Huge congratulations to Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business this morning who have succeeded in winning the overall prize of Most Enterprising Town in this year’s Bank Of Ireland Begin Together Awards (formerly National Enterprise Town Awards). In addition to a trophy, the town wins a cash prize of €50,000 to assist in rebooting the town’s economy in the aftermath of Covid-19.
Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards, now in their 5th year, recognise the spirit of enterprise and resilience in towns and cities across the island of Ireland. The Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest challenge to Ireland’s financial, physical and mental wellbeing in living memory. In this hugely challenging year, the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards recognise those businesses and communities who have come together to support local recovery and rebuilding in response to Covid-19.
Under the guidance of Chairperson of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business, Guny Patel of Kinari, along with Ciaran Fitzgerald of the Blue Haven Collection, Lorraine Walsh, Marketing Executive of Kinsale Chamber, and Michael Walsh, Walsh Design Group, an application to enter the competition was lodged during the summer. Kinsale was then announced as a finalist in the town category of 4001-7000 along with Blessington in Co. Wicklow. A superb presentation was put together by the Chamber which was presented to a group of judges via Zoom on Monday 21st September in the beautiful setting of Ballinacurra House. In attendance with the Chamber committee members were Enda O’Halloran, of Cork County Council who spoke about the CCC initiative to assist with the introduction of outdoor dining and pedestrianisation, Fergal McCarthy of Kinsale Community School who spoke about the KCS initiative in designing and providing tens of thousands of visors to front line workers, and Niamh O’Connell representing the Kinsale Covid-19 Volunteer group. A very professional polished video presentation culminated in moving interviews with groups and individuals who have been involved with and benefitted from the wonderful community spirit and ethos of co-operation which exists in Kinsale.
This morning, October 6th, the overall winners were announced by former rugby player, Tommy Bowe, via Twitter. There were great celebrations when Kinsale was announced as winners of the population category 4001-7000, winning €10,000, the third consecutive year that Kinsale has won the population category. However the news later that Kinsale had won the overall award of Most Enterprising Town, winning €50,000, brought an extra level of joy!
There is no doubt that the many many hours spent by the Kinsale Chamber into putting this superb application and presentation together sealed the win for Kinsale. Well done to all at Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business, you can be so proud of your achievement.