Ireland’s number one water brand recently took a major step forward in its ambition to be the most sustainable water brand in the country. Donna Ahern talks to RTÉ’s Blathnaid Treacy about her role as Ballygowan’s brand ambassador.
How would you describe your role as brand ambassador for Ballygowan?
I was delighted to come on board as an ambassador for this campaign because I am that person who buys bottles of sparkling water – I drink a bottle during radio shows and rehearsals for the Lotto etc.
When I heard that Ballygowan were launching a new bottle that was made from 100% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable, it was a no brainer for me! It is about making small changes in our day to day lives, rather than being perfect, so for me this is one way I can be more sustainable and support Irish too.
What do you enjoy most about your current role with Ballygowan?
Getting to support an Irish-owned business is amazing. We all know how much local businesses have suffered, so I am happy to promote the brand as much as possible.
I’m enjoying getting the message out there that if we all make one simple change in our lives it can have a massive impact on our environment. Ballygowan is bottled wild from source at Newcastle West in Limerick.
This source has been used for 750 years! Rainfall drifts in from the Atlantic and falls on the uplands of Carrigkerry and Knocaderry before naturally filtering down through mineral rich limestone.
I love that we are drinking Irish water that is sourced locally.
Do you know why you were chosen to represent the brand?
I guess it is because I have been vocal about trying to be more sustainable when it comes to fashion and lifestyle.
I was that person who would run into a shop and buy something just for the sake of having something new, wear it for a TV gig and then never wear it again. Now I try to borrow from Irish boutiques around the country, to support local and support sustainable brands too.
I’ve also started spending more time outside.
I would have grown up going on hikes every weekend with my family, but I stopped doing that as I got older.
Now that we’ve had the gift of time, I’ve really started to appreciate the benefits of going outside and walking in parks and forests.
What advertising or promotional campaign have you most enjoyed recently with Ballygowan?
We got to do a photoshoot at the most beautiful waterfall in my home county of Wicklow – Glenmacnass Waterfall. We are so lucky to have such a beautiful landscape in Ireland.
It is so easy to hop in the car and be somewhere spectacular in an hour or two. I think most of us are looking forward to being tourists in our own country this summer! I’ve stocked up on camping gear and have a two- week road trip lined up this month!
StaidAir le Bláthnaid Treacy is your new bilingual show on 2FM. Why do you think it is important for Irish people to maintain their native language?
Yes, I was lucky enough to present that great show for nine weeks (it was initially meant to air for three).
The aim of the programme was to create a safe space for everyone to speak Irish, no matter what your level was.
You could make mistakes without judgement. We all get so hung up on grammar and about saying something wrong that we don’t bother at all. I feel like Irish is a link to another side of our culture and gives us an amazing insight into our history.
For example, many of our place names mean nothing in English, but the Irish name is like a doorway into the history of that particular place.
The Irish language is so rich in descriptions and metaphors that you can understand why we have the reputation for being a nation of saints and scholars.
We have a wonderful turn of phrase here and that is because of Irish. It really is so important that we use whatever Irish we have, even if it is just one word.
You started your TV career at the tender age of three months as the daughter of Biddy and Miley in Glenroe and you have appeared on many TV shows since then. What is your career highlight to date?
This is a hard one because I’ve loved so many of the jobs I’ve had the pleasure of doing but the ones that stand out for me are - Ó Tholg Go Tolg -a travel show for TG4 and my first presenting gig.
Also, Two Tube on RTÉ 2 with Stephen Byrne and Sinéad Kennedy was an amazing four years of my life, as I got to interview the biggest stars in the world and go to red carpet events!
And hosting The Electric Picnic Show was a dream come true.
It was the perfect job for me (I’ve been to a decade’s worth of Electric Picnics). Securing my own behind the scenes show for Dancing With The Stars was huge for me too. In saying that, I love all of the jobs I’ve gotten to do. I really enjoy my work.