RTÉ Celebrates Cork Person of the Year at Annual Awards Ceremony

The owners of two of Cork’s old traditional businesses Shandon Sweet Factory and Angela’s Shop & Coffee Dock were declared Cork Persons of the Year at the annual awards lunch on January 27th held at the Rochestown Park Hotel before an invited audience of 250 people who represented all sectors of Cork life. Known to generations of corkonians, Shandon Sweet Factory and Shop has been trading since 1928 in the Shandon Quarter of old cork city. Angela’s Shop and Coffee Dock in Fountainstown, overlooking the beach, has served ice cream, buckets and spades, fishing nets and absolutely everything you would need for a day out at the seaside, and is well known to cork families for decades.

The award judges, Ann Doherty, Ch. Exec. Of Cork City Council and Tim Lucey Ch. Exec. of Cork County Council said “ We were struck by the perservance, adaptability and quality of these two Businesses and their contribution to the fabric of Cork through the generations - these two are some of the ingredients that make Cork so special and great “. Shandon Sweets is Ireland’s last remaining traditional shop and sweet factory, run by father and son duo Tony and Dan Linehan. The duo have overcome many obstacles over the years, including a major fire. The sweets are all handmade using traditional methods.A shop with a similar legacy is Angela’s down in Fountainstown. Angela Cantwell has owned her shop for more than thirty years and has been a staple for visitors and locals alike.“ As well as a small business it’s also my social life “ said Angela “ and I love meeting many generations of the same families on their days out at the beach and swimming in the sea.”Speaking about the winners, awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said “ Shandon Sweets is Cork’s own Willy Wonka Factory. Operating in a competitive industry, up against confectionary giants, the local and export successes of three generations of Linehan’s is amazing. Angela’s iconic little business by the sea brings back many happy memories for cork families and it’s great to know that this is one tradition that continues on. “This year marked the 30th Anniversary of cork’s premier award scheme and extra awards were presented on the day. Veteran broadcaster Mike Murphy was made an Honorary Corkman, celebrating his 60 years of top programmes on TV and Radio. The founder of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre Mary Crilly was inducted into the Hall of Fame. “ Mary Crilly founded her centre exactly 40 years ago, and has done amazing work over that period in eliminating sexual violence and also in changing attitudes in society.” said awards partner and organiser Ann-Marie O’Sullivan.International tenor Finbar Wright received the “ Cork Supreme Award “ for representing Cork in such a distinguished way in Concert Halls around the world.Rachael Blackmore, the first female jockey to win the Aintree Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and leading jockey at Cheltenham was bestowed with an Honorary Corkwoman title.An award was also presented to Barry Woods, retired director from the then Cork Examiner, to mark his work as a founding member of awards organising team.Appreciation Awards went to retiring members of RTÉ, long standing award scheme partners, Director General of RTÉ Dee Forbes and RTÉ Commercial Director Geraldine O’Leary who both retire from RTÉ later this year.All the awards at the lunch function were presented by the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde and the Dep. Mayor of Cork County Cllr Deirdre O’Brien.Masters of Ceremonies were broadcasters Anne Cassin and Marty Morrissey. Speakers at the lunch were Minister for Finance Michael McGrath; Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney; Mikey Sheehan, M.D. Irish Examiner & CFO Irish Times; Dee Forbes, Director General RTÉ; Geraldine O’Leary, Commercial Director RTÉ; Bishop Paul Colton; Bishop Fintan Gavin; Manus O’Callaghan; Pat Lemasney; Ann-Marie O’Sullivan.Award Partners and Sponsors were Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Southern Marketing, Lexus Cork, AM O’Sullivan PR, Cork Crystal, Tony O’Connell Photography, CAVS, Musgrave MarketPlace, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Masterkabin, Mainport Group, Manus O’Callaghan.