The awards ceremony takes place at the Rochestown Park Hotel on Friday, at which Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley will be made an honorary Corkman.
A number of women are among the top contenders, and include national and international Young Scientist winners from Kinsale, along with rights’ campaigners Louise O’Keeffe and Joan Hamilton, and the women captains of the Cork camogie and football teams.
Last year, Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who lives near Skibbereen, was recognised as an honorary Corkman.
He said: “Michael Flatley richly deserves his honour to mark the enormous cultural and tourism contribution he has made to his adopted county. “He has been a great ambassador for Cork, not to mention his work in restoring Castlehyde, outside Fermoy, one of the grand 18th century houses of Cork.” Cork Person of the Year judges are Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council, and Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council. The winner, depending on where they live, will either receive their title from Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mary Shields or the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Alan Coleman.
RTÉ presenter Mary Kennedy and MEP Brian Crowley are MCs for the event. The awards scheme has celebrated its 21st anniversary and RTÉ’s Nationwide will take a look back at the award winners and what it meant to them, in a programme to be broadcast on Wednesday night.
Lettertec publishers from Carrigtohill has produced a hard cover coffee table book covering the history of the awards. It won a national print award last month. The monthly winners were:
Pat O’Connell, for promoting the best of Cork to Queen Elizabeth and his work in promoting family businesses in the English Market.
Louise O’Keeffe, for her fight for justice in the Irish courts and the European Court of Human Rights which means children will now be better protected across 47 countries in Europe.
Joan Hamilton, mental health issues’ campaigner
Davy Russell and Jim Culloty, jockey and trainer, for their Cheltenham Gold Cup win.
Paula Kelleher and Elizabeth Bermingham, the Share mothers who help the work of students in providing housing, community care and social activities for the elderly in Cork.
Dr Jason van der Velde, a volunteer doctor with West Cork Rapid Response who has saved many lives and helped thousands as part of the group’s emergency work.
Will Sliney, the Marvel Comics Spider-Man illustrator who achieved world recognition for his talents.
Heather O’Brien, of the Irish women’s rugby team.
Gerard Murphy and Peter Aiken, entertainment organisers.
Jim Woulfe, Dairygold’s chief executive for maximising opportunities for farmers with a €117m investment in Mallow and Mitchelstown.
Sophie Healy-Thow, Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey, winners of the BT Young Scientist, EU Young Scientist and Google Science Fair.
Anna Geary and Briege Corkery, All-Ireland winning camogie and football captains.