Cork Business Association celebrating its 60th in style

The annual awards of Cork Business Association — which is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2017— has heard rousing calls for Cork people to embrace what they have in their city if it is to thrive to its full potential.

Cork Business Association celebrating its 60th in style

At Cork International Hotel in front of almost 250 guests on Saturday night, the winner of the Medium Business category, Chicken Inn of the English Market, and the winner of the Large Business category, Cork Airport, both insisted that Cork had more than enough going for it to compete with any comparable city in the world.

A visibly moved Tim Mulcahy of the Chicken Inn paid tribute to his parents Jack and Mary Mulcahy for promoting and working tirelessly for the English Market when it was going through lean times.

He said the family, which has been in business for almost 60 years, was hugely grateful to be recognised by fellow traders in Cork city centre.

He added: “The English Market is now celebrated around the world but there was a time when more lights were being turned off than turned on.”

It was the generation of his parents that meant the lights kept being turned on, he added.

“Cork city centre is a special place. We are small traders and we need your support,” he said.

Managing director of Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy, said that he was now “99% sure” that Norwegian Air International would fly from Cork to the US for the first time in July.

Barren times in 2014 had led to a remarkable recovery in 2016, he said, because of patience and everyone involved in Cork Airport putting their shoulder to the wheel.

He appealed for the Cork public to support both NAI and Wow Air, which will fly from Cork to nine US destinations via the Icelandic capital Reykjavik this year. NAI will fly direct to the East Coast, with New Hampshire and Rhode Island, near Boston and New York respectively, the most likely airport destinations.

“Support your local airport because it is your facility,” he said.

He was supported by Cork Airport colleague Kevin Cullinane, who said that it was “probably the most important square mile in the county”.

CBA president Pat O’Connell said that the organisation had worked tirelessly to promote Cork since its inception in 1957.

He said the billions that were currently being invested in the city centre on developments such as the Capital Cineplex site, Albert Quay, Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Events Centre was a “quantum of development never seen before” in Cork.

One Albert Quay was a beacon to the kind of ambition Cork had, he added.

He called on the Government to progress vital infrastructure such as the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, the Dunkettle Interchange, the Northern Ring Road and the bridge between Tivoli and the Centre Park Road in order for Cork to reach its “incredible” potential.

Mr O’Connell said that current parking arrangements in the city centre were not sustainable, and that a city like Cork needed space to grow and breathe.

CBA, Cork’s oldest business organisation, aims to promote the profile of the winners and to encourage excellence in business activities.

The awards recognise the value and achievement of Cork businesses, and the CBA’s aim is to acknowledge an individual business that has contributed to or promoted the enhancement of the commercial, cultural or civic life of Cork.

The event was sponsored by AIB Bank, O’Callaghan Properties, and The Irish Examiner. Partners included ETC – the Events, Tourism and Communications agency.

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