Saluting top business women in West Cork

Network Ireland West Cork hosted their annual awards in recent days. So who were the worthy winners?
Saluting top business women in West Cork
Winners of the Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019, from left: Katherine O'Sullivan (O'Donnel Design Ltd.), Noelle Madden (Rosscarbery Pharmacy), Noreen Murphy (Lisheens House). Avril Allshire-Howe (Caherbeg Free Range Pork) & Katy Ann Wareing (OMKO Lrd.) Picture: Anna Groniecka

WOMEN who work in the areas of food production, software, the pharmaceutical industry and in the area of suicide prevention were all honoured at the Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards.

The annual awards luncheon took place in Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen. The guest speaker was esteemed West Cork entrepreneur Anne O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer at Vodafone Ireland.

The five West Cork businesswoman who received the awards and were recognised for their outstanding achievements were Avril Allshire-Howe, Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd, winner of the Small SME category; Katy Ann Wareing, OMKO Ltd, the Emerging New Business winner; Noreen Murphy, Lisheens House, who won the Social Enterprise award; Katherine O’Sullivan, O’Donnell Furniture, who was the Employee - Shining Star winner; and Noelle Madden, Rosscarbery Pharmacy Ltd, who won the STEM award, a new category this year.

Earlier this month, Tina Darb, of Spearline Risk & Compliance, won the overall regional award in the Employee - Rising Star category.

The judges of the Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019 were John O’Doherty, Head of AIB, Cork County, Deirdre O’Mahony, Senior Enterprise Development Officer at Cork County Council, Orla Battersby, Divisional Manager for Food, Enterprise Ireland, and Jean van Sinderen-Law, Associate Vice President, Director of European Relations and Public Affairs, UCC.

At the event, Jean van Sinderen-Law, who spoke on behalf of the judges, said: “In our view, everyone is a winner, but unfortunately only one takes away an award in each category.

“It is always difficult for us to judge a process such as this as every single submission is a person whose vision was to establish a business, so each person is a success!”

Ms van Sinderen-Law also acknowledged that the winners selected from this region will showcase West Cork businesses and their teams and put a spotlight on them, not only on a local, but on a national level, as they will be representing the region in the Network Ireland awards in September, 2019.

Attending the Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards were Gillian Hennessy, President of Network Ireland Cork, Ciara Lucy, NIWC President & Helen Wycherley, President of Network Ireland. 
Attending the Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards were Gillian Hennessy, President of Network Ireland Cork, Ciara Lucy, NIWC President & Helen Wycherley, President of Network Ireland. 

This year, Network Ireland West Cork also introduced a new award specifically for the region: ‘The Outstanding Contribution to West Cork Award’.

President of Network Ireland West Cork, Ciara Lucy said: “This is an award for somebody we felt represents everything the network embodies — she is fearless, passionate about West Cork, puts West Cork on the national and international stage, and pushes the way forward for other women. This is the incredible Helen Collins, Chairperson of A Taste of West Cork and Managing Partner of Wolfe and Co. Solicitors.”

Guest speaker, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ireland, Anne O’Leary, congratulated the finalists and winners.

“I am delighted to be part of the Network West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards — big congratulations to all the winners and to those shortlisted. Network Ireland provides an excellent platform for women to connect and develop professionally.

“Throughout my career, I have always placed a huge emphasis on getting out and networking — to meet people with diversity of thought, people who may be facing the same challenges as you, who may be able to help you or connect you to the right people who can help your business. It might even help you find a new career.

“As a fellow businesswoman, I applaud the finalists and winners on their achievements and enterprising spirit. They have displayed key attributes for success, such as leadership and determination.” added Ms O’Leary.

The Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019, Ciara Lucy of Spearline Risk and Compliance, NIWC President & Helen Collins of A Taste of West Cork Festival, with her special award.
The Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2019, Ciara Lucy of Spearline Risk and Compliance, NIWC President & Helen Collins of A Taste of West Cork Festival, with her special award.

Speaking about the award winners, Ciara Lucy, President of Network Ireland West Cork, said: “We are very proud of the Network Ireland West Cork award winners. Avril (Allshire-Howe, Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd.), Katy Ann (Wareing, OMKO), Noreen (Murphy, Lisheens House), Katherine (O’Sullivan, O’Donnell Furniture) and Noelle (Madden, Rosscarbery Pharmacy) have displayed excellence in their respective professions and deserve the recognition they have received here today.”

All five of the award winners will represent the West Cork branch at the Network Ireland national awards in September, 2019.

MORE ABOUT NETWORK WEST CORK

Network Ireland West Cork holds networking events for members and guests in different locations in West Cork on the last Wednesday of every month. The organisation currently has more than 135 members and is the third largest branch in Ireland. It welcomes new members from across West Cork.

For more information see https://networkireland.ie/west-cork

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