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Two Mayo contestants battle to win The Apprentice

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Noel RowlandLouise O'Hara
Noel Rowland and Louise O'Hara

Two Mayo contestants to star in The Apprentice


Edwin McGreal

Two Mayo contestants will be among the 16 hopefuls battling for the position of The Apprentice in the hugely popular TV3 series which gets under way on Monday next.
Crossmolina’s Noel Rowland and Foxford’s Louise O’Hara are bidding to land the big prize in the fourth series of the show. The sixteen are auditioning to be Bill Cullen’s Apprentice for 2011 and the winner, at the end of the 12 weeks, will gain Bill Cullen as a business partner with a 50 per cent interest and with that they’ll receive €100,000 cash alongside a start up package worth an additional €100,000.
Both the Mayo contestants are aged 29. Louise O’Hara holds a masters degree in marketing, is single and currently in retail management. She believes she has a lot to offer.
“Honestly, I reckon that he [Bill Cullen] could do with someone who is sound-minded, energetic and someone who doesn’t just blow their trumpet for the sake of it. I’m hardworking and I think that ultimately I’d help his business to expand and grow.
”I am driven, hard working and ambitious. I am definitely different to anyone else applying and my witty personality and tenacity will prove that,” she said.
Louise is a daughter of the late JJ O’Hara, who led the campaign to have Foxford native Admiral Brown, the founder of the Argentine Navy, recognised in his home town. He was also a well-known businessman and Louise cites him as her biggest inspiration and a man who instilled in her the importance of the customer.
“He was a charismatic man and he inspired me to look at the importance of customer service. Customers are the people who pay your wages.”
Currently based in Galway, Louise O’Hara turned down three offers of work to appear on The Apprentice.
Crossmolina native Noel Rowland is the youngest of a family of six. He has been living in Dublin for nine years, is in a relationship and runs his own company, Churchfield Construction. He has various qualifications ranging from Mechanical Engineering to Accounting and has previously worked as a carpenter, foreman, welder and fabricator.
He is taking part in The Apprentice in order to get his business off the ground.
“I think the show will be a super platform to launch a new business. I’m also keen to learn from Bill Cullen. I want to learn how big businesses work and operate.”He established Chuchfield Construction in 2006 and last year he doubled the turnover to €2.6m whilst stabilising profit in a year when many construction companies struggled. He has also diversified into green energy.
“I have a proven track record in business and have achieved quite a lot to date. I feel I genuinely have the ability, desire and determination to win.”
The Apprentice will run from next Monday, October 3 to Monday, December 19 on TV3 at 9pm each night.