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RTÉ’s Bláthnaid Treacy: ‘This was a very warts-and-all version of me – but I'd do it again in a heartbeat’

Bláthnaid hails her experience on Ultimate Hell Week as “absolutely incredible”


Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy launches the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign with Irish Water and Clean Coasts (Picture: Brian McEvoy)

Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy launches the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign with Irish Water and Clean Coasts (Picture: Brian McEvoy)

Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy launches the ‘Think Before You Flush’ campaign with Irish Water and Clean Coasts (Picture: Brian McEvoy)

For TV presenter Bláthnaid Treacy, taking part in RTE’s ‘Ultimate Hell Week’ was, quite literally, a bruising experience.

She shared photographs of the multiple bumps and bruises she sustained as one of the 20 participants of the celebrity version of the gruelling special forces selection course.

But Bláthnaid (34), who was seen in tears on the show, said she is glad that viewers got to see “the real me”, a stripped-back version that’s a world away from her usual polished exterior.

“You are really vulnerable and I was concerned, obviously working on TV, you always have your hair and make-up done and you’ve got your tan on. I was like, ‘right, I’m going to have none of that.’ So that was a bit intense and you don’t look great but you don’t care. It doesn’t really matter – it's more what you are achieving which is also great,” she told Independent.ie.

“In a world where everything revolves around what you look like, for those few days, it was more about what I can actually do and bring to the team which was really refreshing.”

“I wanted to show people who I am and to get to know me a little bit in that regard because obviously when they see me (on TV), it’s a very polished version of me. This is a very rough, warts-and-all version of me. Now i didn’t last very long, only three episodes. But I would do it again in a heart-beat.”

A former child star whose first foray in front of the cameras was when she was just three months old, playing Biddy and Miley’s daughter Denise on ‘Glenroe’, she hailed the whole experience as “absolutely incredible”, having made it to the third episode.

“You basically hand yourself over, mind and body, to the DS (Hell Week course instructors) and you don’t get to make any decisions really. it was one of the toughest but most incredible things I've ever done. How often do you get to bring yourself to your absolute max?

“It's a good social experiment to see how you respond and react in those high-pressure situations. It's good to find out, ‘Am I a fight or flight person, am I able to dig deep enough?’

"And I did dig deep but then it got to a point where I was like, ’I’m not strong enough for this anymore, I just can’t do it.’ And that’s OK too. It’s really important to know your limit as well. I have never felt so strong in my life. I was really proud of myself for taking part.”

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The versatile presenter, a fluent Irish speaker, has a weekend show on 2fm as well as a slot as a reporter on RTÉ’s Today Show. But most recently, her attentions were focused recently on renovating the home she shares with husband Charlie Moon in Stoneybatter which she said “went on and on and on.”

“We bought it and then a year later, we got the whole place done. It was a big job and we had to move out and it was of course during the pandemic so it took a long time to get it done. But we got to move into the house at the start of the summer and start putting all the finishing touches on it. Now I never want to leave, it’s just the nicest house, I feel,” she said.

She was speaking as she joined forces with Irish Water for its new environmental campaign ‘Think Before You Flush’ aimed at encouraging people to bin their bathroom products instead of flushing them.

A recent survey found that almost 1m adults living in Ireland continue to regularly flush wipes and other sanitary items down the toilet. Those aged under 35 are twice as likely to dispose of ‘flushable’ wipes down the toilet, compared with under 35’s.

"It is important that we all play a positive role when it comes protecting the environment. Collectively, small changes can have a huge impact so I would encourage everyone to consider their flushing habits,” said Bláthnaid.

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