Dublin woman wins award as best Emerging Business woman

by Alex Greaney
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Alex Greaney 

One of the country’s most respected fashion designers and a well-known lactation consultant are among the winners of Network Ireland’s Business woman of the Year Awards 2023. 

The results were announced at the organisation’s annual Businesswoman of the Year Awards at Lawlor’s Hotel, Nass, Co. Kildare on Friday night, September 29th. 350 guests attended the gala ceremony which was hosted by businessman and social entrepreneur Aubrey McCarthy. 

The National Business Networking Group, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, received an overwhelming response to the awards this year with 370 applications from members of all its branches. 

The winners of the eight categories were: 

    Emerging Businesswoman: Donna Reilly, Donna Reilly People & Wellness, Dublin 

    Solo Businesswoman: Katie Mugan, Nursing Mama, Kildare 

    Established Businesswoman: Róisín Leacy, Eikon Beauty, Wexford 

    Creative Professional: Heidi Higgins, Fashion Designer, Tipperary 

    STEM Professional: Susan Dunlea, DePuy Synthes, Cork 

    Employee Rising Star: Danielle Markham, EisnerAmper Ireland, Limerick  

    Employee Shining Star: Aisling O’Connor, Dooley Insurances, Kildare 

    Networker of the Year (a new award to mark the 40th anniversary of Network Ireland): Helen Wycherley, Celtic Ross Hotel, Cork 

The awards ceremony followed Network Ireland’s annual conference which was hosted by film producer, entrepreneur, human rights campaigner, and former Dragon’s Den judge Norah Casey.  Norah was honoured with the Trisha Murphy Memorial Award on the night. 

Guests were treated to panel discussions around the themes of Key to Success and Celebrating Leadership. Among the panellists were business consultant Blaise Brosnan, Jacqueline O’Donovan of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, Sinead Lonergan of Enterprise Ireland, Sonia Deasy of Pestle & Mortar, Denis Doolin of AIB, Tammy Darcy of The Shona Project, Lorraine Bowen of The Entrepreneurs Academy and Michelle Vance of Lily O’Brien’s. 

Oonagh O’Hagan, owner of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group, delivered a keynote outlining her incredible business journey from her first premises on Dublin’s Baggot Street, while Leinster and Ireland rugby star Linda Djougang shared her inspirational story about moving to Ireland and discovering her love for the sport. 


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