THE ORMONDE Hotel in Kilkenny was announced as overall business award winner for 2011, sponsored by Danville Business Park at the Kilkenny Chamber event in Hotel Kilkenny last Saturday night.
The Ormonde had won two previous categories - for customer excellence in the tourism sector and a specific Age Friendly Award and thus were in a very strong position with the judging panel.
The award was accepted by Deirdre Twomey and Mary Reddin of the Ormonde Hotel and the judges cited the fantastic work being done at the Kilkenny business with innovative new services and products.
Over 300 guests attended the gala function. Chamber President John Purcell reminded guests that the business awards were not held since 2009 as it was felt that business was in “too much turmoil.”
“Since then business has seen some truly dark days but it is worth remembering that life has gone on and there have also been great achievements,” he added.
The Chamber President felt that the awards send a statement that the drive for business excellent continues in Kilkenny - “With the right leadership, people in business - owners, managers and workers - are endlessly resourceful, creative and determined and can achieve great things no matter how difficult the circumstances. We were in danger of losing that belief in ourselves for a while in this country. It is back and tonight is evidence of that,” he said.
Mr Purcell highlighted some aspects of Kilkenny where we can take particular pride - like the ten years celebrated recently by State Street; the phenomenal success of Glanbia; the location of the Crafts Council of Ireland and the county’s large selection of retail stores and independent retailers. He thanked Chamber CEO Aliso McGrath and her staff for the efforts, Chamber Board members in particular Valerie Keely and Trish Finnegan, the judges for the awards and the sponsors of the awards.
MC for the evening was Mary Kennedy of RTE. Also present was Mayor of Kilkenny David Fitzgerald and representing the County Council was Philip O’Neill, Director of Services. The evening concluded with a fund raising venture for the Rothe House restoration fund which raised €2,000 and for a night cap, Diageo supplied guests with a free mojita.
Full report and pictures in this week’s Kilkenny People.