Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hailed the creatives, innovators and leaders who make the community “so vibrant and successful” during the Cork Chamber Annual Dinner.
The Cork Chamber Annual Dinner, in association with Kearys Motor Group, is the region’s flagship event, bringing together business leaders, political decision-makers and influencers for the best in local food and diverse discussion.
Speaking during the black-tie event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Thursday evening, Mr Martin reflected on what has been achieved and how the country’s biggest challenges can be addressed in the months and years ahead.
“The challenges are great – but our history shows that we can and will overcome them.
And if we ever needed an example of how much we can achieve together there is no clearer example than the past two years.
“I know that we all share a sense of relief that we have come through a period never before experienced in recent times,” he said.
He said that the pandemic was the most “profound public health emergency in over a century” which touched on every aspect of society and put pressure on every part of society and every part of government.
Mr Martin said that many lessons have been learned from the pandemic response and touched on how community spirit, a responsive state and strong international partners allowed Ireland to come through “the worst of the pandemic as one of the best in the world”.
People rallied around each other, looking out for the most vulnerable and accepting the responsibility which we have towards each other.
“And I think we also saw that Ireland has a strong and effective public service.
“Key challenges were responded to rapidly in order to limit the health and economic impact of the pandemic.
“In total, over €20 billion was provided to support businesses and workers. These interventions saved many businesses, livelihoods, and jobs.
“And I want to acknowledge the incredible work of so many companies and business leaders in finding new ways to keep as much employment intact as possible and to find innovative ways through the pandemic recession,” he said.
The winners of the four categories of the Cork Company of the Year Awards 2022 will also be announced during tonight’s event.