About

Cork Business Association (CBA) is an engaged, connected and committed representative of the business community in Cork City, supporting members since 1957.

We are a local voluntary collective of business people who provide a support network for members and personal one-to-one advice. We champion a vibrant, safe, clean, welcoming, sustainable and living Cork City.

By working together, we can ensure that businesses in the city have a stronger voice when dealing with local and national issues.

The CBA Team

CBA Board Members

As a board driven organisation, we have ensured that our board is made up of exceptional Cork Business leaders with diversified experience, expertise and knowledge to steer the CBA, with the city’s and members’ needs central.

Lawrence Owens, Chairman

Lawrence currently chairs the board of directors of the Cork Business Association, serving as its Chief Executive from 2014 to 2021 and is a former President of the organisation. He has extensive experience in the retail sector and has a track record of strong leadership and project management experience, coupled with strategic planning ability that has enabled him to bring some major rationalisation and organisational projects to a successful conclusion. He has also worked extensively in business development and consultancy within the SME sector and has spearheaded many campaigns on behalf of local businesses. His broad retail experience brings a depth of understanding of the challenges faced by the business community. Lawrence also sits on the Housing Strategic Policy Committee of Cork City Council.

Dave O’Brien, CBA Vice President, Secretary & Treasurer (Quintas)

Dave leads the tax advisory practice of Quintas where he provides guidance to both corporate entities and individuals in various aspects of tax planning. His expertise spans company restructures, succession planning, and VAT matters, drawing on more than 15 years of experience in tax advisory.
Dave is a member of the Board of Directors of the CBA and is on the Executive. Dave assists the organization on financial and governance issues.

Niamh Murphy (ETC)

Niamh is an award-winning communications professional and project manager, with particular expertise in festivals and events, hospitality, retail, and tourism. She is involved in many of the city’s top festivals including the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, Cork on a Fork Fest, and Cork International Choral Festival. Niamh is is on the steering group for Let’s Play Cork, communications steering group for We Are Cork, and is a member of Cork Convention Bureau. Creative and PM orientated, Niamh has a hands-on and collaborative approach. She has been volunteering with CBA since 2009 and is passionate about the City

Eoin O’Sullivan (M&P O’Sullivan)

Eoin O’Sullivan, a prominent business leader, serves as the Director of M&P O’Sullivan Ltd, Gala Retail Services, and is a Past-President and active Board member of CBA. With a family legacy of over 118 years in the wholesale food sector, Eoin is dedicated to ensuring M&P O’Sullivan Ltd adaptability to industry changes while upholding a strong reputation. Passionate about business, Eoin extends his commitment to community through Gala Retail Services spearheading their commitment to service and local engagement. His leadership, business acumen, and community involvement make him a respected figure in Cork’s business landscape.

Kevin Herlihy (Herlihy’s Centra)

Kevin Herlihy is the current President of The Cork Business Association. By day he is the Operations Director of the Herlihy Centra Group which he owns and operates with his brother Brian. The Herlihy Group operate six Centra Stores throughout Cork City with a seventh store opening in 2024. Kevin is passionate about the success of Cork City and his focus in the CBA has been growing membership and enhancing the city to make it cleaner and safer. Kevin attends CORE on behalf of CBA at Cork City Council, and the Cork Joint Policing Committee.
Dave is a member of the Board of Directors of the CBA and is on the Executive. Dave assists the organization on financial and governance issues.

CBA President, Aaron Mansworth (Trigon Hotels)

Aaron Mansworth, a seasoned leader in the hospitality industry, serves as the Managing Director of Trigon Hotels in Cork. Aaron has established a reputation for driving operational excellence, fostering innovation, and delivering exceptional guest experiences. As the Managing Director of Trigon Hotels,he oversees the strategic direction of the company. He is known for implementing forward-thinking strategies that enhance overall business performance.


Aside to CBA, Aaron sits on numerous boards from Visit Cork, the Everyman Theatre and Cobh Heritage centre while also sitting on national Management and Council of the Irish Hotels Federation.

CBA Executive Members

The CBA Executive comprises members with extensive expertise in diverse fields. This deliberate selection ensures that the CBA possesses a wealth of knowledge, specialised skills, and valuable contacts across various sectors. Our aim is to leverage this expertise to effectively support our members and address the specific needs of Cork City.

Clara O’Neill - Infrastructure

Clara brings over ten years of professional experience as an Urban Planner and is the founder of her own planning consultancy based in Cork City. Currently, she sits on the Community, Culture and Placemaking Strategic Policy Committee of Cork City Council. Within CBA, Clara supports as Infrastructure lead and is set to spearhead the newly established ‘City Centre 2030’ pillar. Her expertise lies in policy development, placemaking, urban regeneration, and master planning, and she held a leading role in the planning strategy for the Victorian Quarter in Cork.

Eoin Kennedy - Marketing

Eoin has more than 30 years experience in marketing and commercial roles with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to startups – with 25 of these years being at Director level. Currently Eoin is CEO of Update Digital, a strategy-oriented marketing agency with offices in Cork and Dublin. Eoin is also an advisor for the LEOs in Cork and Dublin, and Enterprise Ireland, amongst others, and specialises in supporting micro businesses and
SMEs. Eoin holds multiple qualifications in marketing, management and finance, including an MBA in Strategy.
Dave is a member of the Board of Directors of the CBA and is on the Executive. Dave assists the organization on financial and governance issues.

Margaret O’Regan - Events

With a passion for creating unforgettable experiences and a background in hotel business management, Margaret has dedicated her career to the art of event planning and management. As the Owner of O’Regan Events and the Operations Director of Event Plan, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the world of corporate event planning. Margaret thrives on the art of crafting exceptional events that leave a lasting impression, and her businesses have consistently delivered outstanding events that reflect the unique visions and objectives of their clients.

Aside to CBA, Aaron sits on numerous boards from Visit Cork, the Everyman Theatre and Cobh Heritage centre while also sitting on national Management and Council of the Irish Hotels Federation.

Sean McCarthy - Vintners

Sean is the owner of 2 prominent businesses in Cork city, Tequila Jacks and Paddy the Farmers, and only recently sold Soho Bars. He leads the day-to-day operations, emphasizing front-facing excellence to ensure the best service for customers. Committed to maintaining high standards, Sean focuses on staff training to guarantee a consistently pleasant experience for every visitor to his establishments. A strong Executive member of CBA, Sean is also the Secretary of the Cork City Branch of the VFI.

Fergal Harte - Tourism

Fergal Harte, General Manager of The Kingsley Hotel, boasts 25+ years in hospitality management, with notable roles at Fota Island Resort, Knockranny House Hotel, and the Cumberland Hotel in London. Leading The Kingsley since 2014, Fergal emphasizes trust leadership, collaboration, and effective decision-making. His strategic direction significantly contributes to the hotel’s success, maintaining exceptional hospitality standards. Fergal chaired the Cork Irish Hotel Federation for two years from 2020, and he now represents hospitality on the Cork City Night-time Economy Steering Group. Concurrently, Fergal is pursuing psychology studies at UCC, following his 2021 completion of a Management Practice diploma also at UCC.
Dave is a member of the Board of Directors of the CBA and is on the Executive. Dave assists the organization on financial and governance issues.

Julie Evans - Retail

Julie Evans, a University of Wales graduate and member of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland, boasts over 30 years of PR experience. Starting her career in Harrods of Knightsbridge, she later freelanced for global PR giants Shandwick PR and Prime Communications in London. In 1991, she moved to Dublin to work with Fashion PR firm Profile Plus. Julie joined Casey Communications Consultants in Cork in 1993, where, as Account Director, she was strategically involved with significant projects such as the Cork Main Drainage Scheme and the Beth Gali, St. Patrick’s Street Refurbishment. Julie’s diverse client portfolio has included Amgen Technology Ireland, University College Cork, Cork University Hospital, and retail projects for House of Fraser, Dundrum and Opera Lane, Cork. She remains the PR and Marketing Manager for Opera Lane and continues to work with Cork City Council on various projects. Julie has been a member of CBA’s Executive for five years and leads and chairs CBAs direction and policy on Retail.

CBA COMMITTEES

The CBA is organised into seven committees, each dedicated to advancing specific aspects aligned with our Strategic Pillars. These committees include members from both the Board and the Executive, forming a collaborative effort. The Strategic Pillars are the core driving force of CBA, shaping our mission and vision. We invite our members to actively participate and support these committees. You’re also welcome to join as committee members, contributing to our shared goal of propelling Cork City into 2030 while ensuring it remains a Safe & Clean environment.

All CBA Committees are supported by the CBA office. The CBA 5 year Strategic Plan here contains further details on each CBA committee.

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