A MACROOM woman is set to feature on a special Valentine's edition of one of Ireland's most popular TV shows.
Alison Moloney, native to Macroom and business owner of ReduceYourTax.ie, is to feature in RTE's nationwide on Wednesday, February 13.
Nationwide will tell the story of how Alison left Ireland on her own in January 2009 to travel Africa and, on returning to Ireland eight months later, found herself unemployed, in debt and in the early stages of an unplanned pregnancy.
The story has a happy ending on many fronts, however.
Alison met her husband, Victor, on the very first day she arrived in Africa.
"I thought he seemed like a nice guy but I was on the trip of a lifetime so love and relationships was the furthest thing from my mind. But a month later he built up the courage to ask me out and as they say the rest is history," she said.
Victor is from Malawi, a small African country bordering Tanzania and Zambia. However, despite the cultural differences Victor moved to Macroom in April 2010 and, Alison says, was welcomed by locals from day one.
"I am so proud of the people of Macroom. They made Victor truly welcome from his very first day. Their friendliness has been a major factor in helping him settle in so well to his new home," she said.
Upon returning home, and having years of experience as a qualified tax advisor, Alison set up ReduceYourTax.ie. Having no startup capital, she originally worked from a desk in the corner of her bedroom with a borrowed laptop and a mobile phone.
However, the business proved to be a success from the get-go and it quickly grew, so much so that Alison now runs her business from her office in Macroom E Business Centre, employing staff since November 2010.
"I love my job because I have helped Irish families really struggling through these tough economic times. We can review an individual's taxes paid for the past four years for any tax refund due to them, and there are literally millions of euros of unclaimed taxes to be collected; even the Revenue Commissioners regularly publish this," she explained.
Tune in to Nationwide on RTE1 at 7pm on Wednesday, February to see more of Alison's love affair with her husband - and the Taxman.