Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

All the best: Ann Travers

We ask local personalities what are their most favourite things

Proud moment: Ann Travers shows her delight when Stormont passed the Special Advisers' Bill

The 44-year-old was joint winner of the Belfast Telegraph's Inspirational Woman of the Year award for her campaign to stop one of the IRA gang who killed her sister Mary remaining a special adviser at Stormont. She lives in Dublin with husband Colm and has five children; Sean (20), Owen (18), Conor (19), Emily (10), Eloise (9)

My best moment

The first time I found out I was pregnant with my oldest child. I had had a miscarriage about four months previously, so finding out that I was pregnant – and everything was OK – was just brilliant. Sean is about to turn 21 so it all went well.

My best way to relax

I go for a walk with the dog along the seafront, with my earphones in, and listen to some music or the radio.

My best job

I trained as a nurse, and then got pregnant with Sean so I went off and had my family. Then I went back to college and trained as a teacher but the recession hit. My best job though has been being a mum. It's been my longest one anyway.

My best song

It has to be one by Robbie Williams (below), so I'll choose Angels. I constantly tell my children that he is their future stepfather, although he ruined that for a bit when he got married. He was single for so long because he just hadn't met me.

My best advice

My brother Paul told me to always be true to myself. It was around the time of the passage through Stormont of the Bill barring anyone with a serious criminal conviction from being a special political adviser. It was the one thing he said that I always remember.

My best gift

The engagement ring my husband gave me. I proposed to him because it was a leap year, but he took me to Brussels, designed it himself, and had it made. The jewellers shop was on the Grand Place there, and they had set out chairs in the sunshine and brought out champagne to celebrate because they knew we had travelled so far. It was a lovely moment.

My best achievement

It has to be having my kids. My first three were very close together and my father said to me once, 'you're like your mother, you only had to wink at her and she was pregnant'. I had five miscarriages too, so it's lovely that I have five healthy children.

My best buy

A big Coach handbag made out of beautifully soft leather. I can throw anything into it and it's really comfortable to wear. The other thing were the Spanx I wore to the Woman of the Year awards last year. They cost £100 but they are a fantastic invention.

My best movie

It is Bridget Jones' Diary. Whenever I'm feeling really sad I will sit on the sofa with a bottle of wine, a bag of nibbles or bar of chocolate and watch it. It has me in tears of laughter every time. Even her big pants remind me of particular situations of my own.

My best book

I like books that other people find a bit much, such as Ma, He Sold Me For A Few Cigarettes by Martha Long. It's the story of a girl growing up in Dublin slums during the 1950s.

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