Health Scan: Paschal DonohoeFine Gael TD, Dublin Central


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
I’d say I have pretty healthy lifestyle. The best thing I managed to do was get a bicycle a few years ago and that has made a gigantic difference. Prior to that I was confined to the car.

How often do you exercise?
I cycle into the Dáil almost every day. That’s the reason I sometimes turn up to things vaguely dishevelled. My physical state might not look great but my mental health is an awful lot better. If I’m going out to RTÉ, I’ll cycle from Phibsboro to Donnybrook. If I’m going around the constituency, it’s nearly always on the bike. I noticed how long it was taking me to get around the city in my car and how expensive it was. The bike has revolutionised my health and my daily routine.

Do you get your 5 a day?
I would get it most days; the main reason is that I try to get my kids to have theirs so I get them by default. If my energy were lagging a bit in the afternoon, instead of having a Snickers and a cup of coffee, I’d have some fruit instead.

Do you worry?
Yes I do, mainly about not getting back to constituents. I’m always trying to follow up on things I’ve said I’ll do so I worry about that a lot. Political life is busy and has lots of conflicting priorities. I’m conscious of the things I’ve said I’ll do and the need to do them.

What do you do to relax?
I love music and reading. I always have a little project on the go – at the moment I’m working my way through the albums of Leonard Cohen. It’s reducing my family to misery but it’s making me happier. At the weekend I’m checking my phone to see how my fantasy football league team is getting on.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?
Coffee. I try to limit it to a cup and half a day but I have to be really vigilant about it. I don’t smoke. I have asthma and because of that I’ve never gone near a cigarette.

Joanne Hunt