FAQ about the Pedestrianisation of Cork City Centre

Cork City Centre is a key economic driver for the entire region. The pedestrianisation is part of the long term development plans and a reimagined Cork City. It will help to make the city an attractive destination to use and enjoy for more than shopping alone.

The process has unfolded fast last year because of a stronger need for the use of outdoor space to facilitate social distancing and outdoor dining et cetera.


Before deciding on the permanent pedestrianisation there has been a consultation period to allow for tweaking and modification of the plans.


CBA asked for a review of the success of the pedestrianisation after a period (6 months or a year) and change if unsuccessful.

Deliveries and Stocking up

Both business on the pedestrianised street and delivery services will have to adjust and look at the efficiency of their deliveries.

However Cork City Council is open to working together with businesses if a specific situation comes up that needs to be solved, especially in relation towards the re-opening where businesses might need to re-stock completely.

Accessibility for people with a disability

There has been consultation with 6 representative groups of the disabled community.

There are the same number of disabled parking bays as before. They are in different locations, but the number has stayed the same.

Cork City Council is aware that adapting to the changes will be a challenge especially for people with a sight disability and might require relearning.



The A frames that are currently in place will be replaced by automated bollards that can be removed (lowered) by emergency services.  The A frames will stay in place for a while to allow a chance to get used to the new situation.

What is the reason for Resurfacing?

Before a vehicle grade tar was used that is now replaced by a pedestrian friendly surface. The difference between a street for pedestrians and a road for cars will be clear.


Outdoor Dining

CBA is asking for clear guidance on the exact rules for outdoor dining and for a management plan for licences that are not working.


While Cork City Council is very much supportive of businesses putting out street furniture this is still subject to licencing! If you do not have a licence or you do have a licence that you don’t comply with you are in breach!


Many licences are bespoke as the situation is different for every business and needs to be adapted to the situation.

The fees for outdoor licencing have been waived for the time being to support businesses who are limited because of COVID, but you still need a licence and enforcement of licencing will start again.

Illustration from the Best Practice and Guidelines Outdoor DIning and Urban Animation brochure Failte Ireland



Winter Proofing

There is a Fáilte Ireland Grant available for winter proofing. It is called the Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Infrastructure Scheme

It is advisable for streets to come together to facilitate something spectacular instead of every individual business taking care of their own. Click the links below to find more information on the Outdoor Enhancement Scheme.

Best Practice for Outdoor Dining and Urban Animation Guide from Failte Ireland

Outdoor Enhancement Scheme


Public Toilets

At the moment there are toilets available in the English Market and in Merchants Quay Shopping Centre. Plans are underway to facilitate more facilities.

Service Centre

Service Centre for Cork City is the one number for all of Cork City Council’s services. You will be connected to the right person depending on your query.

021 4925000


Prescription Broccoli?

Could eating concentrated greens be a natural way to lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes?


Cork food research company seeks participants for new study on the health benefits of broccoli. Get a FREE diabetes test and get paid €700 to take part. 

Cork based nutrition research company Atlantia Food Clinical Trials Ltd is seeking volunteers to participate in an exciting new study that will investigate the health benefits of broccoli and its potential power to naturally lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.

The discovery that a compound in broccoli might impact blood sugar levels was first identified during research into treatments for early-stage prostate cancer.  Participants were given a concentrated broccoli soup weekly for 3 months and researchers observed an unexpected benefit of reduced blood sugar levels.

Atlantia, who specialise in food and supplement studies with a focus on health and disease prevention, now want to explore these findings further and are recruiting up to 40 people in Cork to participate in their upcoming prediabetes broccoli study.

Selected participants will receive €700 to take part in research over a 9-month period.  They will consume one portion of concentrated broccoli soup per week over 12 weeks (made up from a sachet with water added). They will then take a break for 12 weeks before recommencing. Over the course of the trial, participants will be expected to attend 9 morning visits. Those involved will not only be compensated financially but they will also have the added benefit of getting insights into their own health and wellbeing and the satisfaction of contributing to food based medical science advancements.

Speaking about the study, Project Manager Rebecca Kerin said, “The broccoli being used in the study is a variety that is naturally selected to be very high in  glucoraphanin and approximately 9 times higher than those found in standard broccoli.  So while you could achieve a similar effect by eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables, consuming the more concentrated variety given in the soup is more manageable and sustainable”.

To qualify as a suitable candidate for the Prediabetes Broccoli study, you must be aged between 18-70 years old, have a BMI between 20-40 and have a raised blood glucose level, so Atlantia is offering free blood tests to anyone interested in participating in the study.

“While not everyone will meet the markers to qualify for this particular study, it is a great opportunity for a free health check particularly if you are worried you might be at risk for prediabetes, you have a family history, are overweight, or have been advised by your GP it is something to be mindful of.  If you do not qualify for this study, you might potentially qualify for a different study as we are recruiting more than 2000 participants for various trials over the coming month”, Rebecca continued.

Know the risk factors:  
Prediabetes or impaired glucose tolerance is mostly asymptomatic but is still considered a serious health condition, which puts people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  Risk factors include a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, high blood pressure, being aged 45+ or having a family history of the disease. Atlantia is offering anyone who thinks they might be at risk of developing diabetes the opportunity to visit their clinic for a FREE no obligation test.  While there, you can learn more about this food study and others.

Atlantia is currently recruiting over 2000 people to take part in various natural food studies in areas such as memory/cognition, muscle repair/recovery, stress, low mood, female health, and general health.

To book your free glucose test and to learn more about participating in a food study with Atlantia see www.atlantiaclinicaltrials.com/cork, email: studies@atlantiafoodtrials.com or phone: +353 (0)21 430 7442 for more information.

About Atlantia Clinical Trials

Atlantia Clinical Trials specialise in conducting scientific food studies with a focus on natural approaches to health and disease prevention. Their extensive and well-equipped medical grade research centre was established 10 years ago as a spin out of University College Cork and is the only food research centre of its kind in Ireland.  Atlantia primarily works with companies that want scientific evidence to prove their food or food supplement has a health benefit. Atlantia has a sister clinic site in Chicago and tests a range of products, such as probiotics, prebiotics and botanical extracts, across multiple health areas such as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, sports performance, cognitive, metabolic and joint/bone health.  Clients include The Smarter Food Company, PepsiCo, Nestle and Danone and research findings have been published in leading scientific and medical journals.

Risk Factors for PreDiabetes Expanded:

There are various factors that can increase your risk of developing pre-diabetes these are the same risk factors as those for type 2 diabetes. They include:

  • Overweight or obese with BMI >25 (most people with pre-diabetes are overweight or obese).
  • Having a family history of diabetes. This refers to a close family member with diabetes - a mother, father, brother or sister.
  • Doing little physical activity (sedentary lifestyle).
  • Risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels or large waist circumference.
  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome and are also overweight.
  • Gestational diabetes (Developed diabetes during pregnancy).

Parameters for inclusion in study:

The cut-offs that Atlantia use as inclusion for this study are: Glucose- 5.5mmol/L to 7.3mmol/L. HbA1c- 37mmol/mol to 53mmol/mol. Anything higher and study doctor will recommend the participant to consult their GP.

GPs/ Doctors disagree on what is technically “pre-diabetes” values but these are the criteria we used based on guidance from James Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist at the Mater Private Hospital, Cork.

Cork International Choral Festival 2021 closes on a high note with hotly contested competition results

Winners of the 2021 Cork International Choral Festival were announced yesterday evening at the festival’s final online gala concert performance, presented by Berlin based a cappella group ONAIR.

The festival which ran from April 28 – May 2nd, was staged online for the first time ever this year and featured 82 choirs (including 48 international choirs) from across Ireland and around the globe, who submitted their competition entries by video.

This year’s festival opened on Wednesday night with the reading of a specially commissioned poem ‘A Singing City’ by Cork poet Billy Ramsell, read by arts broadcaster Elmarie Mawe.

Four online gala concerts, by acclaimed Irish ensembles Anúna, Chamber Choir Ireland, Resguram and German group ONAIR were staged each evening, along with pre-concert talks, workshops and events, as well as the fiercely contested national and international competitions.

Speaking as the festival drew to a close, Artistic Director, Peter Stobart said, “I am delighted that we were able to go ahead with the Festival in a new way this year, even if we have all been missing the usual personal interactions which are such a huge part of the normal Festival experience.


“We were pleased that choirs from across the globe were able to create and send us their choral videos and that the appetite to join us has been as strong as ever. 

My thanks go to all those who have taken part for putting their time and energy into this different way of making music, and especially to the unseen sound and video engineers who have worked so hard behind the scenes.

The Festival will be back next year, and we hope to have a much more live experience for you once again.”

Festival manager, Elaine Fitzgerald added, “We are really pleased to have been able to stage the Cork International Choral Festival in 2021 after the disappointment of 2020. It is a fantastic achievement by the entire team who have worked so hard for 12 months to see it come to fruition. We are equally thrilled by the participation of the choirs from across the globe who have played a huge role in this year’s festival and we look forward to welcoming as many choirs and singers as possible to Cork in the very near future."

At 5pm the jury results were finally announced for all sections of the prestigious and varied national and international competitions.

The following are the results for all categories: (pics of winning choirs here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1XTsuO9su4UK9CsInALktIa05OFjMuIyp )


Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year Competition

1st Place

Fidelity Sings – [Workplace - Fidelity Investments]

Conductor:       Peter Mannion


2nd Place

Banknotes – [Workplace - Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin]

Conductor:       Tracy Nagle

92.00 %


3rd Place

Coombe Workplace Choir - [Workplace - Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin]

Conductor:       Lisa Price



International Awards


International A Cappella Virtual Choir Competition

1st Place

Moran Singers Ensemble, Israel

Conductor:       Naomi Faran



2nd Place

Gita Suara Choir ISBI Bandung, Indonesia

Conductor:      Karisman Ferdinandus Tumanggor

90.00 %


3rd Place

Cake O'Phonie, Switzerland

Conductor:       Antoine Krattinger




International Upper & Lower Voices A Cappella Video Competition

1st Place

Guangdong Experimental Middle School Male Voice Choir, China

Conductor:       Honghao Zheng



2nd Place

Coro Polifonico di Ruda, Italy

Conductor:       Fabiana Noro

90.33 %


3rd Place

Ensemble «Voix Claires» , Germany

Conductor:       Sebastian Göring



International Children's voices A Cappella Video Competition

1st Place

Ponomarev Vesna Children's Choir, Russia

Conductor:       Nadezhda Averina


2nd Place

Moran Choir, Israel

Conductor:       Naomi Faran

92.67 %


3rd Place

Guangdong Experimental Middle School Children's Choir, China

Conductor:       Mingjing Xie  and Yeqin Pan



International Mixed Voices A Cappella Video Competition

1st Place

Guangdong Experimental High School Mixed Choir, China

Conductor:       Howard Zheng & Mingjing Xie



2nd Place

Boğaziçi Jazz Choir, Turkey

Conductor:      Masis Aram Gözbek

90.33 %


3rd Place

Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Germany

Conductor:      Benjamin Hartmann



National Awards


National A Cappella Virtual Choir Competition

1st Place

Euphonics, Dublin

Conductor:       Ciarán Kelly



2nd Place

Guys & Dolls Quartet, Cork

Conductor: N/A

89.33 %


3rd Place

Dulciana Vocal Ensemble, Dublin

Conductor:       Judith Lyons



Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition


The Seán Ó Riada Trophy

Awarded to Composer, Norah Constance Walsh , for her work On a quiet day in the future

Upcoming Courses at Cork Local Enterprise Office

Selling Online – using popular marketplaces


  • Part 1 – 18/05/21 – 09:00 to 13:00
  • Part 2 – 20/05/21 – 09:00 to 13:00


Getting your product or service in front of potential customers is key to driving success for any business.  This two-part course aims to give participants the knowledge and skills to know which marketplace suits their business and how to achieve success when selling online through these marketplaces.  Further details are available at:







Does your business export / import …to, from or though the UK?


If yes, then the FREE  ‘Prepare your Business for Customs’ workshops will be of interest and benefit to you.  Understand Customs / Compliance & Rise / Customs Clearance Procedures / Customs Authorisations ….and more.


Arranged by LEOs Cork and Kerry, participants have a choice of dates over the coming months:


  • 25/05/21
  • 16/06/21
  • 28/07/21
  • 18/08/21


For further information and workshop content, go to:






Marketing & Sales – effective ways of attracting and retaining your ideal clients


  • Part 1 –  25/05/21 - 09:30-13:00
  • Part 2 -   01/06/21 - 09:30-13:00


Combining traditional and digital means of attracting business, this course allows participants to develop a deeper understanding of their target market and best ways to communicate.  Over the two half-day sessions, practical goals will be set to improve communication skills, build better relationships and networks, and explore what is involved in selling and marketing in a business.







Food & Drink Starter Programme


  • May 26 and June 2, 9, 16
  • 09:30-13:00


Essential for anyone embarking on a food production enterprise, this four-part course will cover the basics including:

  • Costing & managing finance
  • Distribution & logistics
  • Identifying your USP
  • Food safety
  • Interpreting Irish food market trends







Website built … what’s next?


  • 26/05/21
  • 09:30-11:30


You’ve got your website built but where should you be investing time and effort now?  This webinar will cover content, available promotional tools, discuss benefit of blogs, news etc., tracking and different set-ups. Click on the following link for further details:








GradStart offers Local Enterprise Office client companies financial support to hire top graduate talent and develop a talent pipeline.  One Irish or International graduate can be hired at any one time for a two-year period by eligible companies.  During the placement, the company must define the project aligned to its growth plan for each graduate to complete.  Graduates must also be assigned an in-company mentor to support their development.


Key points to note:

  • The application submission date for GradStart will also be the earliest date on which the new grant aided employee may be recruited.
  • Companies must be incorporated.
  • Companies must operate in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sector.
  • Companies must employ a minimum of 5 staff
  • Roles in any discipline are eligible for support, except for direct sales and direct marketing positions.


For full details please click on the following link on LEO Cork City’s website….





Green for Micro


Green for Business is Good for Business


A new initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices, the Green for Micro programme will help prepare small businesses for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future.  This is a FREE programme, available to businesses with up to 10 employees.


For further information on the Green for Micro programme, view case studies, and how to apply etc ….go to ….



Also, the following is the link to recording of last week’s lunchtime webinar (21st April) on the Green for Micro programme, organised by Cork Chamber / Energy Cork / LEO Cork City …

http://www.energycork.ie/index.php/resources/  (First video on the list)




Trading Online Voucher (TOV) Scheme … and … Business Advice Clinics


Check out dates and other details for these FREE supports provided by LEO Cork City, on:





outdoor seating at restaurant


Grants for Outdoor Seating and Accessories 2021


A new grant scheme, supported by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities, is now open for applications.  Grants are available to support businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector in enhancing their outdoor dining offering.  Any restaurant, café, bar, hotel, visitor attraction or other hospitality/tourism business where food is sold for consumption on the premises.  The scheme is open to existing businesses located throughout Cork city.  Full details and application form is available on Cork City Council’s website, at:




Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 30th September 2021.




Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Internationalisation/BREXIT Survey


Do you trade with the UK?


EEN Ireland supports SMEs to import, export and internationalise.  By completing the following short survey, you will help EEN Network Ireland to further develop services and supports ….






Easing of Restrictions



All remaining construction can commence, meaning the industry will be fully reopened.


MAY 10


A maximum of three households or six people from any number of households can meet outdoors to socialise, including in private gardens. The six-person limit does not include their children aged 12 or younger.

Organised outdoor gatherings can be attended by a maximum of 15 people.



Inter-county travel will resume.



Outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people can resume.


Retail and cultural attractions:

May will see a phased reopening of non-essential retail. Click and collect by appointment and outdoor retail can recommence from May 10. From May 17, all remaining retail will be allowed to reopen.

Galleries, museums, other cultural attractions are all allowed to reopen. Libraries can reopen for lending services.


Personal services:

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can all reopen for customers by appointment only.

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can all reopen from May 10.



50 guests will be permitted at the service, whether it be civil or religious.

For the reception, there will be a maximum of 6 people allowed for indoor gatherings, with 15 people allowed for outdoor gatherings.



50 mourners are permitted at the service.

The Government has advised that related events, either before or after, should not take place.


Religious services:

Religious services can resume, with a limit of 50 people attending.



The numbers permitted on public transport is to increase to 50% of normal capacity.


Vaccine Bonus:

May 10 will also see a vaccine bonus come into play.

It means indoor private home visiting can be permitted (without masks or social distancing) in the following cases:

fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people as long as there are no more than three households present.

fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, provided that they are not at risk of severe illness.



(subject to the public health situation at the time)



From June 2, hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and hostels can reopen.

However, services must be restricted to overnight guests and residents.

JUNE 7 (subject to the public health situation at the time)



Visitors from one other household can be permitted indoors.



Outdoor services in restaurants and bars can resume. Groups will be limited to a maximum of six people.



Outdoors matches can recommence. However, no spectators will be permitted.

Gyms, swimming pools, and leisure centres can reopen for individual training only.



The number of guests who will be able to attend a wedding celebration or receptions can increase to 25


Source: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40278137.html


Addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection

Art Acquisitions Crawford Mary McCarthy


Minister Martin announces the addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection


Today, Minister Catherine Martin announces that 422 artworks by 70 artists will be added to the National Collection thanks to the €1m fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery in October 2020.


The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has been working with the National Cultural Institutions through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to develop meaningful ways to support artists across the country at this challenging time. In October 2020, Minister Martin committed €1m from her department to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to fund the purchase of artworks by artists living and/or working in Ireland. The investment enabled the two institutions charged with collecting contemporary art to work collaboratively to support artists by buying existing artworks, bringing much needed financial resources to the sector.


IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery have been working tirelessly to realise this progressive goal for the National Collection and today, the Minister announces the list of works which have been acquired. The body of 422 artworks by 70 artists from across the country has been selected through a rigorous process by both institutions to ensure strategic and thoughtful acquisitions for the nation. Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic work, drawings, sculpture, installations, moving image, sound work, film, digital work, embroidery and performance. This is a significant boost to both collections, strengthening and enhancing the breath of style of work, making them truly representative of contemporary Irish practice and available for the public to enjoy for generations to come.


As the cultural repositories for the country, the role of the National Cultural Institutions is to reflect Ireland and her people and tell the story of our country. This is the first time in over a decade that substantial funding has been specifically allocated towards building the National Collection to reflect contemporary culture.


The Minister recognises the immense talent in the arts in Ireland as well as the significance of being represented in the National Collection. At a time when exhibition opportunities are limited, the fund has enabled IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to promote artists, supporting and enhancing their reputations by acquiring their work for the National Collection to enable them to practice as artists, now and into the future.


The Minister said:


We are all aware of how difficult a time this has been for everybody in the artistic community.  I am delighted to provide funding to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery so that they can support living artists by the purchase of their work.  I am confident that our National Cultural Institutions will do justice to these artists in how they represent their work.”   


The Minister went on to say:

This has also been a challenging year for all our institutions but it has also offered an opportunity to think about museums and what they mean to people and how we share those precious artworks that form part of our National Collections.  I look forward to see how IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery will share these new additions nationally and internationally where they can be widely viewed by the public and act as a reservoir for future enjoyment, inspiration and research.”


Artist, Sandra Johnston, whose work has been acquired by IMMA, said:

It is a real honour for me to have artworks included in the IMMA collection, especially because of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of public performance actions. So, I am gratified by the curiosity the curators have shown in exploring with me the total picture of how such an artwork is conceived, executed and disseminated beyond the live moment, which is a crucial framework for understanding the surviving artefacts.”

Artwork 'Eden' by Tom Climent

Artist, Tom Climent, whose work has been purchased by the Crawford Art Gallery, said:

The acquisition of my work by the Crawford Art Gallery for the National Collection has been a great boost for me. Even more so now with galleries closed and opportunities to exhibit reduced. It is not just the monetary income but the recognition and affirmation in my work that is hugely encouraging. Having a painting on public display means it lives on and hopefully reaches so many more people. Thanks to all the team in the Crawford Gallery and the help of The Sternview Gallery for making this happen.”



Irish Museum of Modern Art


No of works acquired:

197 works (89 paintings, 32 prints, 26 drawings, 12 publications, 11 performance works, 10 sculptures, 10 moving image works, 5 installations, 1 photographic work, 1 audio work)

Dates works were made: 1972, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021


Crawford Art Gallery


No of works acquired:

225 works (100 paintings, 58 photographs, 14 prints, 28 drawings, 8 sculptures, 4 installations, 1 soundwork, 5 digital films, 1 art quilt, 6 embroideries


Images of artists’ work acquired by Crawford Art Gallery is available on request from: dyanehanrahan@crawfordartgallery.ie  Phone: 0868278151


A selection of the artworks just added to the collection will be exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery from 24 July  to  5 September 2021 and the works will appear in other collection shows from the Summer 2021 on.


Process adopted by IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery

Drawing on extensive research and internal expertise, both institutions worked in consultation with external advisors to adopt a rigorous selection process. This ensured that the works purchased were in line with their respective acquisition policies, filled identified gaps in representation and contributed to strengthening the collections for the nation.


Full List of Artists


Crawford Art Gallery

Aideen Barry

Sara Baume

Stephen Brandes

Angela Burchill

Declan Byrne

Elaine Byrne

Tom Climent

Yvonne Condon

Elizabeth Cope

Gary Coyle

Stephen Doyle

Rita Duffy

Amanda Dunsmore

Kevin Gaffney

Debbie Godsell

Michael Hanna

Marie Holohan

Katie Holten

Brianna Hurley

Andrew Kearney

John Keating

Fiona Kelly

Anne Kiely & Mary Palmer

Roseanne Lynch

Brian Maguire

Evgeniya Martirosyan

Danny McCarthy

Roseleen Moore

Peter Nash

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain

Íde Ní Shúilleabháin

Nuala O’Donovan

Sarah O’Flaherty

Tom O’Sullivan

Michael Quane

Jennifer Trouton

Charles Tyrrell

Daphne Wright



Bassam Al-Sabah

Marie Brett

Sarah Browne & Jesse Jones

Anishta Chooramun

Amanda Coogan

Vivienne Dick

Edy Fung

Emma Wolf Haugh

Patricia Hurl

Sandra Johnston

Eithne Jordan

John Lalor

Breda Lynch

Alice Maher

Leanne McDonagh

Eoin McHugh

Alastair MacLennan

Sibyl Montague

Maïa Nunes

Brian O’Doherty

Alanna O’Kelly

Sarah Pierce

Atoosa Pour Hosseini

Alice Rekab

Nigel Rolfe

Dermot Seymour

Rajinder Singh

Anne Tallentire

Cléa van der Grijn

Eimear Walshe

Government launches €10m fund to help companies cut emissions

Photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said

The road to recovery after the pandemic, must be a sustainable one.


The Government has launched a new €10 million fund to help businesses take action to drive down their emissions and embed sustainability in how they work.

The Climate Enterprise Action Fund, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, will fund up to 850 companies at an early stage of exploring climate and sustainability to develop a high-level company action plan.

It will also fund up to 100 more advanced companies to develop comprehensive multi-annual business plans with climate change and sustainability actions integrated into the company's overall strategy.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the road to recovery after the pandemic, must be a sustainable one.



As the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the transition to low carbon has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investment in a greener future accelerates. But it also creates the need to comply with enhanced regulations, as well as the demands of investors and customers for credible sustainability impact and reporting.

The new Climate Enterprise Action Fund supports Irish companies to build the capabilities required to deliver sustainable products, services and business models. This is done via three supports: The Climate Action Voucher, Green Start and Green Plus



The Climate Action Voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to 2 days independent technical or advisory services support related to the current and future operations of their business. The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers (directory link available below).

The objective of the Climate Action voucher is to help companies prepare a plan for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future whether a company is starting out on their green transformation journey or have already started. Scientific evidence shows that we must act now to limit global warming to 1.5°C to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change. This translates to halving greenhouse gas emissions every decade starting now to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

It is expected that outcomes of this short assignment will lead to further training/technical feasibility/innovation/ capital projects, i.e. it will start companies on a journey of activities.

READ MORE : https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Productivity/Build-a-green-sustainable-Business/Climate-Action-Voucher/Climate-Action-Voucher.html



The aim of the GreenStart assignment is to improve environmental performance through greater resource efficiency helping companies achieve competitive advantage and greater market share through enhanced credentials and cost savings. Projects may vary in scope from implementing a structured environmental management and reporting system to understanding the carbon or environmental footprint of products or services.

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring a Green consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment.

Eligible assignments may include:

  • Guidance with basic Environmental Management System based on ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ continuous improvement philosophy
  • Guidance with developing a corporate sustainable strategy and aligning to national/international frameworks e.g. Origin Green, UN Environmental SDGs, CDP.
  • Guidance with Life Cycle Assessment
  • Guidance with Circular Economy thinking and transition to circular economy business models

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring an Environmental consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment which will introduce environmental best practice systems and structures, achieve cost reduction targets and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects.

For more information including eligible activities, download GreenStart Assignment Guidelines (.docx)



A GreenPlus project is a medium-scale training project facilitated/supported by an external environmental expert.

The aim of the project shall be to develop a high level of environmental management capabilities, drive environmental efficiencies and achieve improved sustainability by establishing and embedding continuous improvement systems and behaviours. This will increase the agility and resilience of client companies to climate change impacts.

Eligible activities include developing a comprehensive climate change and sustainability plan and aligning to international standards and frameworks.

In order to support the change process within the company, the grant can also be used to cover part of the salary cost for up to 10 company green project team members over the project duration. The goal of the project team members is to develop and implement environmental best practice within the company by learning themselves and subsequently training others in environmental improvement tools and techniques. The project team members will be responsible for driving continuous environmental improvement and efficiency.

Projects may vary in size and scope but will typically be 12 months in duration.






Business Confidence Stabilising


Press Release
19 April 2021

  • 84% of respondents reported business confidence, an encouraging trend and upward trajectory from the 68% in Q3 of 2020.
  • 42% of respondents anticipate an increase in turnover in the second quarter of 2021
  • The Q1 2021 survey shows confidence levels in the Irish economy at 52%.
  • The continued support for and commitment to the economic recovery and resilience, including COVID supports is the number one priority for business.
  • Covid-19 as the top threat to business growth.
  • The majority of businesses indicated SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as top business action areas under the UN SDG framework.
  • Audio/Visual commentary, listen & download here: https://www.corkchamber.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Paula_Cogan_Ec_Trends_Q1_2021.mp4

In the latest Cork Chamber Economic Trends Survey, supported by Ulster Bank, Cork Chamber asked the business outlook on the second quarter of 2021 and the year ahead, and member thoughts on the most recent business quarter, Q1 2021, encapsulating the period within which Ireland moved into its third Level 5 lockdown. The Q1 2021 trends report on the business priorities for the Cork region, and business action areas under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Cork Chamber President, Paula Cogan, commenting on the results, “Q1 2021 has been an incredibly challenging time right across the board. At the outset of the pandemic in 2020, we talked of resilience, and the most recent quarter has certainly required a huge amount of resilience from businesses, communities, and individuals everywhere. It’s an encouraging testament to the Cork business community that, while there have been what seemed like insurmountable challenges at times, these were tackled and approached with the pragmatism and determination that shines through time and again from businesses here in Cork.


We saw a very positive steadying of business confidence in this first quarter with 84% of respondents reporting business confidence, consistent with the previous quarter Q4 2020 which noted 83% of respondents indicating confidence, an upward trajectory from the 68% in Q3 of 2020.

Ms Cogan added, “The latest survey also shows that 42% of respondents anticipate an increase in turnover in the second quarter of 2021 where we should see the pent-up demand in the economy being supported by the reopening expected in the months ahead. We also report that 43% of respondents are expecting an increase to employee numbers over the 12 months ahead, with businesses clearly planning for the reopening. Government must support this planning with timely engagement that supports and facilitates these efforts, offering as much certainty and communicating on developments as early as possible to the business community.”

Ms. Cogan continued, “The latest trends also report an encouraging stabilisation of confidence in the Irish economy with 52% of respondents reporting confidence, a marked increase from the 29% in Q3 2020. Business members indicated the continued support for and commitment to the economic recovery and resilience, including COVID supports as the number one priority for business. This was followed by international & regional connectivity, and the championing of issues relevant to Cork as key priority areas that the business community are keen to see continued emphasis and progress on. All areas which are crucial if we want to see confidence grow.”

Pat Horgan, Head of SME Banking with Ulster Bank commented, “It is very encouraging to see the much-needed boost in confidence in first quarter of 2021. With the vaccine rollout continuing and the potential easing of further restrictions on the horizon, many businesses will be looking forward to welcoming back their customers after a difficult few months. While COVID-19 remains the top threat to business growth, according to this latest survey, we know from speaking to our customers that Irish businesses are resilient and we are actively supporting our business customers every day, by working with them, listening to them, and lending to them.”

President of Cork Chamber, Paula Cogan concluded, “As part of the Q1 2021 trends survey we also asked members about business action areas under the UN Sustainable Development Goals. When asked on which of the 17 UN SDGs are championed most strongly, the majority of businesses indicated SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as the top priority areas currently. It is reassuring to see the awareness and note the engagement with the UN SDGs from across the business community as these set out an international blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable, resilient future long term and for all.

CBA Cork Business of the Year winners announced at virtual ceremony


~Two retailers Kilkenny Design and Diana O’Mahony Jewellers
pick up top awards~

~ President of the CBA Eoin O’Sullivan said it was a night of many firsts ~

Kilkenny Design and Diana O’Mahony Jewellers claimed the top awards at the Cork Business Association’s ‘Cork Business of the Year Awards’, which were held virtually for the first time since the annual event began 64 years ago on Saturday night, 17 April.

Kilkenny not only won the overall Large Cork Business of the Year prize, but they also picked up Best in Retail, while Diana O’Mahony was recognised as the overall SME Cork Business.

Meanwhile, Professor Mary Horgan at UCC was named Champion of Cork for her outstanding contribution to health care, in particular for her role in the Covid-19 pandemic, while Event Plan picked up a special award for demonstrating resilience and innovation in one of the most difficult trading years in Cork’s history.

Michael Magner’s boys accepted Cork’s Vienna Woods Best Family Business Award, while we saw businesses on Princes Street celebrate in style on Twitter after winning Best in Tourism Arts and Events for their Eat on the Street initiative, which is dominating the national headlines.

Best Cork VFI Pub went to Clancys Cork, Best Cork Restaurant was picked up by The Glass Curtin, Best Hotel was presented to The Montenotte, and palestinian Izz Cafe won in their category for epitomising spirit in the face of adversity.

Breakthrough Cancer Research was recognised as Best Professional Services Business for their outstanding contribution to creating new treatments for cancer patients and their innovative campaigns, while Fota Island Resort picked up the Best in Digital award for their creativity online over the past year.  The region’s first design-led boutique hotel, The Dean, won the Best New Business Award.

Each winner was given the opportunity to make a 5 word speech at the online ceremony, which was MC’d by Bobby Kerr and attended virtually by the Lord Mayor Cllr. Joe Kavanagh, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, CEO of Cork City Council Ann Doherty, a string of dignitaries, and over 500 members of Cork’s business community.

Guests picked up their ‘Taste of the City At Home’ dinner earlier that day from the Imperial Hotel.  The 6 course feast was an innovative chef collaboration between The Kingsley, The Imperial, The Metropole, Cork’s Vienna Woods, Cork International and Nash19, and showcased the wealth of producers and growers in the Cork region.  It was paired with champagne sponsored by Centra, Heineken beer and wine.

President of the Cork Business Association Eoin O’Sullivan (M&P O’ Sullivan), said, “It was a night of many firsts - it was the first time that hotel chefs in Cork collaborated on an At Home dining experience, it was the first time that we opened the awards up to public vote, and it was the first time in 64 years that the CBA celebrated virtually.  It was also the first time I saw people donn dickie bows with flipflops!  I am very proud to follow in my father’s footsteps as President of the CBA, an organisation that plays a vital role for businesses in the greater Cork City region”.

The awards, which are run in partnership with JCD, Peninsula, Centra and media partner The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across a variety of business sectors in Cork City and suburbs.

Commenting, Marian O’Gorman who is now chair of Kilkenny Design after it was announced last week that Evelyn Moynihan would take over the role of CEO, said, “We are blown away by our win in the Best Retailer category, and winning the overall large business award. The last 12 months has been very challenging for our business, yet I’m so proud of how the Kilkenny team adapted, and maximised the opportunity to grow our online business, and launch Champion Green. Winning the 2 x awards is testament to the passion and commitment from the entire Kilkenny team. We are really proud of our Cork roots, and we look forward to working with the business community of Cork as we reopen and welcome people back into the city and town centres all over the county. The mission of Champion Green is to make Support Local a year round habit, and by working together, we will all Rise”

Commenting on the winners, President of the CBA Eoin O’Sullivan continued, “I would like to congratulate each individual finalist and winner, as these are the people who are at the beating heart of our city, driving our local economy. Each and every one of them demonstrated innovation, perseverance and overcome extreme challenges presented to them in 2020.

“A special well done to Diana O’Mahony Jewellers, who are celebrating 40 years on Winthrop Street.  Over that time, they have not only innovated their offering but they have continued an exceptional level of personal family-led service. You are always greeted with a smile when you go into Ronan and Mary, they have done so much for Winthrop Street and for Cork over the years, and I am truly delighted that the judges awarded them this huge honour.

“I would also like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Marian O’Gorman, Evelyn Moynihan and their team at Kilkenny Design on demonstrating such incredible innovation over the past year - they should be so proud of their nationwide initiative that champions all Irish businesses.  Marian has done so much for the local Cork economy over the years, from employing hundreds of staff to being on the board of Visit Cork, and we are very proud to call her our own.”

The overall winners are...

Cork Business of the Year, Large BusinessKilkenny Design
& Best in Retail
sponsored by Cork City Council: Kilkenny Design
In response to the challenges facing retail in  2020, Kilkenny Design launched the Champion Green movement to drive the recovery of SME businesses, an initiative that was adopted nationwide.  Their Green Friday campaign, an alternative to Black Friday launched in 2019, also became mainstream in 2020, while Kilkennyshop.com grew significantly.  Kilkenny has 4 shops, 2 restaurants, it’s online team, a national warehouse and offices all based in Cork.  The organisation is led by Cork business-woman Marian O Gorman, who is also on the board of Visit Cork.  Kilkenny Design is the largest retail champion of Irish design and craft, representing over 250 Irish designers and makers nationwide.

Cork Business of the Year, SME:  Diana O’Mahony Jewellers
The family run Diana O’ Mahony Jewellers, run by Ronan and Mary Kennedy, is celebrating 40 years on Winthrop Street this year and has been a Cork business staple since 1978.  Dealing in antique jewellery, they are also the only retailer dealing in antique silver in the city.  The store is always staffed by a family member, and you are guaranteed an authentic local Cork welcome.  The retailer has responded to many challenges over the years from flooding to Covid-19 and they continue to show resilience, to reinvent and innovate.  The Kennedys recently invested in redecorating their premises, they launched a new ecommerce website, and they are committed to improving their street-scape and supporting other businesses in the community.

Best VFI Pub sponsored by the VFIClancy’s Bar and Restaurant
Clancy’s Cork is one of the city’s oldest pubs dating back to 1824 and is a Cork landmark. Located on Princes Street, Clancy’s was completely renovated and reopened in 2019, and it is now a key dining attraction in the city. In response to Covid 19 restrictions, Clancy’s was one of main traders who came together to pedestrianise Princes Street and create Cork’s newest outdoor dining tourism experience. The owners also took the brave step and further developed the building by creating a unique rooftop garden in addition to more interior works, to ensure the safety of both customer and staff. The business employs a team of 80 employees and they are committed to a strong community presence.

 Best Restaurant sponsored by The English Market: The Glass Curtain
Located in the Old Thompsons Bakery, which was once a culinary institution and part of Cork’s DNA since 1826, The Glass Curtain showcases the amazing produce available here in Cork, while incorporating influences from around the world.  The Glass Curtain remodelled their offering in 2020 following lockdown and were the first restaurant in Cork to set up the “Finish At Home” service. This transition in business offering ensured that they were able to maintain 100% of their kitchen staff and 50% of service staff. In fact, this “At Home” service has increased the awareness of the business as the restaurant had just opened its doors in December 2019.

Best Hotel sponsored by M&P O’Sullivan Ltd.: The Montenotte Hotel
The family-owned destination city resort, The Montenotte, goes from strength to strength each year.  In 2020, the owners continued to invest in the premises and the management team innovated its offering.  They installed a new look heated ‘Panorama Botanical Terrace’, created by designer Jane Galloway, to encourage al fresco dining, and a new rooftop terrace for guests.  The Montenotte was also one of the first hotels locally to diversify into a click and collect model, and they donated €5 from every afternoon tea order to Our Hospital Heroes at The Mercy Hospital Foundation during the first lockdown.

Best Café sponsored by The English Market: IZZ Café
This award-winning Palestinian café, which opened in 2019, is run by husband and wife team Izz and Eman Alkarajeh.  The couple epitomise spirit in the face of adversity having overcome the odds of moving to a new country, learning a new language, and spending time in Direct Provision. Despite being directly impacted by Covid closures, they showed enormous generosity supplying healthcare workers with free food and donated in excess of 500 free face masks to the public.  Since opening 2 years ago, they have attracted praise from a number of high profile food critics including McKenna Food guide and Darina and Rachel Allen.

Best in Professional Business Services Sponsored by ETC: Breakthrough Cancer Research
Breakthrough is working hard to make sure our family, friends and communities across Ireland have access to the best treatments for cancer and never have to hear the words, there is no hope.  They work to significantly impact the number of children and adults who can survive this disease by funding world-class research for new treatments that currently have very little treatment options.   To recruit the next generation of donors and to raise funds, this Cork-based charity created The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t in February 2020. This pop-up shop in Temple Bar was 100% stocked and staffed by cancer survivors. Half of the shop remained empty to highlight the urgent need for more research to create more survivors to fill that space.

 Best in Digital sponsored by B2B Signs and B2B Print:  Fota Island Resort
Nestled at the heart of a tranquil island on a 780acre estate, Fota Island Resort with its breath-taking scenery and leafy woodlands is an idyllic location. In 2020, Fota digitalised as many services for guests as possible as part of their innovative new safety procedures.  They also increased engagement with customers on digital platforms when they were closed with a virtual Easter Egg hunt, an online Halloween RiddleQuest, and various classes including recipe demonstrations, at home spa treatments, and fitness classes. Staff were offered virtual at home care, including at home facials and fitness, in addition to online upskilling opportunities.  Fota’s lodges also remained open to provide accommodation for essential travel.

Best in Tourism, Arts, Events sponsored by Irish Hotels Federation: Princes Street – Eat on the Street
Princes Street Eat on the Street is a project inspired by the resilience of restaurants, stakeholders and Cork City Council working together. In response to Covid-19 restrictions, traders came together to pedestrianise Princes Street and reimagine it as Cork’s newest outdoor dining tourism experience.  The positive impact of this initiative has seen the project mirrored in other parts of Cork and indeed throughout the Country.  The transformation of Princes Street has without doubt been one of the stand-out responses to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrates true community spirit and commitment to business in Cork.

Best New Business sponsored by the Local Enterprise OfficeThe Dean Cork
The Dean Cork is a wonderful new asset to Cork and is the region’s first design led boutique hotel. The 6th floor of the fun and daring property is home to Sophie’s rooftop restaurant and bar, which boasts 360 degree views from the River Lee to the city skyline. 2020 was an extremely tough and challenging year for the hospitality industry, however nothing was going to stop The Dean Cork from opening its doors to the public in December 2020.

Best Family Business sponsored by AIB: Cork’s Vienna Woods Hotel
Set in beautiful woodlands on the peak of Glanmire, Cork’s Vienna Woods is a listed country house with a rich dramatic history which has been uniquely preserved.  Since taking ownership in 2006, Michael Magner, his family and his team have worked tirelessly and invested significantly in rebuilding the property and offering.  It is now known for fairy-tale weddings, spectacular corporate events and an award-winning restaurant. In 2020 during the first lockdown, the Magners bravely invested a further €500k in a new ‘Glass Room’ conservatory space and a private dining room with its own kitchen, a first for Cork.  The team at Vienna Woods is committed to driving tourism in Cork and to supporting local, from sourcing local produce to hiring locally.

 Special Resilience & Innovation sponsored by Fáilte Ireland: Event Plan
Event Plan, a leading Cork-based conference and event management company, was one of the first in the country to adapt their events business model following the devastation brought to the sector by the Covid-19 pandemic. The creative team, who used to work on high profile events like the National Ploughing Championships and UCC’s CUBS Conference, quickly diversified by collaborating with audio visual and digital specialists CAVS to establish Munster’s first virtual events studio, VE Studio Cork.

Champion of Cork sponsored by Munster Technological University (MTUProfessor Mary Horgan
Professor Horgan was awarded for her outstanding contribution to health care, in particular for her role in the Covid-19 pandemic. She was quoted recently by The Irish Examiner as one of the ‘Women changing Ireland today’. Professor Horgan is President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the first woman President since 1654 and the first Cork-based person since 1818.  She is a consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cork University Hospital, is a member of NPHET, is on the advisory board of the GAA COVID committee, and the World Rugby Return to play strategy.  Professor Horgan is also Chairperson of the National Research Ethics Committee for COVID19, is a member of the Report for Rapid Testing COVID19 for the Minister for Health, is a Professor in the UCC School of Medicine, and is former Dean of Medical School in UCC.  She is a role model for women in health and a fantastic ambassador for Cork.


The voluntary social committee responsible for the event were Niamh Murphy (ETC, event Chair), Claire Nash (Nash 19, dinner organiser), Jeanine Hovius (CBA), Vicki Crean (AIB), Karen McCarthy (CBA), and Mary Leneghan (ETC). The CBA’s aim is to recognise the dedication and success of Cork businesses who have positively contributed to the prosperity of Cork, as a city centre, a business hub and a community.

For more see CBAAwards.ie CorkBusiness.ie #CBAAwards #TasteoftheCity