Cork Business of the Year Awards 2022


At the launch of the 65th Cork Business of the Year Awards, CBA President Eoin O’Sullivan and Vice-President Kevin Herlihy praised all businesses in Cork for the tenacity, perseverance and resilience they have shown over the past 2 years. 

The CBA Awards, which are run in partnership with sponsors JCD, Centra and Peninsula, and media partner The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across all sectors of business in Cork City. 

The CBA Cork Business of the Year Awards are the perfect way to acknowledge business achievements and celebrate the accomplishments of the companies that will drive Cork forward into the future.

There are 12 individual categories to choose from, including a new award this year for Sustainable Business Innovation and each year a Champion of Cork is also recognised.  

The awards are free to enter and nominations are now open online at The deadline for submission is 5.00pm on March 21st 2022.  

Eoin O’Sullivan, President of Cork Business Association and a Director of M&P O’Sullivan, said “Businesses in Cork have led the way nationally and shown that in the face of a global pandemic, you need to focus on what really matters. Businesses in all sectors including retail, hospitality and services have faced and overcome the many challenges posed by Covid-19 restrictions”. Kevin Herlihy CBA Vice-President and Co-owner of The Herlihy Centra Group, remarked “As we enter what we hope will be the final phase of this pandemic, businesses in Cork are looking forward to a future of renewed growth and creativity born from the lessons we have learned over the past 2 years.

With that in mind, we are delighted to launch the 2022 Cork Business of the Year Awards, which will hopefully recognise and reward business owners who go above and beyond to ensure that Cork city is the best place to work and live.  It has never been more important to highlight businesses who are leading the way and setting precedents for others to aspire to.

This year, in recognition of the importance of sustainable business practices to our future prosperity we have also launched a new Sustainable Business Innovation Award, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, to showcase businesses who have prioritised and embraced sustainable business innovations and are using these new strategies to drive sustainable growth.”


The 12 individual award categories for 2022 include:

  • Sustainable Business Innovation 
  • Best New Business in Cork, sponsored by LEO Cork City
  • Best Cork Family Business, sponsored by AIB
  • Best Cork Hotel, sponsored by Irish Hotels Federation, Cork Branch
  • Best Cork Restaurant, sponsored by The English Market 
  • Best Cork Café, sponsored by The English Market 
  • Best Cork VFI Pub, sponsored by Vintners Federation Cork
  • Best Cork Retail Business, sponsored by Cork City Council
  • Best Tourism Art Event, sponsored by Failte Ireland
  • Best Professional Services Business, sponsored by B2B Signs
  • Best Cork Digital Business, sponsored by Cork Airport
  • Champion of Cork Award, sponsored by MTU

The CBA President’s Dinner and Cork Business of the Year Awards is always a highlight for local businesses.  With the easing of restrictions, CBA is delighted to announce that this year’s event will take place in Vienna Woods Hotel on Saturday April 23rd. Top chefs and award-winning producers will again unite to create a menu, based on the best Cork produce, that will enthrall and delight the taste-buds. Tickets for this “must-attend” event are always in huge demand and will go on sale shortly.  Further details on the event will be updated on the CBA website.

Last year the Cork Business Association recognised some notable achievements, with Kilkenny and Diana O’Mahony Jewellers being named the overall winners in the large category and SME category respectively.  Prof. Mary Horgan of UCC received the Champion of Cork Award for her outstanding contribution to healthcare and in particular for her work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eoin O Sullivan continued, “We very much look forward to receiving this year’s submissions and would like to encourage all businesses located within the greater Cork city area to consider entering these prestigious awards. 

“The benefits of being part of the awards process are many, including association with the awards, public recognition for your hard work, plus marketing and networking opportunities. We would also like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, in particular our event sponsors JCD and Centra, event partner Peninsula, and media partner The Irish Examiner.”  

To enter the Cork Business of the Year Awards 2020, your business must be based in the greater Cork city area or be a current member of the Cork Business Association. 

An experienced panel of leading business and civic leaders will provide independent judging and the shortlist will be announced for public vote in the last week of March. Three businesses will be shortlisted in each category and the public will have the opportunity to vote for the winners.

For further information see  

Garda Advice on Specifications for Safes

Warning from An Garda Siochana

An Garda Siochana recently notified CBA of a Business Burglary in Cork City where a safe containing a large amount of cash was removed.

All businesses should now check their safes and ensure that they are in possession of a certified safe and not a safe cabinet. 

This is easy to check!

Open your safe door and you should locate a metal plate and not a sticker.
On that plate you should see a certification of EN 1143-1.
If there is a certification of EN 14450 that is a safe cabinet.

An Garda Síochána would always advise against keeping large sums of cash and valuables on your premises. If it is necessary to hold cash and valuables ensure that they are stored securely. Understanding sage ratings can help you choose the right safe for your needs.

The first and most important question to ask when choosing a safe is, what needs to be protected?
Safes are available with certification for burglary resistance, fire protection for documents or fire and electro-magnetic protection for electronic media, so it's important to be realistic about what needs to be protected and what risks need to be countered.

Business Retailers should consider a safe with an anti-hold-up pre-caution such as time delay or time locking whereas for a safe in a home office, fire protection for documents, as well as protection for small amounts of cash may be required.

Safe Grades
A safe's grade is intended to be an indication of the unit's resistance to attack and this is true if the safe has been properly tested in an accredited laboratory and certified by an independent accredited European body.

Be wary of safe grades “assigned” by the manufacturer or seller for marketing purposes as they have no real basis in testing. "Recommended cash covers" are the manufacturer's or seller's suggestion and have no relation to certified grades.

Always check that the safe you intend to buy is properly certified for its purpose.

Valid Certification And Grades
Without a doubt the most reliable guide to a safe or vault's resistance to attack or fire is properly accredited European certification.

European bodies certifying safes or vaults must have ISO/IEC 17065 accreditation to carry out certification of the specific products they are certifying. When a safe is tested and certified by an accredited body it is awarded a grade which indicates the unit's attack resistance. In the case of burglary resistance for example, grades are between 0 and 13. These certified grades have a direct relation to the cash rating recommended by each national rating organisation. In Ireland's case the I.S.R.G.

Irish Safes Ratings
In the Republic of Ireland safe insurance ratings are set by The Irish Safes Ratings Group (ISRG). Their task is to make and periodically update recommended insurance ratings related to the overnight cash cover for certified safes, strong rooms and secure cabinets for the Republic Of Ireland , conforming to European standards EN14450, EN1143-1, EN1143-2.

Digital Vs Mechanical/Key Locking
It is possible to access a mechanical safe or vault lock by non-invasive manipulation and in doing so leave no trace of entry. Keys for safes are also easily copied. In comparison, the penalty lockout feature of a certified digital safe lock shuts the lock down for ten minutes if five or more incorrect codes are entered in a row. The ISRG would always recommend a certified digital safe lock, to European Standard EN 1300 over either an old style mechanical combination or key lock.

If a safe has not been anchored and fitted correctly the safe’s resistance to attack is compromised and quite often it can easily be removed from its location. For this reason certification is invalid if a certified safe is not anchored correctly. Incorrect fitting can also negatively impact a safe’s fire protection so it’s important that your safe is fitted by a competent technician to EN1143-1 specifications.

All recommended ratings are subject to risk assessment and the appropriate security controls being in place. 


Recommended insurance amounts – Secure cabinets EN14450 – Safes EN 1143-1 – Deposit Safes EN 1143-2



Resistance grade indicated by certification body



Certification must be by a body with valid E.U. accreditation to certify these standards







Recommend insurance amounts in €1000


Rate for contents / Jewellery is five times cash

  Without With

Monitored intruder alarm system to EN50131


S1 EN 14450 Secure Cabinet N/A N/A
S2 EN 14450 Secure Cabinet N/A N/A
0 EN 1143-1 Safe €3,750.00 €7,500.00
I EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €6,250.00 €12,500.00
II EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €25,000.00
III EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €50,000.00
IV EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €90,000.00
V EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2 Safe / Deposit Safe €12,500.00 €150,000.00
VI EN 1143-1 Safe €12,500.00 €200,000.00
VII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
VIII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
IX EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
X EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XI EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA
XIII EN 1143-1 Safe PA PA



  • Recommended amounts are for indicative purposes only and are subject to approval by the insurer on a case by case basis
  • Certified deposit safes are only available in grade 1 to 5 and display the certification EN 1143-2. Any other mark not accepted
  • Certified safes with a weight of <1.000 kg must be anchored at the place of installation in accordance with the EN 1143-1 specification
  • N/A – Not Advised
  • PA – Prior approval recommended – It’s necessary to discuss this cover in detail with your insurance company as it falls outside normal recommendations

Produced by The Irish Safes Ratings Group

       For more information visit:

Purchasing a Certified Safe

 A Certified Safe will have: 

  • A metal plate on the inside of the door indicating that the product is certified
  • The indicated certification body is accredited according to ISO / IEC 17065 for vault certification
  • On the metal plate & the certificate, the resistance grade is indicated in relation to the applicable standard

Non-Certified or Unsafe products: 

  • No metal plate on the inside of the door
  • The indicated certification body is not accredited for safe certification
  • The certificate states that only parts of the standard are fulfilled
  • No certification body is mentioned and the manufacturer merely writes that the product has been built according to the standard or in accordance with the standard

 The advice contained in this information sheet in not intended to be exhaustive or absolute. Nothing contained in this publication should be interpreted as mandatory, obligatory or designed to conflict with any statutory regulations.

Cork Becomes Sustainable Tourism Destination

Cork’s tourism and hospitality industry, which supported an estimated 22,500 jobs in the region before the Covid-19 pandemic, got a welcome boost today as Visit Cork announced their ambitious plans to aid Cork’s tourism recovery and grow visitor numbers in the region.

Visit Cork, which is the official tourism body for the Cork region with responsibility for attracting leisure (Pure Cork) and business tourists (Cork Convention Bureau), launched its Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 at a Tourism Industry Day in Fota Island Resort Hotel.  It was the first in-person tourism briefing to take place in Cork since March 2020 due to restrictions and the event was attended by nearly 200 industry colleagues.


Cork aims to become a sustainable tourism destination as part of recovery strategy

Visit Cork launches plans to aid Cork’s tourism recovery,
supporting 22,500 jobs in the region

Tourism has so much to offer in supporting sustainable growth”,
Taoiseach Micheal Martin


Speaking at the event, The Taoiseach Micheal Martin, who joined virtually, said, “As a proud Corkonian, I know only too well the wonderful sights the region has to offer, and the warmth of its people. Tourism has so much to offer in supporting sustainable growth.  

“The Government fully supports Visit Cork’s determination to drive job creation, economic development, and to ensure Cork remains a welcoming place for innovation, talent and tourists alike.”

As part of their plans to grow Cork’s share of the domestic and international market, Seamus Heaney, Head of Visit Cork, revealed that the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation) is putting a new focus on showcasing the region as a sustainable tourism destination.

Mr. Heaney said, “Our plan is to showcase the wealth of Pure Cork experiences delivered with a new focus on Cork as a sustainable tourism destination. This positioning will open huge opportunities as sustainable holidays and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) business is expected to be one of the biggest future tourism trends.”  

The aim is to improve on Cork’s 2021 GDS-Index score of 70%.  This is the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for destinations around the world.  In order to achieve this, Visit Cork will continue to work with the local hospitality industry on a subsidised third party sustainable accreditation programme; they will host annual Smart Tourism seminar and training sessions;  a Cork Convention Bureau Member Sustainability Charter will be created; and the team will incentivise trade partners through a yearly Visit Cork Green Award.  There are also plans to continue with the Visit Cork Green Week, which commenced in 2021.

In addition, all business tourism clients who are hosting a conference or event in Cork, will be presented with CSR (corporate social responsibility) options to support Cork social, environmental and economic causes, and a legacy and social impact programme will be put in place for all future events.

Visit Cork also outlined that there will be a more consistent approach to marketing the region’s unique experiences and offering, and announced their aim to increase the annual marketing spend to €1 million to promote Cork to leisure and business tourists.

Among numerous other initiatives, the team will focus on a new overseas market each year, in collaboration with Tourism Ireland and Cork Airport, to increase awareness in regions that have easy access links to Cork. Visit Cork have also committed to once again having a presence at key international and national trade events to sell the region, and they will roll out at least three seasonal marketing campaigns per annum.  An increased focus will also be put on collaboration and building the industry network, and the aim is to have an overall digital first approach.

Within Cork, Visit Cork are dedicated to creating stronger links between the city and county destinations, and new levels of cross selling, packaging and the collective promotion of Cork.  They also aim to help grow the quality and range of destination events that will attract domestic and international visitors throughout the year

Mr Heaney said, “Pre-pandemic, one in ten jobs were in the tourism and hospitality sector in Cork, with 22 cents from every euro spent going back into the exchequer.  Tourism also supported 22,500 jobs here.  Our goal is to help the industry to get back to those levels over the next year or so and grow thereafter.” 

Commenting on business tourism, Evelyn O Sullivan, Manager at Cork Convention Bureau, said, “We had confirmed €22m worth of business tourism from 2020-2022.  Some of that business was lost but the majority of events have been rescheduled over the coming years, which is really positive news. In 2021 we submitted 6 bids to host international conferences and already have just under €7m worth of confirmed business taking place in 2022.  This almost sees us return to pre-Covid figures. Cork excels at attracting international association conferences, especially in sectors such as Agriculture, STEM, Space and Maritime, so there is huge potential to target this sector even further over the coming years, working closely with Fáilte Ireland, to grow Cork as a destination of choice for conference business.”

Cork Convention Bureau has brought over 70,000 international delegates to the region, generating over €100m in revenues since 2010.

Event partners Fáilte Ireland outlined the difficulties facing the sector on staffing and skills shortages, unveiling that 30% of businesses surveyed said they could face closure if such challenges are not resolved.   A major element of their work plan for 2022 is a multifaceted tourism careers strategy to address the staffing and skills crisis in tourism and hospitality including the first ever Excellent Employer Programme.

To ensure a sustained and sustainable recovery, the tourism body unveiled plans to double their domestic marketing investment to drive short breaks to regions like Cork year-round.  They will also invest further in the digital presence of tourism businesses, and they launched Regional Tourism Strategies for Ireland’s Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way, in addition to a local Destination Development Plan.  Fáilte Ireland also outlined plans to reduce tourism’s carbon footprint.

Almost 200 people attended the Visit Cork Tourism Industry Day, from accommodation and experience providers to festival and event organisations and tourism organisations.   There was a real buzz in the air as people networked with industry colleagues for the first time in almost two years.

Attendees heard from a range of industry experts including Gerard O’ Mahoney Chair of Visit Cork, Seamus Heaney Head of Visit Cork, Evelyn O'Sullivan Manager of Cork Convention Bureau, Sam Johnson Manager Convention Bureaux of Ireland, Brian O’Flynn Head of Ireland’s Ancient East and Brian Gallagher Head of Aviation and Commercial Business Development Cork Airport.

 The event, which was held in conjunction with Failte Ireland and Cork Airport.

For further information on Visit Cork see for leisure tourism and for business tourism.  Visit Cork also encourage everyone in the industry to upload their listings to our website so they can help to promote businesses nationally and internationally.

Tourism Industry Day

Visit Cork to host Tourism Industry Day 

Thursday February 10th

Visit Cork, the official tourism body for the Cork region, is hosting an in-person briefing for everyone involved in the tourism industry on Thursday 10th February at Fota Island Resort Hotel. The event is to be addressed by An Taoiseach Micheal Martin who will join virtually to offer his support to the wider tourism industry in Cork.

This is the first in-person tourism briefing to take place in Cork since March 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Visit Cork has continued to communicate with the tourism industry throughout the pandemic, most notably running online familiarisation sessions which attracted weekly audiences of up to 100 attendees. However, Thursday’s event is a welcome break from meeting virtually and will be a great opportunity to hear about recovery plans from key industry stakeholders.

Anyone involved in tourism, or in attracting visitors to Cork, is invited to attend the Tourism Industry Day, from accommodation and experience providers to festival and event organisations.  Attendees will gain an insight into Visit Cork’s achievements over the past two years and recovery plans for leisure tourism (Pure Cork) and business tourism (Cork Convention Bureau).  They will be joined by their partners in Fáilte Ireland and Cork Airport.

It promises to be a highly interactive, dynamic session with an opening address from Gerard O’ Mahoney Chair of Visit Cork, Seamus Heaney Head of Visit Cork, Evelyn O'Sullivan Manager of Cork Convention Bureau, Sam Johnson Manager Convention Bureaux of Ireland, Brian O’Flynn Head of Ireland’s Ancient East and Brian Gallagher Head of Aviation and Commercial Business Development Cork Airport.  It’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with industry colleagues once again.

Commenting on the industry event, Seamus Heaney, Head of Visit Cork, said, “Tourism has had an unbelievably difficult time over the last 2 years and now more than ever we need to ensure the correct supports are in place to facilitate the recovery. We encourage everyone involved in the tourism industry in Cork to attend our Visit Cork Industry Day and explore how they can work with Pure Cork and Cork Convention Bureau to enhance their business and help collectively promote all that Cork has to offer to domestic and international business and leisure visitors.”

The Visit Cork Industry Day will take place from 10.00am-12.30pm, with registration and refreshments from 9.30am. It is an open invitation to any individual or business involved in tourism in Cork (City and County).

Register today for the industry day on  or contact



For further details on Visit Cork or interviews contact

Niamh Murphy, ETC 087 0617705

Schedule for the morning:

  • 9.30am: Enjoy some light refreshments while catching up with industry colleagues
  • 9:50am: Welcome from Jonathan Healy
  • 10:00am: Introductory address from Gerard O’Mahoney (Chair of Visit Cork)
  • 10.10am: Visit Cork Update from Seamus Heaney (Head of Visit Cork) and Evelyn O’Sullivan (Manager of Cork Convention Bureau)
  • 11:00am: Fáilte Ireland Update from Sam Johnston (Meet in Ireland) and Brian O’Flynn (Head of Ireland’s Ancient East)
  • 11.30am: Remote address from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin
  • 12:00pm: Cork Airport Update from Brian Gallagher (Head of Aviation & Commercial Business Development)
  • 12:20pm: Q&A

This is an open invitation to any individual or business involved in tourism in Cork (City and County) to attend. We would be delighted to see you there in person on the day and to sign up please click on the link below: