City’s business leaders: Government must invest

City’s business leaders: Government must invest
Leigh Gillen, Donna Miskell, Deirdre Griffin, Sarah Foley, Sarah Keane, Ivan McCutcheon, Naomi Frawley and Imelda Mulcahy from Cork Chamber at the Cork Chamber Cork Company of the Year Awards in Cork City Hall. Pic: Darragh Kane

By Pádraig Hoare

The Government must be ready to pump in much more investment to help build transport and other public infrastructure in Cork, because it is set to be the fastest growing region over the next two decades.

That was the message of Cork Chamber president Bill O’Connell to an audience of 1,000 business and political figures at the organisation’s annual dinner last Friday night in Cork City Hall.

The Company of the Year Awards, of which the Irish Examiner is a media partner, voted Boston Scientific Cork as the overall winner, while took home the award for the best company in the large company category.

This year’s Cork Emerging Company of the Year award was given to EviView, while the title of Cork SME Company of the Year was won by Spearline.

Blackpool-based was started 10 years ago by two college friends Peter Coppinger and Dan Mackey.

It is leading the way for SaaS, which is a software distribution model where a third-party provider hosts applications and makes the services available to customers over the internet.

Disney, PayPal and eBay are among the companies who used last year. Over the last four years, the company has posted annual growth rates of 40%. It plans to have as many as 400 people working for the company by 2020.

Winners of Cork Large Company Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger from Pic: Darragh Kane
Winners of Cork Large Company Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger from Pic: Darragh Kane

Spearline, which was founded in 2003 by university friends Kevin Buckley and Matthew Lawlor, has become a global leader in toll and toll-free number testing.

Its home base has helped cement Skibbereen’s burgeoning reputation as an IT centre.

Its clients include Google, Airbnb, Skype, Microsoft, as well as Amazon.

EviView was established in 2015. It provides smart analytics software for pharmaceutical firms.

In its third year, EviView aims to expand further in Ireland and to launch in Poland and the US.

The winners of the awards, which were run in association with Vodafone Ireland, were lauded by the Cork Chamber president.

On the potential for growth in Cork, Mr O’Connell said: “Cork Chamber calls for commitment by Government to invest in Cork’s public transport needs, a rapid-transit system to enable our city region [and] high-speed rail connecting Cork and Dublin. 

"We call for recognition of Cork’s Docklands as a national strategic asset, a space where people will enact Government’s vision of living and working in a vibrant, high-density city.”

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