries for TG4 and now I’m coming back with a series from Central America, travelling to Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize,” he says.

However, for his own family holiday this year he intends to keep things simple and Irish.

Married to Dympna, the couple live in Galway with their two sons, Rian, 11, and Shane, 10.

“We don’t plan it. If the weather remains like this you could go anywhere. You could go to West Cork, Connemara ...”

An ambassador for Healthy Town 2016, Hector is encouraging Navan, Co Meath locals — and people living in towns right across Ireland — to get involved with health and wellbeing clubs, groups and events in their community.

The programme will run over an eight-week period during September/October.

* Find Healthy Town Ireland on Facebook —

What shape are you in?

I go to a gym maybe three or four times a week. I do two body parts a session. So yesterday I did stomach and shoulders, then did my 20 minutes cardio to finish.

I’m the exact same weight I’ve always been — about 12st. I’m the same 32in waist and 32in leg that I was when I was 18.

I’m pretty happy about that. I just have bigger biceps, bigger shoulders, I can see my triceps.

It’s quite nice when they do come out. But it takes a bit of work.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

We try to cook decent dinners for our children. I suppose we cut out a lot of white breads in our house. We don’t cook as many potatoes as we used to.

We try and have a balanced diet. We eat meat. We’ll also have our pork, we’ll have our fish.

We’ll have a lot of chicken and then some days I do turkey burgers instead of normal beef burgers.

I think we are trying to cook healthily like a lot of Irish families.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Lindt dark chocolate with a hint of orange with a cup of tea about 8pm.

What would keep you awake at night?

Sometimes I think about work or projects, I shut it off.

I know a lot of people might have problems sleeping but if you do go to the gym a couple of times a week you sleep like a baby at night time.

The next day obviously you’ll be a bit stiff but I like that feeling.

How do you relax?

I love watching sport on the couch. I train my kids in soccer and Gaelic. I’m very passionate about it.

On my days off I like cutting the lawn and doing a bit of gardening.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Sean Boylan, Alex Ferguson, Steve Davis the snooker player who is also a DJ.

He can be the DJ after the meal— he’s really good.

What’s your favourite smell?

The smell of petrol when I put it into my lawn mower on a lovely summer’s evening. Also the smell of cut grass.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I think I got my mother’s pointy nose but other than that nothing.

I grew up a red head I am proud of being a red head.

When is the last time you cried?

I nearly cried when I saw the husband of Jo Cox, the politician who was gunned down, talking so bravely on the BBC.

I’m a dad. That’s all you got to say.

What trait do you least like in others?

I don’t like falseness in people. There’s a lot of it out there.

What trait do you least like about yourself?

My mother always told me I eat way too fast. If there is one thing I’ve got to do is to slow down when I eat. I think that’s an Irish thing.

Do you pray?

I try and go to Mass and I try and say a few prayers. Mass brings you a sense of community, a sense of getting to know the people in your parish.

And whether that’s standing on the sideline of the pitch — we need places to go to.

What would cheer up your day?

Seeing my kids line out for the local club in GAA. Seeing my son pop a ball over the bar from 20 or 30 yards.

Seeing the four of us sitting down and having a nice meal together — they’re talking to us and we’re talking to them.

Friends are also very important —they are almost like family.

More in this section

ieParenting Logo
Writers ieParenting

Our team of experts are on hand to offer advice and answer your questions here

Your digital cookbook

ieStyle Live 2021 Logo
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Discover the great outdoors on Ireland's best walking trails

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd