Network North Tipperary Business Women of the Year Awards Winners

Three prominent Car, Food & Fashion business entrepreneurs have claimed top honours at a Business Network Awards Ceremony in Tipperary.

The three winners are Fashion designer Marion Murphy Cooney, in the ‘Existing Business Category’. Sarah Baker of Cloughjordan House in the “Emerging Business Category” and Fiona Connolly GM of Ford Nenagh & Limerick, in the ‘Employee Category,” June 14th).

  1. Marion Murphy Cooney is winner of the “Existing Business Category” sponsored by Allied Irish Bank.  Marion, a talented fashion designer has dressed many Irish celebrities such as Miriam O’Callaghan, Lorraine Keane & Emma O’Driscoll to name but a few.

Fiona Connolly winner of Employee Category

Design is in Marion Murphy Cooney’s blood. The daughter of a painter and the granddaughter of a seamstress, it was almost a foregone conclusion that this Limerick native would hone her talents at the Limerick School of Art & Design. Since her first collection in 2005, Marion has listened to and learned from her broad client base. This, combined with time and experience, has ultimately led to the creation of a ready-to-wear collection that is the epitome of this designer’s identity – MMC by Marion Murphy Cooney. MMC designs encapsulate femininity, in all its forms. The designer’s decision to marry the contemporary with the classic ensures

Sarah Baker winner of emerging business

that each collection has never strayed far from this founding quality, resulting in each MMC piece having a romantic edge, meaning the discerning wearer will exude an underlying, indomitable confidence.

Her creations carry exuberance through her emphasis on cut and her knowledgeable grasp of colour. They are pieces for day-to-day living as well as those special life events and they have repeatedly caught the attention of the fashion-savvy buyer, as well as being courted by celebrity clientele.  (June 14th).


Marion Murphy Cooney winner of existing business award

Sarah Baker is the winner of the “Emerging Business Category” sponsored by the Tipperary North County Enterprise Board.  This Award was presented by Minister Alan Kelly TD on their behalf.  Sarah has established Cloughjordan House Cookery School in 2010 in the kitchen of Cloughjordan House where she lives with her family. In a very short space of time Cloughjordan House has become a flourishing cookery school & restaurant. Her passion for local produce, combined with excellent culinary skills has gone a long way towards putting Tipperary on the food map. Sarah has a love and natural flair for cooking and passing on this knowledge to others was a natural step. Sarah trained at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School.  Sarah undertook a scaling of the business in 2012 moving the Cookery school to the courtyard of Cloughjordan House, a hands-on cooking facility allowing classes up to 22 students. (June 14th).

Network Committee Members with National President Julia Lynes

Fiona Connolly, winner of the “Employee Category” sponsored by Network North Tipperary, is the General Manager of Lyons of Nenagh & Lyons of Limerick. The Group are the Main Dealers for Ford, Volvo, Land Rover & Jaguar. As a woman in a predominantly male oriented business, Fiona has demonstrated that her knowledge and business acumen are excellent. Fiona has focused on the business not just being about cars and vans, but on reputation, top quality service, the best value for money, and looking after your customers at every touch point. Fiona has illustrated that entrepreneurship; leadership skills, business acumen and networking are a powerful combination in both creating new business and in leading a winning team of professionals. Fiona has clearly demonstrated that women can be very effective entrepreneurial leaders in key business positions. (June 14th).


All three entrepreneurs now go forward to the National finals of the women in business awards which will be held this year in Fota Island on October 4th.

“Our winning entrepreneurs clearly have a passion for cars, food and fashion in addition to having an incredible focus on the

operational aspects of their respective businesses, our three winners are incredibly talented ladies and this combined with their business savvy has proven to be an unbeatable combination,” said Louisa Condon, the President of Network North Tipperary. “Although our winners are at very different stages in the business life cycle, they all exhibit key entrepreneurial characteristics. According to the judging panel (Geraldine Manning TNCEB, Margaret McLoughney AIB and Rani Dabrai Miss Money Penny), the three entrepreneurs were energetic, measured risk-takers and had an understanding of how important their teams and families were to the success of their respective business.”

Other speakers at the awards included, Minister for State at the Department of Tourism Transport and Sport Mr Alan Kelly TD, Ms Rita Guinan CEO Tipperary North County Enterprise Board, Julia Lynes President of Network Ireland and Fiona Steed former Irish Women’s Rugby International.  Fiona was presented with this year’s Honorary Award as “Tipperary Woman of the Year” following which she gave an extraordinary and inspirational speech citing how dedication, hard work and a belief in one’s self are prerequisites for achievement in any chosen field.

National President Julia Lynes,Local President Louisa Condon and Mayor Loror McGee

Florrie Purcell from The Scullery took the runner-up prize in the ‘Existing Business’ category, Lisa McGee from Isle Magazine was runner-up in the category for ‘Emerging Business’ and Van Geraghty of Komsec, was runner-up in the “Employee Category”.

This is the third annual Network North Tipperary Business Women of the Year Awards and last year’s winners were Margaret O’Connor from Quigley’s Bakery in the ‘Existing Business’ category and Elaine Dorris from Lough Derg Chocolates in the ‘Emerging Business’ category.

Minister Alan Kelly presents Emerging Business Award to Sarah Baker

Other 2013 shortlisted nominees this year included Van Geraghty from Komsec (Employee Category), Siobhan Kennedy from Kennedys Bar & Self Catering (‘Emerging Business’ nominee),  Joan McGowan from the Fairways Bar and Orchard Restaurant (‘Established Business’ nominee).

Network North Tipperary is funded by the Tipperary North County Enterprise Board.  City and County Enterprise Boards are funded by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme 2007 – 2013, Co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

Marion Murphy Cooney receiving award from Martin Troy AIB

Fiona Steed and Louisa Condon

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.