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Blathnaid forced to undergo major operation after latest health scare

TV presenter Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh has been rocked by another bout of health problems, the Herald can reveal.

The 40-year-old mum of four has told how she was forced to undergo a major procedure to remove half of her colon in January.

"I had a huge operation where half of my colon was removed, so I'm only getting back on my feet now. There'll be a check-up in April, so my plan is by the start of May to put it all behind me," said Blathnaid, who has been recovering at her Dublin home for the past eight weeks.

"I didn't know what they'd find and I'm really lucky that everything's on the mend. It's definitely true that when you're less stressed you convalesce better."

Meath-born Blathnaid, who has suffered recurring issues as a result of a twisted bowel in 2009, admitted that she can't wait to return to the helm of the St Patrick's Day festival this weekend, one of her favourite hosting gigs.

"I always ask can I do it, it's always great fun people get really into it ... RTE are great at special occasions, they'll pull out the big guns for the big gigs.


"I'm loving getting out again, you do get a bit of cabin fever, but I'm not rushing back to things either.

"People have been saying I look great and I'm laughing, because they don't know what it's been like recently."

The flame-haired anchor was in training for white collar boxing at her local GAA club in Dalkey, when she was forced to pull out due to her poor health-- but is now hoping to pick up where she left off in terms of training.

"I was really enjoying the training and I was told I was getting quite good, so I'm planning to get back and do it next year now instead.

"I've been given the thumbs up by doctors now and I'm not as tired anymore either... I'm getting physio and out walking a lot to get my fitness back up.

"I did Pilates before and found that incredibly helpful so I'm going to get back to that twice a week as soon as I can," she added.

Unlike the majority of her colleagues at the Montrose station, who are employed on a contractual basis, Blathnaid enjoys a staff job in RTE.

While there are no immediate telly projects in the pipeline, she told the Herald she's "lucky" to have a secure position.

"It's unusual these days and I'm lucky that I'm always busy and doing something, it's tough in there ... as well as everywhere else these days.

The presenter admitted that she's very "tacky" when it comes to her patriotic choice of outfit for Saturday's televised parade.

"I'm so tacky, I always wear green and I've got the kids green padded jackets for this year too, the older two are refusing to wear them though," she laughed.