West Cork Farming Awards get ready for their ninth year

May 8th, 2023 12:15 PM

By Southern Star Team

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THE ninth annual West Cork Farming Awards have been launched with nominations now invited for consideration from the community.

The awards, which celebrate and champion the local agri-sector are following a different format this year.

Launching the Farming Awards were Neil Grant, Manager, Celtic Ross Hotel; Emma Connolly, Deputy Editor of the Southern Star and Sean Mahon, MD of the Southern Star. (Photo: Andy Gibson.)


An awards panel comprising Southern Star and agricultural industry representatives will choose a monthly winner from May to October. The six winners could be someone doing something exceptional or pioneering on their own farm in whatever capacity or someone involved in agri-business or agri research and development or it could also be someone involved in agri education.

Essentially the panel are looking for individuals who, for a variety of reasons, are working to maintain and grow West Cork’s reputation as a region of farming excellence.

A Hall of Fame award will also be announced by judges, along with a Farm Family of the Year award. This award was introduced last year and the hugely popular winners were the Lucey family from Canovee, near Macroom. Once again this year, families are invited to submit short videos (just over a minute) to showcase themselves and their farms, including all generations, and even four-legged members of the family!

At the launch were Louise Kelly, Carbery Group; Sean Dennehy, Bandon mart; Brian McCarthy, Southern Star; Finbarr O'Shea, Bantry Credit Union; Tony Hughes, Access Credit Union; Grainne Hurley, Teagasc and James Daly, Access Credit Union. (Photo: Andy Gibson)


At a gala lunch in November, the overall winner will be announced. The lunch will take place in the Celtic Ross Hotel, which has been a partner of the awards from the very beginning.

The awards were launched at a breakfast presentation attended by sponsors and local agri businesses at the Celtic Ross Hotel. Southern Star managing director Sean Mahon said the awards were all about championing those involved in West Cork farming, and recognising their contribution. ‘Each month we will celebrate these people,’ he said.

The awards, he said, continue to be enormously popular and unique. ‘Building on the local goodwill that exists for the awards, we felt the time was right to introduce a new format for the process this year,’ he said.

Neil Grant, manager of the Celtic Ross, said the awards were designed to ‘give credit where it’s due.’

• If you would like to nominate someone to be considered for a monthly award, email [email protected] or call 028-21200.

• See this week’s Southern Star to find out our May winner.


The new awards format

The new format will work as follows:

  • an awards panel comprising Southern Star and agricultural industry representatives will choose six ‘West Cork Farming’ monthly award winners who will be recognised for their outstanding contribution to the farming sector in our region


  • monthly award winners could be a farmer, someone working in agri-business, agri-entrepreneurship, a farming organisation or even involved in education or research and development. The panel will be looking for examples of great work, innovation and overall contribution to West Cork farming and agricultural life.


  • each monthly winner will be profiled in the Southern Star newspaper and across our digital platforms


  • along with the announcement of six monthly winners, the panel will also choose ‘Hall of Fame’ and ‘Farm Family of the year’ award winners


  • all award winners will be invited to a gala awards lunch held at the Celtic Ross Hotel at the end of 2023, where they will be presented with a trophy and certificate


  • the winner of the ‘2023 Overall West Cork Farming Award’ will be announced at the gala lunch


We look forward to announcing the 2023 West Cork Farming Award monthly winners. If you would like to nominate someone to be considered for a monthly farming award, please contact us by email on [email protected] or call 028 2120


At the launch were Margaret O'Rourke, Supervalu Clonakilty; Maura McCarthy, Bank of Ireland Clonakilty; Michael Deasy, Bank of Ireland Skibbereen and FInbarr O'Shea, Bantry Credit Union. (Photo: Andy Gibson)



At the launch were Noel Finneran, Bandon Co-Op; Aoife Healy-O'Driscoll, Carbery Group; Ciara Sheehan, Drinagh Co-Op; Eleanor Hayes, Lisavaird Co-Op and Hugh Holland, Barryroe Co-Op. (Photo: Andy Gibson)


At the launch were Mary Burke, Ludgate Hub; Sean Mahon, MD. Southern Star and Andy Donoghue, Hodnett Forde. (Photo: Andy Gibson)


At the launch were Tony Hughes, Access Credit Union and FInbarr O'Shea, Bantry Credit Union. (Photo: Andy Gibson)


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