Tuesday 16 October 2018

Fine Gael's operation transformation: group loses 28 stones

BIG LOSERS: From left in the back row are Jerry Buttimer, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Neale Richmond, Noel Rock, Ray Butler, Gabrielle McFadden and Joe Carey. At the front is FG local area rep, Ann Grainger
BIG LOSERS: From left in the back row are Jerry Buttimer, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Neale Richmond, Noel Rock, Ray Butler, Gabrielle McFadden and Joe Carey. At the front is FG local area rep, Ann Grainger
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Running for office doesn't count as exercise - as most politicians in Leinster House will confirm.

However, a group of Fine Gael TDs and senators have decided to follow Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's lead and shift the Dail pounds. In total, the group has lost 28 stones since the current Dail was formed just over two years ago.

Meath Senator Ray Butler has lost an impressive seven and half stone by dramatically changing his diet and fitness regime. Mr Butler even managed to beat diabetes, which he was diagnosed with just over two years ago.

The senator, who is almost unrecognisable compared to his former self, said his transformation has caused a "domino effect" in the party.

"When people see other people looking better, it spurs them on to change their lifestyle," he said. Former Junior Minister for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy said her appointment made her rethink her eating habits. Ms Corcoran-Kennedy swapped energy bars for nuts and fruit and soon found the pounds falling off.

"It's only when you sit down and do your homework on calories that you see how unhealthy some food is," she said.

Turning 50 was Gabrielle McFadden's wake-up call. The senator has lost four stone since overhauling her diet and introducing exercise into her daily routine.

Dublin Rathdown Senator Neale Richmond was told by his doctor he needed to lose three stone or he would be dead by 50. "I thought I was big but not unfit because I played social rugby. I was very wrong. There's no reason to be nearly 19st," he said.

Sunday Independent

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