Conor Gilsenan.

Mullingar native chosen as a contestant in The Apprentice

A member of one of Mullingar's best known business families is going to be a contestant in the new series of The Apprentice on BBC 1.

Former professional rugby player Conor Gilsenan has been picked as one of the 16 budding entrepreneurs who will be competing against each other to impress Alan Sugar and to win the prize of a €250,000 investment in their business proposal.

Conor was forced to retire from professional rugby in September 2020 due to injury. Since then he has started a new career in tech sales and last autumn launched a pop up bar venture with fellow former London Irish player Topsy Ojo.

Conor isn't the first member of his family to go into the pub trade - his parents Con and Joan are the well known proprietors of Con's Bar on Dominick Street.

If Conor is the last contestant standing he will receive an investment worth £250,000 that will help him realise his ambitions to own a fleet of quirky food and beverage vendors targeted at music and sports events.

Speaking ahead of the first episode of the sixteenth season of the hit reality show, Conor was confident that he could impress Alan Sugar and see off the other contestants.

“I’m going to be the corporate panther in the boardroom, I’m going to get it done, and I’m going to be Lord Sugar’s perfect business partner.”

Conor will be the third contestant from Mullingar to appear on BBC's The Apprentice. Lorraine Tighe came fourth in the fifth series, while Stephen Brady appeared in the eighth series.

The first episode of the new season will be first broadcast this Thursday night, January 6, on BBC 1 at 9pm.