Resilient businesswomen honoured at annual Network West Cork awards

July 3rd, 2021 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Winners of the Network Ireland West Cork (NIWC) Business Women of the Year awards at the reception at Bantry House, with NIWC president Katherine O’Sullivan, vice-president and awards co-ordinator Marie Wiseman, Sheila McCarthy, of official partner AIB, keynote speaker Clonakilty author Louise O’Neill and MC Ciara Wilson. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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SIX West Cork women have been lauded for their success at the fourth annual Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards.

The award ceremony, which was held virtually last week with guest speaker best-selling author Louise O’Neill, celebrated each of the 24 finalists which highlight women from a variety of business backgrounds.

Among the winners was Tara Copplestone of Foxglove Cocktails who won the award for emerging new business owner. Tara set up Foxglove Cocktails last spring when she returned home from New York to see out lockdown. However, a prolonged stay led her to founding Foxglove Cocktails with her brother. Today, Foxglove Cocktails retails online, at markets and delivers all over Ireland.

Stem award recipient was 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. Yvonne Cahalane, constituency secretary for Fine Gael Cork South West, received the ‘power within’ award. The creative professional award went to Maura O’Connell of West Cork Casting Studio and the award for established business owner went to Nollaig Hurley, Jelly Fish Surf Shop in Spillers Lane, Clonakilty who opened her business 18 years ago based on her hobby of surfing.

Marketing expert with VMware, Louise Bunyan took the employee shining star award for her role as a talent marketing specialist.

The winners now progress to the national Businesswoman of the Year Awards on October 8th in the WIT Arena in Waterford.

Network Ireland West Cork president Katherine O’Sullivan said with all that has happened in the last year and a half, achieving business success has been trying.

‘These women are proof that we can still triumph to overcome all obstacles,’ she added. ‘From established businesses finding new ways to do business to new start-ups, and employees meeting new challenges in their workplace, our finalists went through it all. The variety of women from a broad spectrum of backgrounds is proof that West Cork is a thriving place to work and run a business from. Each woman has shown us that it is possible to make great things happen regardless of external factors. When you believe and have a solid network of support around you like that of Network Ireland West Cork then anything is possible.’

She thanked judges Vicki Crean, AIB; Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Irish Examiner; Peter Coppinger, Teamwork and Sean Mahon, Southern Star Media.

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