West Cork well represented in national business awards

September 4th, 2021 11:40 AM

By Southern Star Team

Nollaig Hurley of Jelly Fish Surf Shop, winner of the established business owner award with Network Ireland West Cork president Katherine O’Sullivan, awards co-ordinator Marie Wiseman, Sheila McCarthy of AIB and author Louise O’Neill. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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SIX local businesswomen will represent West Cork at the Network Ireland National Businesswoman of the year awards.

Having won at branch level for their respective categories, these ladies will compete against winners from 14 branches across Ireland.

Among the finalists are Maura O’Connell of West Cork Casting Studio in Dunmanway.  Maura will represent the abundance of hugely creative artists and craft workers in West Cork in the Creative Professional category.

She will be joined by established business owner category finalist, Nollaig Hurley of Jelly Fish Surf Shop in Spiller’s Lane, Clonakilty, one of Ireland’s leading surf and swim specialist shops.

Baltimore-based Tara Copplestone will contest the emerging business category, for her new business Foxglove Cocktail Company, producers of non-alcoholic craft cocktail mixers and garnishes, an enterprise born out of Covid.

A challenging interview process takes place in September, where a panel of independent judges will choose national winners for eight categories, and Network Ireland West Cork is represented in six of these categories.

The winners will be announced at an event, to be livestreamed from the Theatre Royal Waterford on October 8th.

Also among the finalists is Yvonne Cahalane, who received the power within award for the West Cork branch. Yvonne, mother to two young boys, will share her story with the judges of how she advocated for medical cannabis treatment for her son Tristan in 2015 and was deemed ‘the pathfinder’ in accessing medical cannabis for patients in Ireland.

The Stem award finalist is Jacinta Collins, Argideen Communications, who has been championing science for 25 years using her communications training to help scientists and science-led companies bring their research and innovation to life.

Marketing expert with VMware Louise Bunyan will vie for the title of employee shining star for her role as a talent marketing specialist.

Network Ireland West Cork president Katherine O’Sullivan said: ‘There is an exceptional and growing interest in the awards and we are delighted that the West Cork branch has finalists in six out of eight categories at the nationals this year. This is a fantastic achievement for our branch. We are very proud of our finalists, who have already achieved so much in their careers.  We wish each of them the very best of luck and we are hopeful to bring another national title home to West Cork.’

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