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Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017 Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017


Limerick for Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017

Edwina Gore, President Network Limerick Ireland (in red) with Bernie Carroll, SPIL, Rachel Leahy, Cube Printing, Valerie Dolan, Dolan’s Pub and Rachel Walsh, Discover Digital, the Limerick nominees for the Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017.

Limerick for Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017

Four Limerick businesswomen are in contention for an award at the Network Ireland National Business Awards for the Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017 which takes place on Friday, 6 October at Druids Glen, Wicklow.

Rachel Walsh, Rachel Leahy, Valerie Dolan and Bernie Carroll all won awards at the regional Network Ireland Limerick Business Awards last May.  They are now competing against other regional finalists for a coveted national title.  The overall winners of each award category will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner in Druids Glen Hotel.

Rachel Walsh, Discover Digital is in contention for the Emerging New Business Award, Rachel Leahy, Cube Printing for the Employee Award, Valerie Dolan of Dolan’s Pub & Restaurant competes in the Arts category and Bernie Carroll, Students Programme Ireland Ltd in the SME (less 10 employees) category. (See biographies below)


This is the first year that the Limerick Branch has a representative in the Arts Category.

Edwina Gore, President of Network Ireland Limerick said, “I’m delighted to see four very strong candidates represent our membership base at the national awards.  This is a great opportunity and platform to showcase their accomplishments and highlight their business achievements. Throughout the year we support the personal and professional development of our members, so we’re delighted to have our four very worthy regional winners recognised at a national level. I wish them the very best of luck – everyone in Network Ireland Limerick is rooting for them.”

About the Awards:

Network Ireland Business Women of the Year Awards celebrate the excellence, professionalism, vision, and leadership of its members. Regional branch winners are put forward to compete at the Network Ireland National Business Awards.  The regional Network Ireland Branch Business Women of the Year Awards take place between May and early June at separate events throughout the country.  The Network Ireland National Business Women of the Year of the Year Awards will take place at a Gala Ceremony in September in Cork.

Network Ireland Limerick is the organisation for Women in Business, the Professions and the Arts in Limerick.  It provides a forum for Women in Business to network, exchange ideas and increase their business contacts at monthly networking events.  All businesswomen, both self-employed and employees, are welcome to join Network Ireland Limerick.

Winners of 2017 Regional Network Ireland Limerick Awards Competing for the Network Ireland Businesswoman of the Year Award 2017 on 6 October are:

Emerging Business Award – Rachel Walsh, Discover Digital

Rachel is a digital marketing expert/addict with over 10 years’ industry experience with international brands such as Ryanair, Tesco, and Virgin Media. She created Discover Digital in 2016 after noticing how small businesses could save money by using digital marketing channels to reach their customers. Her company specialises in digital strategy, execution, and training.  As well as working on Discover Digital, Rachel is a lecturer at Limerick Institute of Technology. She always keeps up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends and is currently studying an MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics at Dublin Institute of Technology.

Employee Award – Rachel Leahy, Cube Printing

Having graduated from LIT with a first-class honours degree in Business with Event Management, Rachel began her career in Marketing with CUBE – design, print and packaging specialists based in Limerick. She activated a complete re-brand of the organisation and re-positioned them as leaders in their industry. In addition to her Marketing and Communications role, she is an active volunteer with Cliona’s Foundation, a national charity providing financial assistance to families caring for children with a life-limiting illness.

Arts Award – Valerie Dolan, Dolan’s Pub & Restaurant

In 1994 Valerie Dolan and her husband bought The Mill Tavern (now Dolans) in the docks in Limerick. Dolans now consists of a Pub, Restaurant, and three performance venues and is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading music venues.They also have out of house venues; The Belltable Theatre, The Limetree Theatre, The University Concert Hall, Limerick, Live at the Big Top in Limericks iconic Milk Market and Live at King Johns Castle in King Johns Castle. Valerie has volunteered time to help develop new festival initiatives to help boost our local economy such as the Limerick Jazz Festival, Culture and Chips, Riverfest, Limerick Fringe and the Siege of Limerick.

SME Award – Bernie Carroll, Student Programmes Ireland Ltd

Bernie identified a gap in the market for European students coming to Ireland to improve their English language learning skills and also realized that families and schools could benefit greatly from tailor-made programmes. Her business has developed a strong network of services within Ireland which has made her customers want more and more of what has to offer and she has many more new agents coming on board in 2017. She works with agents and governments in 5 different European Countries; France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Slovakia.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.