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Clon's Clare thrilled to be selected as OT leader

December 2nd, 2015 7:20 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Clare Scanlan with her husband Tom and children Caoimhe and Liam, with RTÉ's Kathryn Thomas.

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FOLLOWING the success of Dunmanway’s Veronica Horgan on the last series of RTÉ’s Operation Transformation, West Cork will once again be represented in the January series of the show. 

Mother-of-two Clare Scanlan, who is originally from Castlefreke in Clonakilty, but now lives in Monagea in Co Limerick, was selected last week as the third leader and is still getting over the shock of the news.

‘I’m absolutely thrilled with the news but when they announced it first, I was in complete shock,’ Clare told The Southern Star.

‘Obviously I’m nervous about it all, but it’s something that I needed to do, and now I’ve grabbed the opportunity so I do want to make the most of it. It is a huge undertaking to be on the weekly show and being exposed like that.’

The 39-year-old works in Pallas Foods in Newcastle West and found herself putting on weight following the tragic death of her eldest son Darra, who was just 15 when he died from SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome).

‘I sort of gave up after Darra died and put on weight despite trying everything to lose it. It was actually Tom, my husband, who got the application form for me and said that I should fill it out. I must have looked at it for over six weeks before I actually filled it out. It was very detailed information and I just said I’d give it a shot and it all went so fast. The next thing I was shortlisted and on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTE Radio 1.’

Clare never expected to be selected as a leader and she said she couldn’t believe it when Kathryn Thomas arrived at her workplace to give her the good news.

‘I think all you can hear is the screeching when Kathryn walked in and I was overwhelmed when she told me the good news. The girls here in the office as well as in our parish will all get behind me, as well as my family down in Castlefreke, including my parents Christy and Vera.’

While Clare’s family were initially apprehensive about the programme, they are now fully behind her in her quest to lose weight and live a healthier life.

‘Both Caoimhe and Liam are delighted as they will be on television and they want me to be thinner too, as I am currently 17st. I want to be there too for them both and if I can get a handle on my weight, then it’s a good foundation for that. I’m just a regular mother who works and tries to juggle lots of things and I guess I could inspire people in the new series.’

‘Operation Transformation’ airs on RTE 1 in January 2016.

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