24 May 2022

Kilkenny Business Awards 2021 will see special award for one of three local businesses

Local businesses prevail following pivot


Chamber CEO John Hurley presents Lorimat with a finalist certificate

The countdown is on for the Kilkenny Business Awards 2021. The eagerly-anticipated event will take place in the Lyrath Estate Hotel on Saturday, March 12.

Kilkenny Chamber, and main sponsor TransferMate, will celebrate the local  business community, its resilience and innovation, at the black-tie awards gala. Host RTÉ’s Helen Carroll will announce the category award winners, along with the Lifetime Achievement Award, President’s Award and the overall Business of the Year award at the event.

A new category award for 2021 will honour the Best Business Pivot in the Pandemic. 

“An award we hope never to bestow again,” says Kilkenny Chamber CEO, John Hurley.

“The Pivot Award is a special recognition for local businesses with an exceptional Covid-19 story to tell. Local businesses that, in the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, lockdown, restrictions, closures and much uncertainty, have not only survived but thrived, adapted and grown.”

The three finalists for Best Business Pivot are CF Pharma, IntoSport and Lorimat.

CF Pharma is the first medical device ISO 13485 accredited manufacturing company based in Kilkenny. Set up in 2014 to manufacture and sell medical devices and nutritional supplements to the over the counter (OTC) Pharma sector for human and veterinary markets worldwide. 

"CF Pharma is delighted to be nominated by the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce in the category of Best Business Pivot in the Pandemic. We pivoted our business from manufacturing medical devices and nutritional supplements to manufacturing biocidal covid response products. We increased our turnover and employment," said Clare Hughes, Managing Director CF Pharma.

With the innovative thinking of our senior management team, we launched our CleanRite Sanitiser to help in the fight against Covid. CleanRite is proven to kill SAR-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19, in 30 seconds. With this launch, we hired 10 new employees and have continued to grow. We now have a workforce of 45 staff, based in the Hebron Industrial Estate, selling to more than 25 countries worldwide." 

Intospor is a manufacturer and supplier of Official GAA, Camogie and Ladies’ Football playing kit and leisurewear, Intosport specialises in bespoke orders from 20 pieces to 20,000.

"To be a finalist in this category is a testament to the resilience of our company and staff and the importance of local manufacturing. To pivot within a week, meet social distancing and safety guidelines, keep all staff on and add more during a global pandemic, while servicing local hospitals and care homes, is something that we can be forever proud of," said Jonny Dowling, Owner Intosport. 

Through global shortages and full lockdowns, we were able to continue to produce PPE in a safe and sustainable way. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Kilkenny Chamber for its recognition of the hard work and perseverance shown, and also thank those who supported us throughout the past two years.”

Lorimat is a fine jewellery boutique specialising in engagement rings, wedding rings and personalised jewellery in gold and silver. The business was established over 20 years ago by Teresa Brennan in Kieran Street with the baton being passed to her daughter Rita in 2011. The shop has seen many changes over the years and in 2018 moved to Patrick Street to offer private consultations giving customers one to one personal service.

"When faced with closing our doors to the public in March 2020, we had to quickly adapt to survive, and dare we say it, thrive in the new world forced upon us," said Rita Shanahan, Owner of Lorimat Jewellers.

"We became Ireland's first jewellery retailer to offer a Home Try-On Service for engagement rings. The service proved popular with recently engaged couples, with time on their hands to search for their perfect engagement ring. We are thrilled to be a finalist in this category which allows us to highlight the hard work and perseverance our team has shown during the last two challenging years." 

The Kilkenny Business Awards black-tie event is almost at capacity with limited individual tickets available from 

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