BROUGHT up on a farm in Inchmore, Co Limerick, the weather has always been a feature in Deric Ó h’Artagáin’s life.
“We would always be keeping an eye on the forecast, especially during the summer, to get the hay in on time to get the silage in on time before the heavy rain came,” says the TV3 weather forecaster.
He also has an enduring love of the great outdoors, with gruelling triathlons his sport of choice — in the past five years he has notched up more than 40 triathlons.
He has decided to shift gear in 2016, setting up #TRI10 “to take 10 newbies under my wing to participate in 10 triathlons around the country.” Chris Donoghue from Newstalk is already on board.
Aiming to raise €10,000, the proceeds will go towards 10 sports-related charitable causes. He runs through the exhausting programme, barely pausing for breath: “North Tipp Sprint; Lough Cutra, Gort; Try Athy; Hook Or By Crook, Dunmore East; Hell Of The West, Kilkee; Lough Derg Tri; Top Of The Mourne; BHW King of Greystones; Dublin City Triathlon; Jail Break Spike Island.”
But it’s not all high-octane living. A trip to India with the Hope Foundation 14 months ago to make a documentary was life-changing.
“It really makes you sit back and think about how much we have and how lucky we are to have it,” he says.
“They have so little and yet they are quite a happy people. Even when I was in and around the slums everyone was really very welcoming.
“It still affects me a year or so on. It makes you reflect on life more. I am not as worried about material things as I used to be. I live life now for the moment.”
- See: YouTube: The Real Slum Dogs- Journey of Hope.
- Deric Ó h’Artagáin is a weather presenter with Ireland AM, TV3
What shape are you in?
At 34, I’m probably in the best shape of my life. I train and exercise daily while keeping my food intake clean and nutritional.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I love to cook and currently I’m venturing into veganism to help supplement my diet. It definitely forces you to become more creative in the kitchen. I’m planning on doing a vegan course in the Cooks Academy this February with The Happy Pear twins to help improve my culinary skills.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
As I gym or swim most days, on Saturdays I love to pig out in front of the telly or with a good Netflix series. A big tub of Ben & Jerry’s with truckloads of dark chocolate.
What keeps you awake at night?
When I travelled to Calcutta with the Hope Foundation to make a documentary on the street children. It makes you think twice and realise how lucky we are when you come face-to-face with such extreme poverty.
How do you relax?
As I’m always on the move, finding time to relax can be quite difficult at times. I do love to kitesurf as I feel at one with nature — just me and the open water. I also love a break-away every once in a while. My ideal destinations are Monart Spa just outside Enniscorthy, Co Wexford or the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My top three would be Terry Wogan, Graham Norton and Adele. What a night of fun and frolics that would be.
What’s your favourite smell?
I love the smell of freshly baled hay. Growing up on a farm, I spent many my summers as a young fella out in the fields with my family.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
I always wanted to be taller. All my cousins are 6ft plus but at 5ft 7ins I’ve finally accepted it’s not going to change. Good things come in small packages right?
When is the last time you cried?
At the funeral of a close friend’s mother who was taken in her prime. It was a very sad day.
What trait do you like in others?
I love loyalty and honesty. I don’t have many friends but the ones I do have, I treasure dearly.
What traits do you least like about yourself?
I try to please everyone but that’s not always possible. Less is more from now on.
Do you pray?
I often do. I think it’s important to have faith and to believe in a higher power.
What would cheer up your day?
A simple smile always makes me smile. I’m a happy-go-lucky type of person who loves to laugh.
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