10% Growth For Cork Airport In February

Cork Airport’s strong growth continues as Ryanair announces new Katowice route

 

Cork Airport, Ireland’s fastest growing and most punctual airport, recorded a further 10% increase in passenger numbers in February versus the same month last year. The news comes as Ryanair announced today (March 14) a new twice-weekly service from Cork to Katowice, Poland as part of its Winter 2019 schedule. There are now 52 routes on offer from Cork Airport to the UK, Continental Europe and the east coast of the USA, along with daily long-haul connectivity through major European hub airports.

Cork Airport Managing Director Niall MacCarthy stated:

“Cork Airport is proud to report passenger numbers of 151,000 last month, an increase of 14,000 when compared to February 2018. This is due to the support of passengers travelling from across Cork choosing to fly direct from Cork Airport. We are seeing a keen interest from passengers in continental European destinations, including Aer Lingus’ new year-round service to Lisbon and the daily Air France service to Paris, which has strong onward connections.

March is also indicating strong growth and this St. Patrick’s Weekend we will welcome 40,000 passengers through Cork Airport. In total, 2.6 million will use Cork Airport this year, a projected growth of +8%. This makes us Ireland’s fastest growing airport and the country’s busiest and best-connected airport after Dublin in the south of Ireland.”

Cork Airport has welcomed nine new routes in the past year. Along with the new Katowice, Poland service, commencing October 2019, Ryanair has also announced new services to Naples, Budapest, Malta, Poznań and London Luton from Cork Airport in the past 12 months. The airline’s passenger numbers at Cork are forecast to rise by 17% in 2019, its largest increase among all Irish airports. Aer Lingus has also added Nice and Dubrovnik to its summer 2019 schedule while Air France has upgraded its daily service between Cork and Paris with a larger aircraft to add more capacity.

Niall MacCarthy added

“Connectivity from Cork Airport extends even further than our 52 direct routes, with daily flights from Cork to the major international hubs across Europe. Along with our four daily departures to Heathrow connecting to the extensive British Airways world network, we have double daily flights to Manchester connecting to Virgin Atlantic and Etihad networks and double daily departures to Paris CDG, connecting you to over 500 destinations on the Air France network,” he stated. “We also offer 12 weekly departures to Amsterdam with Aer Lingus feeding into the KLM network; four weekly flights to Zürich, offering onward connection with Swiss; and two weekly departures to Madrid, connecting to Iberia’s world network.”

Cork plans to become a city of excellent customer service

Cork City is the first city in Europe to launch a Customer Service Charter

 

Cork City Centre Forum, which is a collaboration between various business and public sector groups in the city, launched a Cork City Customer Service Charter today to coincide with Local Enterprise Week 2019.

The Charter, which is the first of its kind in Europe, was developed to create a city of superior customer service and assist Cork’s journey to becoming one of the friendliest, most liveable and sustainable cities globally.

The Cork City Customer Service Charter gives businesses a list of guidelines and training on service, customers and the city, focusing on areas that range from fundamentals like friendliness, skilfulness, accessibility and cleanliness to integrity, inclusivity, respect and excellence.

Pictured at the launch from left to right: Paul McGuirk, Cork City Council; John Coleman, Metropole Hotel, Cork; Audrey Lehane, Azure Jewellery; Joan Lucey, Vibes and Scribes; Dyane Hanrahan, Crawford Art Gallery; John McCarthy, Penneys and Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar. Pic: Brian Lougheed

In 2018, 15 city centre businesses took part in a pilot training programme, which made use of a mystery shopper to monitor the progress and improvements each individual business made in enhancing their customer service. The course was delivered with the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City. A second training programme will begin in late March and is open to all city businesses this year, costing just €60 per business.

The programme includes a briefing for business owners/managers, a workshop for training the trainers, customer service progress monitoring, a mystery shop, feedback and a final briefing.

Commenting on the initiative, Joan Lucey from Cork City Centre Forum (and Vibes and Scribes), who is heading up this project, said, “The Cork City Customer Service Charter will help us stand out from other business centres, towns and cities.  Cork has already been named as Europe’s friendliest city and we want to build on that accolade and become best in quality service also. We need to work together to get there. No matter how wonderful you feel your service offering is, we can all be better.”

The Customer Service Charter initiative was launched in response to the ongoing global shift toward online retail purchasing.

Pictured at the launch from left to right: John McCarthy, Penneys; John Coleman, Metropole Hotel, Cork; Audrey Lehane, Azure Jewellery; Joan Lucey, Vibes and Scribes and Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar. Pic: Brian Lougheed

“Forecasts for the coming year suggest a 30% swing to online purchasing and also customers looking for an interactive shopping experience. This is where we in the brick and mortar shops can compete and win.

“Customers now want a real connection and a very high-quality service, so we all need to look regularly at our offering. We may feel we are doing our best but we now have to compete with our customers shopping in the comfort of their homes and retail experts all agree that customer service is the key to a successful bricks and mortar business.”

John Mc Carthy, general manager of Penneys has also been centrally involved in the initiative and said ‘We see this as another step in an ongoing journey. There is a great mix of organisations participating with large department stores and independents retailers, hospitality businesses and public service bodies. We believe this is the only such Charter in Europe and we believe it will be another asset as we continue to promote the unique offering in Cork City Centre.’

 

The Cork City Customer Service Charter was developed over the past two years in collaboration with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), who conducted research with city centre businesses and developed the training programme.

The training programme is delivered by James Burke and Associates, specialists in the food and retail sector.  The programme assists business owners in finding new growth areas of opportunity, helps re-energise individual businesses, and helps mobilise the business community as a whole.

Cork City Centre Forum is a collaboration between Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, Cork City Council, An Garda Siochana, retail, hospitality and service sectors and other local business representative organisations. It is also an operational group of CORE, the City Centre partnership.

Details of the next customer service training programme can be found HERE.

All Cork City businesses, from retail to hospitality and from  leisure to tourism are encouraged to take part in the training programme.

For further information on the programme please email corkcitycharter@corkcity.ie

“Cork City growth impeded”

Cork business groups join forces calling for movement on Cork Events Centre

“Pressure must be put on all stakeholders to deliver this vital piece of

infrastructure for the region”.

The Cork Business Association (CBA), Irish Hotels Federation Cork (IHF), Vintners Federation Cork (VFI) and Restaurant Association Cork (RAI) have joined forces to call for ‘certainty, accountability and meaningful communication’ on the long-awaited Cork Events Centre.

 

The business organisations said that it is imperative for future planning and sustainability in Cork that the development of the 6,000 capacity multi-purpose venue begins immediately.

 

They are appealing to An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD and to local government for clarity on all phases of construction on the site. The group said, “The process has dragged out and at this stage the Government needs to deliver on this project, by resolving all interdepartmental issues and ensuring that the Developer BAM and operator Live Nation also deliver on their end.”

 

Development of the Centre, which saw the sod turned on its site three years ago, has been thwarted by delays which have seen costs soar from €53m to almost €80m, and sanctioned a State investment increase from €20m to €30m. Further delays have been caused due to legal issues and the €9m repayable loan element of the State funding.

 

The group said, “A dedicated events centre, that would bring Cork’s conferencing and events capacity from 1,000 to 6,000 seats, would be a game changer for the wider Cork region in terms of social and economic benefits.”

 

The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, events) market in Cork is

currently worth €13.2m, with a further €14m in the pipeline for next year,

according to the latest figures from Cork Convention Bureau.

 

“Imagine what we could deliver with a dedicated multi-purpose venue with six times this capacity. It will not only make Cork a destination city nationally and internationally, but it will help retain concert and event business in Cork, giving our community the opportunity to spend their hard-earned money with local businesses.

 

“It will also speed up the regeneration of the North Main Street / Marsh and will create much greater vibrancy in the city in the evenings, dramatically changing our night time economy.

 

“The impact on local jobs alone would be significant, with 400 positions projected during the construction phase and up to 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for the region when it opens, according to Enda Kenny when he turned the sod three years ago.”

 

The business groups said that “growth in the city is currently impeded as we wait for answers. There will be a detrimental impact on several industries and the local economy if there is further stalling of the process.

 

“Hoteliers, publicans, restaurateurs and businesses are investing heavily in the region because of the potential that the city holds. But return on that investment very much depends on the events centre coming to fruition.”

 

The IHF announced last week that there is a very real danger that there will be an oversaturation of hotels on the market. “The accommodation market is just not sustainable at the rate it is growing without the addition of the convention centre.

 

“More than 1,500 new bedrooms are already in development or in the pipeline for Cork City, which would provide a 50% increase on the number of existing rooms currently available.  In addition, there are 4,000 AirBnB units now in Cork and additional summer lettings will also be offered at the new student accommodation being built.

 

“Whilst this is great news for the city, as it would cater for a significant increase in visitors and generate many local jobs, the increase in bedroom provision could over-saturate the market if the events centre does not get underway soon.  And we cannot jeopardise this much needed investment in our city and the creation of jobs.

 

“Already investment in the city is also being put on hold. There is potential investment earmarked for the neighbouring Marsh/ North Main Street area but that investment won’t be made until the Events Centre is underway.

 

“It is well known that the retail sector is suffering both nationally and

internationally and the substantial year-round footfall that the Cork Events Centre would bring would breathe new life and vibrancy into our city.”

 

The group said that the economic benefits the Cork Events Centre would bring to the city would also offset the €9m loan to be paid back to the State by Cork City Council.

 

“There are 10,000 new jobs and people projected to come in to the city in the next five years and an events centre is an important part of the infrastructure.  It’s an important foundation stone for the future of Cork that will speed up regeneration, dramatically change the night time economy and have real and sustained positive benefits both socially and economically, but the whole city is on hold waiting for it.

 

“Everyone knows how much construction of the Events Centre is going to cost and there is no point at this stage quibbling over the money. If the extra cost gets it over the line, then that’s the price that has to be paid. Its development will lead to currently empty city centre rate paying units re-opening, it will bring jobs and it create revenue that will help repay the loan.  Construction must begin before costs rise again.”

 

In conclusion, the group said, “As Ireland’s Second City, it should be a priority that we have these facilities. We need a date put in writing for when development will start, accountability of the process and clear communication around timelines. We need to know that this is happening. Certainty is better than uncertainty and an outcome needs to be communicated either way.”

 

The Cork Business Association (CBA), Irish Hotels Federation

Cork (IHF), Vintners Federation Cork (VFI) and Restaurant Association Cork (RAI) represents more than 500 businesses in Cork City.

 

Cork targets French tourists

Pure Cork announces achievements and plans at Pure Cork Industry Day

 

Pure Cork is launching a campaign in association with Tourism Ireland to actively encourage more French tourists to choose Cork as a destination.  This is part of a wider strategy to extend the tourism season in the region.

 

The announcement was made at the recent Pure Cork Tourism Industry Day held at Vienna Woods Country House on 27 February 2019, which was attended by nearly 200 people working within the tourism industry in Cork.

 

At the event, Visit Cork, the public-private partnership that promotes Cork as a destination for leisure (Pure Cork) and business tourism (Cork Convention Bureau), announced their achievements to date and plans for the coming year.

Head of Visit Cork, Seamus Heaney, illustrated the value of tourism to the region, highlighting that tourism currently supports almost 22,500 jobs in Cork, with more than 800 tourism businesses, festivals and events currently listed on the new purecork.ie website.  He encouraged all businesses to upload details of their tourism business, festival or event to the website, and to engage with their social media channels, so they can be actively supported by team at Pure Cork.

 

In 2017, €833 million revenue was generated for Cork through overseas and domestic tourism, and in 2018, 1.7 million tourists visited Cork (equating to the generation of 200 jobs) while €13.2 million was generated through conference and business tourism, with a further €14m in the pipeline for 2020.

 

Many business tourists are now beginning to extend their stay by 2-4 days, which offers a huge opportunity for growth, according to Evelyn O Sullivan, Manager at Cork Convention Bureau.  “The biggest growth opportunities are in areas like Teagasc, Space, STEM, and Maritime, and we are here to support anyone wishing to bring a conference to the Cork region.”

“Business tourists are high end and high spend”, said Ciara Gallagher from Meet in Ireland.

Pure Cork is now undertaking a number of initiatives, working with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland, to collectively sell Cork as a destination. This includes targeting new markets that are directly serviced by airline routes into Cork Airport.

 

The tourism body is specifically targeting five key geographical areas: regional UK locations outside of London, the north east of the USA, domestic ‘staycationers’, and visitors from France and Germany.

 

With two flights now servicing Cork almost daily from Paris, operated by Aer Lingus and Air France, Pure Cork sees this as one of the biggest opportunities for growth, hence the reason they are developing a “deep dive” into the French market. 46% of all French visitors are from the Paris region and there are currently 2,200 airline seats in to Cork per week along with 1,000 ferry seats.

 

Speaking at the event, Monica Mac Laverty, Southern Europe Manager for Tourism Ireland, said French visitors average a 10.3 night stay in Ireland, which is significant.  They also tend to travel from April-June, which would extend the tourist season in Cork.  “There is an extremely strong opportunity to develop tourism from France for the Cork region, especially with direct access from Cork airport, which is key”.

Ms McLaverty said that Tourism Ireland is working in partnership with Pure Cork to convey the depth of the tourism experience available here. As part of the promotional initiative, representatives from Pure Cork will attend or host a series of events in France to highlight Cork, including a St. Patrick’s Day event on the Champs Elysees with the Irish Ambassador in France on March 14th and other engaging events yet to be announced in Bordeaux and Paris.  Key media and tour operators from this region will also be invited to visit Cork in the near future.

 

A presentation was also given at the event by Josephine O’Driscoll, Fáilte Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way Programme Manager.  The average growth in hotel occupancy in the Cork region in 2018 was +3% and Revenue growth was +6.1%, according to Fáilte Ireland figures. In 2018, Cork attractions reported average year on year revenue growth of 21% and visitor numbers growth of 33%.

 

Cork accounts for 9% of bed stock nationally, 12% of domestic trips in Ireland, 11% of domestic revenue in Ireland and 18% of overseas tourists to Ireland.

Cork currently places third in Ireland for overseas tourists after Dublin and Galway, and second in terms of overseas tourist revenue after Dublin.

 

Pure Cork sees huge growth in immersive experiences, dynamic packaging (hotels and attractions working together) and the night-time economy.  They are encouraging businesses to create exciting experiences and offers in the evening to ensure overnight stays and a longer dwell time for tourists in the region.

 

Mr Heaney said the main aim of the event was to encourage everyone working in tourism in Cork to promote Cork and the Pure Cork brand collectively to grow the industry for the benefit of the entire local economy.

 

“Pure Cork is about all of the Cork tourism industry pulling together in the understanding that by pulling together we can do better – Ní neart go cur le chéile – Fior Chrocaigh,” he said.

Leakage Reduction Programme Works Cork City, MacCurtain Street Update

Please note this update as we reach the end of the seventh week of Leakage Reduction Programme works on MacCurtain Street, here is some feedback  we have received on the progress of the project.
 
The temporary traffic management arrangements have allowed the contractors, Coffey Northumbrian Ltd., to progress on schedule on the south side of the street. Road users who were initially apprehensive about using the bus lane have become accustomed to the new arrangement and traffic is now moving well. A Coffey Northumbrian Ltd. employee is manning the lane in order to facilitate the flow and aid with set downs or deliveries.
 
The installation of the new water main has progressed thus far without any major issues. The excavation works did unearth two leaks in the existing main, exhibiting the importance of the works in improving water quality, security of supply and reduction of leakage.  These leaks were repaired allowing the old main to continue functioning until the completed upgrades are commissioned. These leaks were being temporarily contained by the pressure exerted by surrounding material. However this would have given way over time leading to major leaks and disruption to water supply in the area. In the case of any unforeseen changes to the current programme of works you will notified as soon as possible.
The works have now reached the far end of MacCurtain Street and the junction with Summerhill North and the Lower Glanmire Road. The routing of the water main on the Lower Glanmire Road, which the new water main on MacCurtain Street must meet, requires a crossing of this junction from the south side of MacCurtain Street to the north side of the Lower Glanmire Road. To facilitate this crossing, night works will be undertaken under permission granted by Cork City Council and An Garda Síochána.
 
A stop go system will be put in place from 20.00 to 06.00 from Monday 25th February to Wednesday 27th February and 22.00 – 06.00 on Thursday 28th February and Friday 1st March. This system will be monitored and re-assessed on a continual basis. The crossing works planned should be completed within this timeframe. Daytime work on this junction would severely impact traffic flow and therefore night works will have the least impact when crossing the junction and connecting at this complex service juncture. This will ensure we can have business as normal as access into and out of the city will not be interrupted during the day.
The construction works related to the new Harleys Street Bridge between St. Patricks and Merchants Quays require a 6 week road closure of Harleys Street. We have secured access during this closure to install the new water main on the street. This prevents the need for any further road closure on Harleys Street to enable our works. The water mains renewal works on this Street began on Thursday 21st February and estimated to take approximately one week.
 
Works on York Hill have progressed as expected this week. The laying of the new water main is expected to be complete by Monday 25th and the road closure lifted by the following morning. Service connections are then required to be undertaken at this location but this will not require a road closure. A work crew will therefore still be visible on York Hill.

Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade to take place on Sunday March 17th

Organised by Cork City Council, The Cork St. Patrick’s Festival will take place from March 15th to March 18th 2019, with over 50,000 visitors expected to attend the Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 17th, celebrating the theme ‘Stories of Cork’.

 

Throughout the festival weekend, Cork will be a hive of activity with traditional Irish music from the Lee Sessions, exhibitions celebrating Irish culture, plus theatre, music, guided tours and talks.

 

The Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be a vibrant carnival of colours, music, marching bands, amazing floats and community groups with up to 3,000 participants taking part, including some visiting from the USA.

 

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mick Finn said,

 

‘Is mór an onóir dom cuireadh a thabhairt díbh chuig ceiliúradh Féile Pádraig Chorcaí, go mbainfidh sibh go leor taitneamh as eachtraí na féile. It gives me great pleasure to invite you to join in Cork’s celebration of our national holiday. The 2019 Cork St. Patrick’s Festival celebrates the rich and diverse fabric of life in Cork, and reflects the great variety of people that now call our city home -we welcome Corkonians and visitors alike Leeside. The theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Stories of Cork’, invites local community organisations to express their Irishness and what it means to them. It also provides an opportunity for visitors to see why we are so proud of our city.’

 

Commissions by local arts organisations Cork Community Art Link and Dowtcha Puppets, plus national groups such as Spraoi, Buí Bolg and LuxE are in progress, creating innovative floats celebrating the theme.

 

Along with the entertaining flock of Cork Gulls created by Dowtcha Puppets, who have been working for weeks with local performing groups and St John’s College, a huge puppet of St. Patrick will accompany them on the route.

 

Cork Community Art Link will present a series of very “Cork” buildings who will roam the streets of Cork. There will be six floats of various sizes, each telling its own story through puppetry, performance and pop-up characters. These floats are being produced in conjunction with 11 local groups including Enable Ireland, The Brook Centre, Farranree Springboard, National Learning Network and Cork City Firebirds.

 

National arts organisations joining the parade in Cork include Waterford performance art group Spraoi, which will celebrate the origins of the word “langer” by unleashing a ‘langur monkey’ onto the street of Cork, while theatre performers from LuxE will tell the story of Sunniva, the Cork princess who became the patron saint of Western Norway.

 

Joining Corkonians from the United States for the Parade will also be marching bands from Indiana, North Dakota, Colorado and New York.

 

The parade will begin at 1pm on St. Patrick’s Day. Full details of parking, park and ride bus facilities and traffic restrictions will be available on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie in advance of parade day. See Facebook @corkstpatricksfestival and Twitter @corkpaddysfest for updates and details of other activities to enjoy over the weekend.

 

Cork’s RedFM and the Evening Echo are Media Sponsors of The Cork St Patrick’s Festival 2019.

Four New Additions To Cork Airport’s Winter Schedule

Cork Airport, Ireland’s fastest growing and most punctual international airport, welcomes the announcement today that Ryanair has added four new services to its Winter 2019 schedule. The airline’s passenger numbers at Cork Airport are also forecast to increase by 17% this year, its largest increase among all Irish international airports.

The airline has extended its summer services to Alicante, Budapest, Malta and Poznań, twice-weekly for the forthcoming winter season.

An estimated 1.2 million Ryanair customers will pass through Cork Airport this year, up 17%. Cork Airport is entering its fourth year of consecutive growth, with passenger numbers set to rise by 8% this year. It is forecasted that 2.6 million will travel through Cork Airport in 2019.

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement from Ryanair and in particular its commitment to extend its new Summer 2019 routes of Budapest, Malta and Poznań for the winter season.

“The extension of services to these destinations means that our customers across the south of Ireland will have even greater choice this coming winter, whether that is for a winter sun getaway, or a European city break. It will also benefit the region as a whole, with inbound visitor potential to key attractions such as the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. Our business development team continues to work with Ryanair, and our other partner airlines, on further positive announcements, ensuring the continued growth of Cork Airport.”

Over 50 routes are now on offer from Cork Airport across the UK, Continental Europe and the east coast of the USA. Global aviation analysts OAG recently revealed that Cork Airport topped the punctuality league for international airports in Ireland in 2018, with an on-time performance of 80.2%.

Visit Cork Tourism Industry Day at Vienna Woods Country House

Visit Cork is a public-private partnership that promotes Cork as a destination for leisure (Pure Cork) and business tourism (Cork Convention Bureau), is hosting a briefing session for those involved in the tourism industry on Wednesday 27 February at Vienna Woods Country House. 

Anyone with an interest in tourism or in attracting visitors to Cork is invited to attend the Tourism Industry Day, from local community and tourist groups, to festivals and events, to accommodation and experience providers, for an update on Pure Cork’s achievements to date and plans for the promotion of Cork as a destination in the coming year.

 

It promises to be a highly interactive, dynamic session with presentations from Seamus Heaney, Head of Visit Cork, Evelyn O’Sullivan, Cork Convention Bureau, Ciara Gallagher, Meet in Ireland, and Monica MacLaverty, Manager, Southern Europe Tourism Ireland. There will also be excellent networking and cross promotion opportunities.

 

“We encourage everyone involved in the tourism industry in Cork to attend the Pure Cork Industry Day and explore how they can work with Pure Cork to enhance their business and help collectively promote all that Cork has to offer to domestic and international business and leisure visitors,” said Seamus Heaney, Head of Pure Cork.

 

The Pure Cork Industry Day will take place from 10.30am-1.30pm, with registration from 10am.

 

All tourism businesses are encouraged to submit their festival, event or business details to the purecork.ie website, which was launched in summer 2018.

 

Register today for the industry day on http://purecork.clr.events or contact the team at Pure Cork on (021) 431 8036.

 

CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards 2018

CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards 2018

~Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, McCarthy Insurance Group, and Michael O’Flynn announced as top award winners ~

 

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, McCarthy Insurance Group and Michael O’ Flynn were the big winners at the Cork Business Association’s Cork Business of the Year Awards, which were held in Clayton Hotel Silversprings on Saturday 23 February.

 

A further 9 industry awards were presented on the evening.  The awards, which are run in partnership with JCD and The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across varied sectors of business in Cork City and its environs.
The winners were…

 

Best New Business, sponsored by LEO Cork City

  • Ichigo Ichie

Takashi Miyazaki is the first person to have brought a kappou-style fine dining Japanese restaurant to Ireland and by extension Cork. The 25-seat restaurant, which opened in April 2018, is located at no 5 Fenns Quay, Sheares Street. To describe the incredible quality on offer, a food critic recently said “Mr Miyazaki doesn’t just want to satisfy your appetite with his cooking, he wants to feed your soul”. Incredibly despite only opening in April, Ichigo Ichie has already being awarded one of Cork’s first Michelin Stars. A remarkable achievement in such a short period.

 

Best Tourism, Arts, or Event sponsored by IHF Cork

  • Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery is a National Cultural institution and a regional art museum for Munster.  It is home to over 4000 works of art. It is dedicated to the visual arts outside Dublin and the Gallery excels at multidisciplinary exhibitions that include paintings, film, objects and digital imagery. Displaying innovative exhibitions from their own collection containing historically important works such as Harry Clarke, Lavery, William Orphen and temporary exhibitions from Francis Bacon and Robert Ballaght to name but a few. They also provide in-house and outreach Learn and Explore Programmes which foster a sense of history, place, context and culture to a wide audience at local, national and international level. Numbers continue to grow and over 230,000 people visited during 2018.

 

Best Cork Professional Service, sponsored by ETC the Events Tourism & Communications Agency

  • Meitheal Design Partners

 

Meitheal design Partners are an Architecture, Design and Planning Consultancy business based in Father Matthew Quay Cork with offices also in Dublin and Kenmare. This award-winning design consultancy has emerged from the recession and is now the largest indigenous Cork architectural practice. Their strong commitment to a client focused philosophy has seen their business grow to such an extent that soon they will be announcing their 5000th commission since opening their practice in 2003.


Best Cork Café,
sponsored by The English Market

  • Café Velo

Located in Georges Quay, Café Velo is a bicycle–themed café and roastery that aims to bring their customers the best of local produce for breakfast, lunch and brunch seven days a week. The majority of food is prepared in-house with the best of ingredient – they cook and slice their own ham and Spiced Beef and make their own salads, jams, soups and sauces. Recently they started their own in-house roasted coffee at their new coffee counter. Café Velo is now one of the most popular café’s on the south channel of the city proving that good produce and great customer service is always successful.

 

Best Cork Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market

  • Greene’s

Greene’s Restaurant is Located in the heart of the Victorian Quarter in Mac Curtain Street. Beautifully situated overlooking a large waterfall, it certainly has the wow factor. Greenes is fine dining at its finest – all menus are exclusively filled with produce from within 50km of the Hotel. The food at Greenes is innovative, modern and devoted to place and uses the outstanding ingredients that are available in Cork to deliver a truly exceptional dining experience.

 

Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork

  • Gallaghers

Gallagher’s Gastro Pub is a Bar & Restaurant situated at the corner of Mac Curtain Street at the foot of Cork’s famous Patrick’s Hill and is named after one of Cork’s most iconic musicians Rory Gallagher. Providing top quality food and drink in comfortable surroundings with an ambiance mixing old world and new.

Gallagher’s has an extensive menu with something for everyone – you can enjoy a quick lunch, sumptuous dinner or even a Sunday brunch. Live Music is also a big part of the offering and Gallagher’s have their very own percussionist keeping the party alive each night.

 

Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by Kings Laundry

  • Metropole Hotel Cork

The Metropole Hotel Cork is located in the heart of the city and this year celebrates 121 years of Cork hospitality. It is deeply rooted in the history of Cork and is home to the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. The Metropole is a 108-bedroom hotel which also has 9 conference rooms and 2 large banqueting suites and is a member of the Trigon hotel group. This year saw a huge €2.5m investment in refurbishment including the opening of the MET – their new restaurant, bar and tea rooms.

 

Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by Musgrave

  • Hassett’s Bakery – the Hassett family

Michael Hassetts’ passion for baking developed during his time working across Europe as a chef in the early 80s. Michael started his own bakery in Douglas in 1984 and opened his first shop in 1988. Hassetts now have shops in the English Market, Douglas Court, Blackpool shopping centre and a café in Carrigaline, employing 60 staff. They also have a thriving wholesale business supplying many restaurants and Cafés in Cork City and County. Within the last twelve months they commenced exporting to the USA, Germany, UK, France and Belgium.

 

Best Cork Retail Business sponsored by Cork City Council

  • K O’Connell Fish Merchants

Founded in 1962 in The English Market, Kay O Connell started her fish merchants business with a small 14 x 10 foot stall. It is hard to believe that a business with such humble beginnings would achieve so much. Today it is instantly recognizable not only in Cork but nationally and internationally. In 1998 Pat and Paul took over the business and continued to drive it forward, but always ensured it retained the essentials of Character, Customer and Product. Retail changes and K O Connells is adapting to that change as a third generation of family join the business – they have opened their own smokehouse in Bandon and recently opened a new store in Dunnes Stores in Bishopstown Court.

 

Cork Business of the Year (Large Category):  sponsored by JCD

  • Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

For more than 40 years, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival has stood tall as one of the most iconic festivals on the national cultural calendar.  Held annually over the October bank holiday weekend since its inception in the Metropole Hotel in 1978, the festival has a proud history and is worth almost €45 million to the local economy.

 

2018 was an outstanding success.  The Festival received national and international public and critical acclaim, under the helm of new Festival Director Sinead Dunphy, whose vision saw the Festival grow dramatically, resulting in a large increase in revenue to the city.

 

1,000 musicians from more than 20 countries flew into Cork for one of the most exciting weekends of jazz music performances ever to take place in Cork, with free entertainment in more than 70 pubs across the city.

 

The event also spilled out into the streets of Cork with a New Orleans inspired Dia de Los Muertos Jazz Parade, with thousands lining the streets to watch in awe.

 

Cork Business of the Year (Medium Category): sponsored by JCD

  • McCarthy Insurance Group

McCarthy Insurance Group has grown from humble beginnings in a small office in Fermoy, in 1952, to becoming the Largest Family Owned Brokerage in Ireland!

They have eight offices in Cork city and County with nearly twenty other Cork brokerages.

McCarthy Insurance Group covers every type of cover that you can think of – from General Insurance to Travel, Mortgage and Car policies, to business premise insurance, multi-business insurance and multi-national policies, including a Group of Manufacturers with ten plants in the EU. Right up to holding over €200 Million in funds for clients!!

The Group employs around 200 staff, with specialists in niches areas, such as Hair Salons, Hotels, and the Food and Drink Industry.

With Gross Written Premiums due to exceed €100 Million by 2020, this Group will be the Largest Family Owned Brokerage in Ireland, and they have plans for ambitious growth and further acquisitions in the next 5 years!

 

Champion of Cork Award: sponsored by CIT

  • Michael O Flynn

The origin of this award comes from an idea from two recently departed CBA friends James O Sullivan & Owen O Callaghan. They wanted to create an award to recognise an individual who over their lifetime has contributed not just to business but has left their mark on society in general.

 

 

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Commenting on the winners, President of Cork Business Association Philip Gillivan said, “Our awards night is a celebration of the Cork business community who are driving our local community.  It’s a celebration of businesses who go above and beyond, and it’s a celebration of employers, proud employees and ambassadors of our community.

 

“This year we received a record number of entrants and I would like to congratulate each of our very deserving finalists and winners.  To be a finalist for these awards is a wonderful achievement in itself.  I would also like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, in particular our award sponsor JCD, event partner AIB, and media partner The Irish Examiner, and a particular thanks to our extremely hard working and committed independent panel of judges,  Mark Fitzharris AIB, Seamus Heaney Visit Cork, Adrienne Rodgers LEO Cork City, and Gerard O’Donovan CIT.”

 

The CBA’s aim is to recognise the value and achievement of Cork businesses who have contributed to or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural or civic life of Cork, and to encourage business excellence in the city.