The inaugural Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2018 luncheon took place in Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen, Cork, today (Wednesday, May 30, 2018).  The West Cork businesswomen, who received the awards and were recognised for their outstanding achievements, are:

  • Caroline Murphy, Owner at West Cork Eggs in the Emerging New Business category.
  • Gráinne Dwyer and Fiona Dwyer, Co-Founders at Stori Creative for Best Use of Digital.
  • Katherine O’Sullivan, General Manager at O’Donnell Design Ltd. was also highly commended in the Network Ireland Employee of the Year regional final.

The guest speaker at the awards event was esteemed West Cork entrepreneur Colette Twomey, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Clonakilty Food Company, and the MC was Susan Steele, Chair at ‎Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

The judges of the Network Ireland West Cork business awards 2018 were John O’Doherty, Head of AIB Cork County; Deirdre O’Mahony, Senior Enterprise Development Officer at Cork County Council; and Valerie Kingston, Proprietor at Glenilen Farm. Announcing Caroline Murphy of West Cork Eggs as the Emerging New Business award winner, John O’Doherty, speaking on behalf of the judges, said: “West Cork Eggs is a great example of a sustainable and scalable farm diversification and it enhances and adds greatly to the West Cork food culture. Caroline Murphy is very determined and has achieved considerable success and traction in a short space of time. She has achieved this by bringing fun into what was regarded as a traditional commodity product.”

Speaking about the Best Use of Digital award winners, Gráinne Dwyer and Fiona Dwyer of Stori Creative, Mr O’Doherty said: “Stori Creative is a role model for digital success from a rural location. Everyone loves a story and Stori Creative are merging an old craft with new technology to reach the world in a very professional manner. Gráinne Dwyer and Fiona Dwyer have proven that digital success can be achieved in a remote location and have ambitions to achieve greater things yet.”

Guest speaker, Colette Twomey congratulated the finalists and winners. “As a fellow West Cork 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.”

Sharing insights into the success of Clonakilty Food Company, Ms Twomey continued: “What started out as a small, local, business over 40 years ago is now a global brand. With the relocation of our Cork plant to Clonakilty last year, we are now back at the heart of where it all began, which gives me great satisfaction.  We still have our local butcher shop on Pearse Street (Clonakilty). Originality coupled with innovation is a key ingredient of our brand’s success.”

Speaking about the award winners, Adrienne Harrington, President of Network Ireland West Cork, said: “We are very proud of the Network Ireland West Cork award winners. Caroline, Gráinne, Fiona and Katherine have displayed excellence in their respective professions and deserve the recognition they have received here today. Caroline, Gráinne and Fiona will now represent the West Cork branch at the Network Ireland national awards in September 2018. The business awards luncheon is just the second official Network Ireland West Cork event and the branch is already thriving with upwards of 50 members. It is a real addition to the West Cork business scene.”

Network Ireland West Cork is a branch of Network Ireland. Network Ireland was established in 1983 and has 1,000 members with 15 branches across Ireland. It is a progressive, dynamic organisation supporting the professional and personal development of women. For further information about Network Ireland, its branches and becoming a member, visit networkireland.ie.