Monday 21 October 2019

Secrets revealed: Seven things we didn't know about Irish celebrities

Sharing little-known facts about yourself is the latest Facebook trend. Andrea Smith asked five well-known figures to reveal theirs.

Rosanna Davison on her hols.
Rosanna Davison on her hols.
Rosanna Davison
Lisa Murphy
Mary Mitchell O'Connor
Sybil Mulcahy
John Creedon

Andrea Smith

It's the latest Facebook fad. Every time you log on to the social-networking site this week, someone else has been nominated to share seven things about themselves that aren't commonly known.

And for those of us who are nosey (guilty as charged) the responses have proven to be fascinating. Some come as a delightful surprise - when you learn something funny or embarrassing about a pal that you never knew before, or else have forgotten in the misty annals of time. Then there are those who miss the point of the exercise altogether, and just state the bloomin' boringly obvious.

There are some Facebook friends who I now regard in a new light, having been reminded of a funny or exciting side to them that got lost when we all got boringly grown-up and responsible. And then there are those who confess to things that are, shall we say, best left in the past!

Wanting to see how some well-known faces fared in the '7 things' challenge, we set them the task of coming up with some facts about themselves that we previously didn't know. Want to know who broke someone else's nose, and who dreams of being a world-class ice skater, although she has yet to master staying upright? Read on...

Rosanna Davison - Model and Nutritionist

Rosanna Davison

1. I used to be really into athletics and represented my school in the All-Irelands in high jump and 100m hurdles. I also played netball for UCD. At one stage, I considered a career as a professional athlete.

2. I used to have a pony called Harley Davison.

3. I'm extremely clumsy, and when anyone in my family drops something, makes a mess or trips up, they refer to it as 'doing a Rosie!'

4. I played hockey at school and once accidentally broke a girl's nose during a match. She ran off the pitch with blood streaming down her face, and I felt so bad.

5. I'm actually very low-maintenance, and spend most of my time in workout gear with messy hair.

6. I love to cook in my spare time and am always experimenting with recipes. Going vegetarian and then vegan meant I had to teach myself to make dishes.

7. I love to paint and draw as a hobby, and my favourite artist is Caravaggio.

Lisa Murphy - TV personality

Lisa Murphy

1. I didn't drink until my late 20s, so I was the designated driver for my girlfriends when we went out. I was under strict instructions to make them take their make-up off before they went to bed.

2. I was so shy and nervous growing up that my mum had to go to the school principal and ask if I could be excused from reading aloud in class as I'd be hyperventilating with nerves. I once took a Valium she gave me before a first date to relax.

3. I wanted to work in an office, where nobody would see me. Maths and economics were my favourite subjects, so I went to study accountancy at Dublin Business School. I couldn't have imagined back then how my life would work out.

4. Every time I pass a church, a graveyard, an ambulance or a dead animal on the road, I have to bless myself. My niece Sophia says: "What's it for this time, Auntie Lisa?"

5. Some of the things I've done include flying on Concorde to New York and meeting Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. He was lovely. Such a personable and engaging man, with a really warm energy about him.

6. I taught my sister and all my girlfriends how to drive and they all passed their tests on the first attempt. I once threw my friend Rachael in at the deep end and made her drive into the city centre and into a multi-storey car park. On the way home, her car broke down on Dame Street and I had to get out and push it. I was wearing high heels and a little skirt because I was going out afterwards, but luckily a garda came to help.

7. As a teenager, my mum wouldn't let me have sleepovers, so I used to sneak Rachael in after we came home from dancing. I shared a room with my sister Kira, and one day I thought she was waking up, so I threw Rachael to the ground and rolled her under the bed and she stayed there for the rest of the night.

Mary Mitchell O'Connor - Fine Gael TD

Mary Mitchell O'Connor

1. I'm a farmer's daughter, and in my youth I would have helped my dad during lambing and calving season. I still read the Irish Farmers Journal every week.

2. I'm allergic to shellfish and have had a number of anaphylactic shocks. I carry an EpiPen just in case.

3. I was a total tomboy in my school, and loved nothing more than playing football against the boys in primary school. I love Gaelic football and have trained school football teams. I enjoy nothing more than a day out at Croke Park.

4. I learned Irish dancing and won a few medals and cups for my efforts. I loved wearing my Irish dancing costume, which my mother embroidered for me.

5. I have huge energy, thank God, and only need five to six hours of sleep every night.

6. I owned a retail shop in the past, and can relate to the stress, worries and financial difficulties faced by the self-employed, traders, entrepreneurs and business people.

7. I studied honours maths at the Christian Brothers School, Tuam. We didn't have honours maths in our girls' school. I loved the maths and the boys!

Sybil Mulcahy - TV3 Presenter

Sybil Mulcahy

1. I can't stand the sight of blood, and go weak if somebody talks about it or if I look at veins. I'm also terrified of dead bodies. My sister is a pathologist in Limerick, and when she asked me to pop into the morgue to collect her one day, I couldn't walk by the gurneys with the bodies because I was so scared.

2. I dream of being an Olympic ice skater and representing Ireland. I have a routine worked out in my head when I daydream in traffic. I guess it would help if I could actually ice skate at all in real life.

3. I have gone through about 10 iPhones and can't stop cracking the screens. I picked up the latest one after it was repaired, and dropped it down the toilet three hours later.

4. When I was in the delivery room with my first child and high on painkillers, I told the midwife I was too young to have children and that I wanted to go home.

5. Lots of people think I still work on Xposé and that I'm Aisling O'Loughlin. People mistake the pair of us all the time, which is great as she's thinner than me.

6. I have told my husband that I would like him to scatter my ashes in the shoe department of Brown Thomas.

7. I have never watched my wedding video back, and on reflection what was I thinking with the dress? Don't even get my started on my debs - seriously, why didn't I just get a blow dry?

John Creedon - RTE Radio One Presenter

John Creedon

1. I was the youngest boy in boarding school aged 11, the youngest lad in my FCA unit aged 13 - and I was a dad at 20.

2. As a teenager, I was a regular at Old Trafford, but ceased going when they stopped taking cash at the turnstiles. I was indignant, but realised, "I'm not from Manchester anyway", and reverted to following my hometown team, Cork City FC.

3. I love garden birds and have photographed 29 different varieties in my own city-centre garden, including an escaped cockatiel. I regularly tweet the results @johncreedon.

4. I want to be a forest ranger when I grow up, and rescue baby deer an' stuff.

5. At the age of four, I stuck a pencil in a socket and put the pencil in my mouth. The result? I blew a hole in my wrist and thumb, caused a blackout on the northside of Cork City, and became the only four-year-old on my street with an afro hairstyle.

6. I have a fascination with language and a particular grá for Irish place names. They're the key to where you're at right now.

7. I'm an awful man for collecting driftwood, and using it on the open fire or barbecue.

Irish Independent

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