Reboot your Retail Business with LEAN Thinking

LEAN Thinking Course for Customer Faced Business

Join The Rebooting your Retail Business with Lean Thinking hosted by LEO Cork City and Cork Business Association.

This course is a sector specific program for consumer facing businesses based in Cork and with up to 10 employees. It will include 3 group sessions which will run on Wednesdays (21st April, 28th April and 5th May), with date for 1 x 3 hour individual mentoring session agreed between mentor and participant to be agreed. The course will run from 9:30am to 12:30pm.

Lean is involves thinking about the end user and taking out waste in the process in order to create a culture of continuous improvement. You start off by identifying one small improvement and then you ramp it up as much as you can. Lean is about people, it allows them to make a difference and it supports them on this journey.

Participants will learn how LEAN and other business improvement techniques can be used to offset the additional costs of lowered productivity due to new COVID-related processes.  This will be done through learning ‘Eyes for Waste’ and exploring how ‘Lean Workplace Organisation’ can be used to redesign processes to implement social distancing and maintain productivity.  The programme will also cover innovation techniques to find opportunities for businesses.

For further information and to book a place please see booking link,!-Rebooting-your-Retail-Business-with-LEAN-thinking.html

The Cork Dinner Party you Can’t Miss


~ This is what happens when a city comes together ~

~ Cork hotel chefs collaborate for the Cork Business Association’s President’s Dinner ~

~a ‘Taste of the City At Home’ ~


Hotels in Cork have come together to curate a Taste of the City At Home experience to showcase the wealth of producers and growers in the region.  The collaboration is for the upcoming Cork Business Association’s (CBA) President’s Dinner and Cork Business of Year Awards, which will be presented virtually on April 17th 2021.

It is being flagged as the Cork dinner party you can’t miss and is a testament to a City coming together in a challenging year.

Five executive head chefs in Cork city hotels and a director of the CBA have created six daring and delicate dishes that will highlight the best local produce that can be found in and around Cork from their favourite producers. The aim is to shine a light on the region’s smokers, growers, cheese makers and farmers, whilst also showcasing the creativity and talent of the Cork’s hotel chefs as they continue to push boundaries.

The Taste of the City At Home culinary experience is being coordinated by well-known Nash19 owner and CBA Director, Claire Nash.  Claire, who has been a leading organiser in Cork’s prestigious Long Table Dinner over the past few years, says “the quality of the food will be on a par with the Long Table and will showcase our favourite local producers and the extraordinary talent of local hotel chefs who are continuously innovating.  It will be an unmissable evening of fine dining at home – the Cork dinner party you can’t miss!  This is what happens when a city comes together.

Also commenting, President of the Cork Business Association Eoin O Sullivan said, “Our event will not only recognise businesses and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution or shown true resilience over the past year, but it will also be a stunning showcase for regional producers and the culinary talents of local chefs. This sharing dinner for two is the perfect way to thank teams who have put down an extraordinary year, as behind every good employee is a great partner or friend.

The Taste of the City At Home dinner will begin with a Carpaccio of Waterfall Farm Beetroot and Roasted Almonds, created by Trevor O’Keeffe in the Metropole Hotel.  This will be followed by a starter of Ballycotton Seared Scallop & Crab remoulade with Smoked Salmon, Blas Caviar, and Sea Asparagus, prepared by Jerome Joyce from the Imperial Hotel, while Christopher O’Sullivan from The Cork International Hotel will present a Soup of locally Foraged Nettle and wild garlic with Bacon salt.

The main is West Cork Angus, Filet of Beef Wellington with Fermented Barley, Celeriac & Black Garlic Puree, and Morel Jus, created by Tim Daly in The Kingsley.  Claire Nash from Nash19 will showcase local Cheeses, Mature Gubbeen & Ash Ardsallagh Goats, with Fig Confit.  To round it all off, the dessert will be a Rhubarb & Rosewater Posset with Gingerella & Pistachio Crumb, Cherry Flake, Apple Blossom Syrup from Adrienne Hillgrove at Cork’s Vienna Woods, who grows his own rhubarb on the estate.  Breads, Brown Soda & Sourdough will be supplied the local Alternative Bread Company.

The dinner also includes Champagne and Wine Pairing (a bottle of champagne, red wine and white wine per dinner for two) and a Shelbourne Irish Coffee for two with local Jameson, Mahers Fairtrade and Gloun Cross CreamOther treats will be included in the box on the evening for the one-off ‘Taste of the City At Home’ experience.

Fergal Harte, Chair of the Irish Hotels Federation Cork branch and General Manager of The Kingsley, one of the hotels involved in the dinner, said, “This collaboration in our city is giving everyone a boost.  Our executive head chefs have come together to create a menu we are all proud of.  We’re also delighted to bring the experience to Dublin as hopefully it will inspire visitors to Cork when the country reopens to get a bigger taste of Pure Cork.”

Those attending Cork’s biggest dinner party will be provided with chef videos demonstrating how to finish the meal off at home, along with wine tasting notes and more.  The chefs will also introduce their courses and the provenance of the produce used at the virtual event.

The Cork Business Association and Irish Hotels Federation Cork branch are keen to bring the experience to as many people as possible, so there will be two pick up locations on the 17th April – from The Imperial Hotel in Cork city and the Academy Plaza on O’Connell St in Dublin city centre.

In addition to the food, an exceptional evening of celebration, awards, entertainment, networking, and panel discussions with Cork business and civic leaders has been planned for the Cork Business Association event.  Taoiseach Micheal Martin will also make an address on the evening.


The CBA is encouraging everyone to dress up on the night and to share their experience on Twitter.  They will be linking into people’s homes via social media and there will be plenty of prizes for the best dressed, the best presented meal, and best dressed table!”


The event is a key fundraiser for the Cork Business Association, which is a not-for-profit organisation, and for their charity partner Marymount University Hospital & Hospice.  The awards and event are sponsored by JCD, Centra, Peninsula, and The Irish Examiner is the media partner.


Tickets are priced at €95 per person (€190 for the dinner for 2) and are on a first come first served basis.  There will be a collection point in Cork City and Dublin City. To book or for more information see, contact (021) 427 8295 or .


The Taste of the City At Home Menu:

Carpaccio of Waterfall Farm Beetroot, Roasted Almonds, Metropole Hotel

Ballycotton Seared Scallop & Crab remoulade, Smoked Salmon, Blas Caviar, Sea Asparagus, Imperial Hotel

Soup of Foraged Nettle and wild garlic, Bacon salt, Cork International Hotel

West Cork Angus, Filet of Beef Wellington, Fermented Barley, Celeriac & Black Garlic Puree, Morel Jus, The Kingsley

Cheeses, Mature Gubbeen & Ash Ardsallagh Goats, Fig Confit, Nash19

Rhubarb & Rosewater Posset, Gingerella & Pistachio Crumb, Cherry Flake, Apple Blossom Syrup, Cork’s Vienna Woods

Breads, Brown Soda & Sourdough, Alternative Bread Company


Champagne and Wine Pairing

Pierre Darcy Champagne Brut, (France)

Sponsored by Centra

Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (New Zealand) 2019

Supported by Enowine

Chateau Fontareche Corbières Tradition Red, Languedoc (France) 2018

Supported by Enowine

Irish Coffee, with Jameson, Mahers Fairtrade, Smothered with Gloun Cross Cream

Over 60 companies sign up to BITCI’s new Low Carbon Pledge and commit to setting science-based carbon emission reduction targets

Over 60 of the largest companies in Ireland have publicly committed to set targets based on science by 2024. They are the first signatories of Business in the Community Ireland’s new Low Carbon Pledge.

Business in the Community Ireland, the national network for sustainability, created the initial Low Carbon Pledge in 2018 with the aim of being a starting point for their member companies to commit to cutting their carbon footprint, report annually on their progress and develop a credible roadmap towards a net zero economy.

The new Low Carbon Pledge now calls on businesses to set science-based carbon emission reduction targets no later than 2024 (i.e. what science says is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C).

The 61 signatories are: A&L Goodbody, Abbvie, ABP Foods, Accenture, Actavo, AIB, ALDI, Allianz, An Post, Arup, Aviva, Bank of Ireland, Bidvest Noonan, Boots, Britvic, BT Ireland, Cairn Homes, Cisco, Cook Medical, Dawn Meats, Deloitte, DePuy Synthes, Diageo, Dublin Bus, EirGrid, Enterprise-Rent-a-Car, ESB, Fujitsu, Gas Networks Ireland, Grant Thornton, HEINEKEN Ireland, Hovione Ireland, Irish Rail, Irish Distillers,  Irish Water, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, KBC Bank, Keelings, KPMG, Lidl, M&S, Momentum Support, Mercury Engineering, Musgrave, Ornua, Permanent TSB, PM Group, PwC, RTÉ, Sky, Sodexo, SSE, Tesco, Three Ireland, Ulster Bank, Verizon, Veolia, Virgin Media Ireland, Vodafone and William Fry.

The 61 signatory companies will commit to:

    • Record their entire Carbon Footprint, both direct (Scope 1 & 2) and indirect (Scope 3) emissions
    • Reduce emissions that they are directly responsible for (Scope 1 & 2), as well as play their part in reducing emissions across their Supply Chain (Scope 3)
    • Report individually through an Annual Report or Website or other publicly available equivalent source and collectively through an Annual Business in the Community Ireland Low Carbon Report
    • As our understanding improves, signatory companies are asked to commit to regularly Reviewing their carbon reduction targets to align to the latest Climate Science.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Eamon Ryan T.D. welcome today’s announcement and commented,

“As COP26 approaches, we must accelerate our climate response across our economy and society. I commend Business in the Community Ireland on this collective action especially as it brings together companies from different sectors and at different levels of maturity on their decarbonisation journey. A low carbon economy is imperative for our post-pandemic recovery as it will support our long-term competitiveness , job creation and social cohesion.”

The key strength of the Pledge lies in the collaborative platform which enables signatory companies to learn from each other’s successes and challenges. By working collectively, the Low Carbon Pledge movement builds capacity, fosters innovation and drives the ambition in delivering the changes needed.

Tomás Sercovich, CEO, Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), said, 

With yesterday’s publication of the Climate Action Bill which commits Ireland to be a net-zero carbon State by 2050, the role of business in reaching this target is vital. Investors, regulators, consumers, suppliers and employees expect business to lead the net zero vision we all aspire. Transparency and accountability are fundamental for the change to happen. The Low Carbon Pledge is a clear demonstration of businesses driving towards decarbonisation, creating the business models, innovation and jobs for a low carbon future. As more businesses join this Pledge, we will use our collective voice to drive the new systems thinking we need to overcome this fundamental challenge.”


Plans for a €140m regeneration of Cork’s landmark Custom House quays site have been approved.

Green light for Ireland's tallest building on Cork's Custom House site


An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decision made by Cork City Council last October to grant planning with conditions for the Tower Holdings hotel, retail, commercial and leisure project, which includes a soaring 34-storey 240-bedroom hotel.


The former Port of Cork site will be redeveloped with a mix of retail, office, food and beverage, distillery, tourism and leisure amenities.


The project includes the partial demolition of some protected structures, including the former Port of Cork Revenue Building, as well as conservation and repair works including alterations, extensions and changes of use of the existing and protected Custom House building, to provide a reception, bar, restaurant, function areas, plant and ESB substation for the hotel, as well as conservation and repair works to the Bonded Warehouses on the site.


The city council’s decision had been appealed by the Irish Georgian Society, by An Taisce Corcaigh, and by artist John Adams, who lives in, Cobh, who had all expressed concerns about the height of the tower, its visual impact on the skyline, and on the treatment of several historic but disused buildings on the site.



But in its decision which emerged today, the planning appeals board said the project would secure the re-development of strategic, under-utilised urban land in a prominent city centre location and would assist in the re-development and rejuvenation of this part of Cork City Centre, in accordance with the policies and objectives of the current Cork City Development Plan.


The board said there will be positive impacts on the cultural heritage of this part of Cork City arising from the restoration, extension and reuse of currently vacant or under-utilised historic buildings and the opening up of the site to the public and the extensive provision of public realm.


The planning decision comes just days after the state announced a €353m investment in the city's docklands to help drive future development.


Cork Airport to rebuild runways during downturn


Cork Airport is progressing at pace its critical long-term capital infrastructure programme this year given the decimating impact the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on the aviation industry.

With passengers numbers currently down 99% it makes prudent business sense to fast-track major capital investment projects now, while the airport is extremely quiet.

Management at Cork Airport has been engaged with all its major stakeholders, including Ryanair, in relation to the runway reconstruction and remediation project since last autumn. The majority of our airline customers are strongly in favour of the runway work being done this year. This runway reconstruction project is vital for the future of the airport and our aim is to complete with the least possible disruption and at the lowest cost. The reconstruction of the main runway which, when completed later this year, will be a key strategic asset for the South of Ireland for the next 20 years.

We have consulted more than dozen other international airports in the UK and continental Europe which have completed similar runway projects in recent years. Airports adopt a range of technical solutions and working windows, but the aim is always the same – to complete the project as quickly and efficiently as possible, using the optimum technical solution, at the lowest cost.

A number of options are being considered in the context of stakeholder views, with particular regard to the recovery of traffic with our major airline customers. This will be the key determinant to the delivery of these works so that we complete the runway project in the most effective and efficient manner. Public tendering commenced back in November in accordance with EU procurement guidelines for a project of this scale and we plan to be in a position to award the contract in May.

Cork Airport has been talking to airlines, including Ryanair, in relation to the types of incentive schemes we will offer to enable us to work together to build back our respective businesses. We will be tabling a generous incentive scheme, which will once again make charges at Cork Airport cheaper than those at Dublin Airport, to Ryanair and to other customers in the coming days. Charges at Cork Airport have not increased in more than 14 years.

Cork Airport was the fastest-growing airport in Ireland in 2019 and management is focused on working with our airlines and partners to secure strong passenger growth post-pandemic.

Launch of the Cork St Patrick’s Festival March 13 to March 17

Cork St Patricks Festival celebrates our city’s people, communities and culture


Organised by Cork City Council, the Cork St Patrick’s Festival will take place from March 13 to March 17 and will see over 30 buildings in Cork go green, plus online musical performances, exhibitions and parade workshops.


The theme of the Cork St Patrick’s festival is ‘Meitheal’ and the festival will reflect on what has been positive in our experience of the year past, and the rich seam of community spirit and support that the pandemic has brought into focus.


The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh said

“The past 12 months, for all their hardship, have revealed the best in us. They have shown that a sense of community and responsibility to one another remain core to who we are as a people and a community.


The Cork St Patrick’s Festival is a celebration of our city’s sense of solidarity and pride and we pay tribute to all our communities who have given so much of themselves throughout the pandemic”


To mark our national festival, many of Cork’s most significant buildings and structures are going green this year. From Blackrock Castle to the Shakey Bridge and from City Hall to Blarney Castle, over 30 green points of light will glow in the evening skies as part of the Cork St Patrick’s Festival.

Cork Community Artlink have been inspired by the legend of the Goddess Clíodhna, a patron of Cork, and her three brightly coloured birds to create an online installation called A Tale of Cork. The installation will feature an audio recording which will blend natural birdsong with the voice submissions of participants reciting poetry or poems they have written. A special gallery featuring beautiful images of the birds and their creation will also be live on from March 13. It is hoped that a physical large-scale installation of the project will be displayed in Cork at a later date.


Even though there is no Parade this year due to COVID 19, Cork St Patrick’s Festival will present several online interactive parade workshops. Cork Circus will host three face painting workshops where you will be shown how to use face paint to create different parade looks such as The Pirate, the Cat and the Shamrock.

Cork Puppetry Company will host puppet making workshops using materials that can be recycled at home. Each workshop will be introduced by the puppet of St Patrick and on March 17 there will be a special virtual Cork St Patrick’s Puppet Parade featuring videos and images sent in by those who take part in the workshop. The Virtual Parade will take place at 1pm on

Creative Tradition in partnership with Music Generation Cork City and Cork Academy of Music will present The Island of Woods, a traditional music and art project where young traditional musicians are invited to record audio of themselves playing the beautiful Liz Carroll tune 'The Island of Woods'. The performances will be compiled into a big video production which will be released online on March 17. To take part in the video, email


For further information on all events see



Paintings by Cork Artist Jennifer McAuliffe on exhibit at The Montenotte Hotel

A collection of paintings by Cork artist Jennifer McAuliffe is now on exhibit at The Montenotte Hotel until July 2021, as part of the hotel’s thriving artist in residence programme to support Irish artistic talent.

Jennifer McAuliffe is a Cork artist who graduated from Crawford College of Art, Cork in 2003. She experiments with styles, from traditional landscape to more impressionistic abstract work as well as plein air painting. The title of her exhibition at The Montenotte Hotel is “The Precious Hours” which pays homage to the time spent with her creativity during the Covid19 lockdowns during 2020.

Commenting on her new collection of paintings, on exhibit at The Montenotte, Jennifer said “the inspiration behind the collection was when everything stopped, there was time. I appreciated, more than ever, precious time with the people I loved, when we could visit houses, precious time spent in nature, precious time spent in my own creativity finding solace in my art. My colourful abstract water lilies are inspired by places in nature, but are more about the enjoyment of paint, piling on layers of gorgeous oil paint, watching colours marble together, I added gold for it’s magic, and how it changes in the light”

General Manager of The Montenotte Hotel, Brian Bowler said, “Jennifer’s paintings are a stunning memento of the times we live in, the joy of paint and the peace found in creativity. We are proud to support local Irish artists whilst also bringing unique and interesting works of art to the hotel for our guests and visitors to appreciate when it is safe to do so in the coming months as we reopen.”

The Montenotte Hotel’s artist in residence programme is run in association with The Gallery Kinsale, and all paintings on display are available to purchase from

Jennifer McAuliffe Bio: 

Jennifer McAuliffe is an Irish painter, based in Cork. 

She is an oil painter and works on gesso panels. She loves creating art and helping others to learn the skills. Landscape, old streets, sea, and rivers are her thing. 

For more on The Montenotte Hotel visit