A re­ward­ing way to sup­port the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity

The Corkman - - OPINION - MAURA WALSH, CEO, IRD DUHAL­LOW Maura Walsh, CEO of IRD Duhal­low.

IRD Duhal­low’s com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing en­ter­prise is deeply rooted in the foun­da­tion of the com­pany and the 2017 en­ter­prise awards show that, along with so­cial de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­ment en­hance­ment, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is flour­ish­ing in ru­ral ar­eas like Duhal­low.

Along with our part­ners, The Cork­man, not only do we want to recog­nise ex­cel­lence in all facets of busi­ness but also to strengthen net­work­ing and let every­one know the range and qual­ity of ru­ral en­ter­prise in this re­gion and its role in cre­at­ing the wealth that im­proves qual­ity of life.

The LEADER pro­gramme is slowly rolling out through­out the re­gion and en­ter­prise is a key pil­lar of the pro­gramme. The LEADER Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy for North Cork has as its En­ter­prise ob­jec­tive:

‘ To sup­port and de­velop com­mu­nity, so­cial and pri­vate busi­ness; strengthen en­trepreneurial ca­pac­ity, in­no­va­tion, pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion knowl­edge, in­fra­struc­ture and net­works to sus­tain and/or grow busi­ness and em­ploy­ment across the re­gion be­tween now and 2020.’

All the short­listed busi­nesses are help­ing to achieve that am­bi­tion, cre­at­ing jobs and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for ru­ral dwellers in the re­gion.

IRD Duhal­low is work­ing hard sup­port­ing en­ter­prises to over­come the bu­reau­cracy and ac­cess th­ese much needed LEADER funds for their busi­nesses.

This is the fifth year of the busi­ness awards and once again, the stan­dard of en­tries is ex­cep­tion­ally high. Agri­cul­ture is a key player for lo­cal en­ter­prises amount­ing for al­most 16% of our in­dus­try and I par­tic­u­larly wel­come the rein­tro­duc­tion of the Agri Led Busi­ness Cat­e­gory, show­cas­ing some of Duhal­low’s finest farm­ing- re­lated en­ter­prises as well as the new busi­nesses, those led by women, the cre­ative ones and of course the Com­mu­nity En­ter­prises.

We are ex­tremely grate­ful to our panel of judges, Siob­han Mur­phy of The Cork­man, James McAu­ley of McCarthy In­surance Group and Brenda Cahill, Cork City Part­ner­ship for their dili­gence in meet­ing and care­fully se­lect­ing the win­ners.

And while we will laud the win­ners I want to con­grat­u­late all the fi­nal­ists fea­tured in this sup­ple­ment.

The Cork­man staff have once again done an ex­cel­lent job in pro­duc­ing this first class fea­ture of all the fi­nal­ists. It shows mag­nif­i­cently the range and breath of ru­ral en­ter­prise through­out Duhal­low and all are so de­serv­ing of our on­go­ing sup­port.

We hope you en­joy this fine sup­ple­ment and re­mem­ber that in em­bark­ing on your Christ­mas shop­ping that you will try town first and sup­port lo­cal busi­ness.

Kieran and He­len Line­han of the Ayr­ton Group in New­mar­ket (for­merly Health & Safety Ser­vices), who won the Duhal­low Busi­ness of the Year Award last year are pic­tured with Maura Walsh (CEO IRD Duhal­low), Siob­han Mur­phy (Group Sales & Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Cork­man/Ker­ry­man), Kevin Hughes (Group Edi­tor Cork­man/ Ker­ry­man), Pat O’Neill (Oper­a­tions Man­ager Ayr­ton Group), and Michael Creed (Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Food, and the Marine).

Daniel O’Keefe, left and Daniel O’Leary, pro­pri­etors of Alu Cat, Bo­her­bue, won the Best Start Up cat­e­gory - be­ing pre­sented here by Maura Walsh, man­ager of IRD Duhal­low - and then went on to win the Duhal­low Busi­ness of the Year Award 2013 at the in­au­gral awards.

Gor­don and Breeda O’Ke­effe of K&L De­liv­er­ies, Mill­street, who came first in the Best Es­tab­lished Busi­ness cat­e­gory be­fore go­ing on to be crowned Duhal­low Busi­ness of the Year 2014 re­ceiv­ing their award from IRD board mem­ber Brian Kelly.

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