The shortlist for the upcoming Cork Businesswoman of the Year Awards has been released, with a number of food & drink companies topping the list.

The annual awards and gala will take place on the 24th of May 2019 from 7pm to midnight in the Maryborough Hotel, Cork.

Kate Dempsey of Kinsale Mead Co has been shortlisted in the Emerging New Business category, while Carmel Lonergan of the Cork International Hotel has been shortlisted in the Employee – Shining Star category.

Winners of the awards will represent the Cork Branch at the annual National Awards which will take place in West Cork later this year.

Speaking about the upcoming awards, Gillian Hennessy, President of Network Cork and PR & Marketing Manager at Triskel Arts Centre, said: “We were delighted to see so many entries this year. There is a fantastic shortlist of outstanding businesswomen who have contributed greatly not only to their companies but to their respective industries. We look forward to celebrating their successes in the Maryborough Hotel on the 24th of May.”

The award prizes are sponsored by Brown Thomas, Cork and MC on the night will be Cliona O’Connor, author of the LeanMeanMomma blog. Entertainment will be by She Said.

Tickets can be booked on Eventbrite. Tickets are €99 for members and €119 for non-members. Tables of 10 are also available – advance booking is required by emailing

The full shortlist is as follows:

Emerging New Business:

  • Loretta Kennedy Mama Bear Foods
  • Ciara Smyth Leanún
  • Kate Dempsey Kinsale Mead Co.

Large SME:

  • Shirley Feeney – Shirley’s Beauty Clinic
  • Joelle Coade ACET Marketing Director
  • Ciara Crossan WeddingDates

Small SME:

  • Valerie Finnegan Cahill Ikon Hair Design
  • Kathy O’Dwyer Career Training Internships
  • Deirdre Corcoran Chapter


  • Annette Keane LSC
  • Marguerite O’Sullivan Johnson & Johnson
  • Tanya O’Sullivan GE healthcare

Employee – Shining Star:

  • Laura Flanagan DePuy Synthes
  • Marion Courtney Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre
  • Carmel Lonergan Cork International Hotel

Employee – Rising Star:

  • Niamh Hester WeddingDates
  • Helen Walsh Employmum
  • Kate Clancy Franciscan Well Brewery
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