Saturday, 14 February 2009


Magreth McGill was born in New South Wales, Australia, and married a Derry man who has ties to St Johnson. He convinced Magreth to make the move to Inishowen and she has never looked back. Since arriving in Donegal, Magreth has been busy, setting up her ionised water business venture -Microwater Ltd with her partners Sharon McGilloway and Robbie Henry. Their bottled water, inishOH! can be found around local shops and they also provide a water cooler service to local businesses. Magreth is a great believer in sustainability and not only believes in supplying locally and employing locally but the company also supports local charities with five cent from every bottle going to health and children’s charities. The company are re-building their premises at MicroWater in Burt after a serious fire. Margreth would like to thank all of the people of Burt, who have been extremely supportive and Margreth is very proud to be a part of their community. They hope that MicroWater will be up and running in the very near future.

Magreth had two children. Her 26-year-old son Michael, who she loves dearly, is, in her words “in Australia doing what all young men do” Magreth hopes he will come over for a visit soon and fall in love with Ireland as she has done. Her daughter Helene, was tragically killed in a car accident in 2001. She was 21 years old. As Magreth says “ It isn’t easy to come to terms with, and is still hard even now. I think about her every day, but I have good memories and I try to focus on them.”

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to the radio a lot and enjoy a very varied list of music from Beethoven, The Beatles, Bee Gees, Pink Floyd (especially Dark Side of the Moon) and Santana. I also enjoy Motown and the likes of Diana Ross,

What book are you reading?
The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer. It’s a biography about the Australian Media Magnate Kerry Packer.

What was your favourite childhood game?
Monopoly. I was good at the buying and selling and collecting rent, even though the friend I played with liked to cheat

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
Not recently, but the last film I saw was really good, but I can’t remember the name of it!

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
It’s usually the front page of the local paper to see what is going on in the area.

What would you never throw away?
My record collection and photos.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
When I met Prime Minister John Howard shortly after he came to power, I said something to him that made everyone including me blush. He had already tried for two previous elections to become Prime Minister and when on the third attempt he was successful, I wanted to let him know that I had been in his corner for a long time….. My words came out “Congratulations John, I’ve been rooting for you for years!”

Favourite TV programme?
Lost, what can I say; I love the way it shifts from past, present and future. You have to watch carefully not to miss any clues, and remember what has happened to understand where it is going. The concept is interesting and futuristic. The actors are a good mix, and you can't help but love them all.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I wanted to be a nurse. I always wanted to help people who were not well, for whatever reason. I personally had a childhood illness at age 12, which is maybe what motivated me. I endured 3 months in bed with Hep A and then 2 years of recovery afterwards which was plagued with associated illnesses. When someone is ill they can't help themselves and they don't often have the understanding of what made them sick. I actually did start my nursing career but this was cut short due to things that happened within the hospital that I worked at in Australia, it was a geriatric hospital and some of the nurses were very cruel and hurt the patients, I complained but was told to put up with it. I couldn't agree and was forced to leave. I have always had an interest in the human body and how it works. My father who was a medic during WWII was stationed in Indonesia for five year. As I grew up he was still always interested in health and wellbeing. This must have rubbed off.

Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
The island of Morea in Tahiti. It was glorious. I just rested and enjoyed the time out without the trappings of the shopping trips.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Sharon Osborne – because I think she would be interesting to listen to.

What do you do for a special treat?
Go shopping. I always love buying kitchen things, or hardware and tools for projects. Clothing is only a thing I like to shop for when I have to.

Favourite animal?
My pet Shih Tzu, Miescha.

Biggest thrill?
Rollercoaster at age 16. Never went on another one again…..

Biggest Challenge?
Raising my children.

What was the best present you ever got?
I got a foot spa, which was a thank you from my children for all the running around I did for them.

What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
I bought myself some New Ugg Boots. Anything to keep my feet warm in this cold weather.

Do you feel the inishOH! water is beneficial to your health?
Yes. After 9 years I still drink only alkaline ionised water and my own health is excellent (for a 51 year old woman). In fact I was recently very ill with carbon monoxide poisoning through my gas fire and blocked chimney, probably the reason for surviving was the water! long story....

What charity do you support?
Cancer Research

The world’s most irritating/most useful invention?
Most Useful must be the Internet. Most irritating, the phone

Favourite past-time?
I love reading and try to sit down with a book as often as I can.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
The 1700’s when they knew how to dress well.

What do you have for breakfast?
Something simple like Weetabix or oatmeal porridge.

What was your first paid job?
Packing strawberries in punnets. I did this during school break, for a farmer friend of my fathers - I was paid $1 per hour, which was .50c more per hour than my first real paid job!

Best/worst household chore?
Worst - Cleaning the fireplace…., Best – Cooking and baking. I love experimenting with food. If I get a notion to try a different culture, such as Indian or Italian - I will cook in that style for weeks or months until I can do it without the books, or become an expert. I love to bake cakes and slices.... my present favourite is banana cake and cheesecake.

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
Best – to believe in myself – Worst – I never listened to the worst advice!

Personal philosophy?
Never burn bridges; you never know when you will need them again.

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