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Barber shows he's a cut above as he claims top award and becomes a dad on same day

By Luke Barnes

Published 13/10/2016

Main, Eamonn Magill with his baby daughter
Main, Eamonn Magill with his baby daughter
Eamonn cutting hair at the competition

Northern Ireland's top junior barber found out he had become a dad just hours before finding out he had won the competition.

North Belfast student Eamonn Magill was named the Northern Ireland winner of the Apprentice Barber of the Year Awards on Monday.

And while the chance to fly to London for a prestigious awards ceremony might make anyone's day, for 18-year-old Eamonn it was his new baby daughter who stole the limelight.

Eamonn's girlfriend, Nicole, went into labour just hours before he won the Northern Ireland heat. Now the young couple are proud parents of a baby girl, and Eamonn is to represent Northern Ireland at the Salon International Awards in London.

Eamonn, from the Oldpark, said: "I wasn't even going to go but Nicole was like 'no, just go' - I was shaking the entire day. One of my tutors had to bring me over."

He described the last few days as "crazy but good" and said his family were excited and proud. He added that in hindsight he was glad he had attended the competition.

He said: "This has just been an amazing day and I am absolutely chuffed to have won this award; the fact the baby is on the way just makes it all the more special and definitely a day to be remembered."

Eamonn has been training to be a barber for three years. He has had a passion for hairdressing from a young age, and started by cutting his grandfather's and friends' hair.

He said the best part of the job was making people happy, as well as the enjoyable environment that his boss at The Mankind Barber had created.

Eamonn will travel to London next week and join the three other UK winners from England, Scotland and Wales.

He said: "A wee trip like this is always going to be good, I'm not going to get another chance like it."

Eamonn beat off competition from apprentice barbers across Northern Ireland at the regional heats at Belfast Metropolitan College.

Competition judge Charles Clarke said: "We were very impressed with Eamonn.

"He was the most consistent, showed great potential and is the most salon-ready.

"We look forward to nurturing this talent and I'm certain he has a great career ahead of him."

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