The first leader chosen for Operation Transformation 2020 has had to withdraw for “medical reasons”.
Barber Claire Beakhurst was given the devastating news last week after routine blood tests pointed to an underlying health condition.
The mum-of-one is now unable to take part in the upcoming series after doctors detected an “anomaly” which was later diagnosed as an overactive thyroid.
Originally from Drimnagh, Claire was the first of five leaders to be announced by RTE and said her five-year-old daughter Ellie inspired her to apply for the show to be a good role model.
The 31-year-old has worked as a barber for 11 years, and has now purchased her own franchise of The Grafton Barber.
After learning that she could not continue her OT journey, Claire revealed her thyroid condition, adding: “I was unaware that I had any symptoms. Now I’m going to Beaumont Hospital for further tests and scans.”
OT medical expert Dr Sumi Dunne met with Claire and explained why she could no longer take part, as medical management of the condition now needs to be her priority.
Dr Sumi said: “Casting for OT is paramount with a rigorous multi-faceted process, which includes detailed online application forms, research calls, house visits and a GP visit to include blood pressure checks and blood tests.
“Very occasionally, these tests will reveal some results our candidate won’t be aware of. In this instance with Claire, the blood tests indicated a possible anomaly.”
She continued: “The health and well-being of all the leaders is of the utmost importance for me and the team. For Claire, medical management of this condition and appropriate care is now the priority.
“As Claire will need to commence treatment, it is prudent for these medical reasons that Claire steps back from the OT journey of 2020.”
Claire will now be replaced by mum-of-four Tanya Carroll (33), from Glanmire in Cork.