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Angela Cantwell, Fountainstown - Cork Person of the Year

The owners of two of Cork’s old traditional businesses, Angela’s Shop & Coffee Dock, Fountainstown & Shandon Sweet Factory and were announced as the Cork Persons of the Year at the annual awards on Friday, January 27th.

The Gala Lunch Awards were 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, Chief Executive Of Cork City Council and Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, said “We were struck by the perseverance, adaptability and quality of these two businesses and their contribution to the fabric of Cork through the generations - these 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. Their sweets are all handmade using traditional methods.

A shop with a similar legacy is Angela’s 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 confectionery 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.”

Angela's Sweet Shop Fountainstown. L to R., Tony Linehan, Lord Mayor Deirdre Forde, Deputy County Mayor Cllr Deirdre O’Brien, Angela Cantwell, Fountainstown and Dan Linehan. Picture: Tony O’Connell Photography.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of Cork's premier award scheme and additional 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.

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Sexual Violence Centre, Cork - and that founder, and CEO, is Mary Crilly. Mary has been providing support to victims of sexual violence across Cork City and county over all that time. She has done enormous work in all areas of sexual violence, domestic violence, sex trafficking and stalking. Little wonder that she received the freedom of Cork City last June. Today Cork is proud to induct her into our hall of fame” 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 the awards organising team.

Appreciation Awards went to retiring members of RTÉ, Director General of RTÉ Dee Forbes and RTÉ Commercial Director Geraldine O’Leary, long standing award scheme partners.

The awards were presented by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Deirdre Forde and the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Councillor 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; Dee Forbes, Director General, RTÉ; Geraldine O’Leary, Commercial Director, RTÉ; Bishop Paul Colton; Bishop Fintan Gavin; Manus O’Callaghan; Pat Lemasney; and Ann-Marie O’Sullivan.

Award partners and sponsors were Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Southern, Lexus Cork, AM O’Sullivan PR, Cork Crystal, Tony O’Connell Photography, CAVS, Musgrave Market Place, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Masterkabin, Mainport Group, and Manus O’Callaghan.

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