Top Oil on the Tuam Road in Galway was announced as the overall winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh at a special awards ceremony which took place in the Westwood Hotel on Thursday the 12th May 2016.
Former Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh, presented Top Oil with Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, a beautiful piece of sculpture specially designed by the famous artist Pádraic Reaney symbolising the 14 Tribes of Galway, with one ‘present day Tribe’ representing the winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2016 and other winners to come.
The gala awards ceremony attracted over 100 representatives from all aspects of Galway life who came to celebrate the use of Irish in business in the city as well as Galway’s status as the first city in Ireland to gain bilingual status.
Top Oil was also named as the winner of the ‘Services’ Category sponsored by Snap Galway before going on to scoop the overall award on the night.
The Moltóirí said that they were particularly impressed by the integration of the Irish language into Top Oil: from a ‘Seirbhís i nGaeilge’ to bilingual signage, bilingual stationery, Gaeilge on delivery trucks and a new bilingual logo – “Fuelling Ireland/Éire Á Breoslú”.
They were also impressed with how the staff were inspired and encouraged to use Irish. Top Oil also intends to extend the use of the Irish language to other branches around the country.
Other category winners for Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2016 were Faherty Paints (Retail winner, sponsored by Galway Bay FM); the Connacht Hotel (Tourism & Hospitality winner, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland) and the Galway Technology Centre (Other Companies winner, sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh).
They all received a business package to the value of €2,000 from their respective category sponsor as well as a replica of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh specially designed for the Gradam by Pádraic Reaney and sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta.
A reflection of the high standard of entries this year is Bronnadh Speisialta na Moltóirí, a special award designed to acknowledge a business who has entered the Gradam for the first time and has achieved a very high standard which could not go unrecognised.
This award, sponsored by Judy Greene Pottery, was presented to Péarla na Mara. The Moltóirí were particularly impressed by the attitude and passion for the language displayed by the owner. Péarla na Mara have embraced the ‘Spirit of the Gradam’ and see it as something that is integral to the success of their business.
For the first time this year, the Moltóirí bestowed a University Scholarship sponsored by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh on a business that is making a special effort to develop a ‘Service in Irish’ for their customers.
Michaela McDermott of Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop was presented with a one year scholarship on the language acquisition course, ‘An Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge’, a university qualification from NUI Galway.
New President for Local Ireland
The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.
Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.
Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”
Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.
He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.
Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.
Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.
Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region
The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.
At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.
Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:
- Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
- Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
- Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
- Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
- Investment in people and skills
- Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
- Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth
Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless
One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.
In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.
Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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