President Jonathan Keenan welcomed over 200 guests to our 11th Annual New Ross & District Business & Community Awards “Gala Evening” which was held at the Brandon House Hotel on Saturday night last. Jonathan thanked each and every one in attendance for their contribution towards building a positive and successful business community in New Ross and surrounding district.

He also commented that – “Without the personal influence, cooperation, dedication and hard work from all of you here tonight, recognition of our businesses and individuals running those businesses could not be possible – tonight is truly a celebration of excellence in business.”

The Winners of the 2018 New Ross & District Business & Community Awards were


Congratulations to all the finalists.



Good evening and welcome ladies and gentlemen to our 11th annual New Ross & District Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Awards 2018.  My name is Jonathan Keenan and it is my privilege and honour to be the current president of the Chamber of Commerce, this year celebrating 40 years. We are joined tonight by our special guests Co-hear lock John Fleming, County Council members Sinead Casey and Eimear Kennedy, the legendary Master crystal cutter Fred Curtis, and our MC this evening is Alan Corcoran from South East Radio. Thank you all for your support and attendance.

First, I want to thank each and every one of you for contributing towards building a positive and successful business community here in New Ross and surrounding district.  Without the personal influence, cooperation, dedication and hard work from all of our local attendees here tonight, recognition of our businesses and individuals running those businesses could not be possible – tonight is truly a celebration of excellence in business.  As it is always a great social occasion to gather here in the hospitable Brandon House Hotel, network with one another and get to know your neighbour more, the funds earned from tonight’s event will be utilized towards improving our delivery of a more dynamic business community environment, as is our mission at the Chamber of Commerce.

As they say an organization is nothing without its members; and without your continued contributions through membership, supporting local training sessions and events like these, you are building your chamber… your town… your future.  Similar to what New Ross’s favourite President Kennedy once said, Ask not what your chamber can do for you, but what YOU can do for your chamber J.

Secondly, I would like to thank the many hands and hearts that helped to bring the many details of this evening into manifestation for our enjoyment and appreciation. Thank you greatly to our main event sponsor the Wexford County Council for their continued support and guidance. Thank you master crystal cutter Fred Curtis for creating these beautifully magnificent crystal awards. Thank you to Molloy’s Supervalu for donating the delicious wine you are currently enjoying.  Thank you Tony Ennis, chairman of the judges panel for collaborating an unbiased selection of the winners of tonight’s categories.

Thank you Brandon House Hotel and staff for hosting our event here this evening and preparing such a delicious spread for us to enjoy. Thank you Teresa Delaney, Anne Dwyer, and the Chamber of Commerce staff for organizing all the finite details to make tonight possible. Thank you Lorcan Kinsella, Margaret Goldsmith and the New Ross Standard for successfully marketing and advertising tonight’s event – as can be seen from this full room.

Thank you greatly to all of the following sponsors this evening, without your contributions and support… tonight may have looked very different: Thank you Local Enterprise Office, Thank you Fred Curtis Crystal, Thank you Wexford Local Development, Thank you Integer Lake Region, Thank you Permanent TSB, Thank you Guardian Fire & Security, Thank you Bank of Ireland, Thank you AIB, Thank you Brand Nova, Thank you Kennedy Boutique Hotel, Thank you Creacon Wellness Retreat, Thank you JFK Trust, Thank you South East Radio, Thank you Brandon House Hotel, Thank you Ennis and Co, Thank you Molloy’s Supervalu, Thank you New Ross Standard, and Thank you again Wexford County Council.

Finally, thank you Revival for providing live musical entertainment following tonight’s presentations and Alan Corcoran for MC’ing this evening.

It was my great pleasure to welcome you all to this wonderful annual community awards event.  I trust you will all enjoy yourselves, well done to all the finalists tonight and thank you deeply for attending and encouraging others to attend as well.

Thank you very much. GRMMA Tra nona ma



40 years!!! …. It is quite an amazing span of time …. 40, the number is a very symbolic number as found in many of the religious holy books, 40 is the number of weeks for an average term of human pregnancy and 40 is an age that humanity celebrates and dreads at the same time. 40 years ago, in 1978, many things happened that you may or may not be aware of, besides my birth : Waterford born John Treacy won the world cross-country championship in Glasgo. 6,000 people marched through Dublin to Wood Quay to protest the building of civic offices on the Viking site. Cork Regional Hospital officially opened. Nicky Byrne, Westlife singer was born. Over 5,000 people took part in a rally against a nuclear power station at Carnsore Point, County Wexford. Ireland’s second national television channel, RTÉ 2, opened with a live broadcast from the Cork Opera House. And here to recognize and celebrate tonight, the New Ross and District Chamber of Commerce was incorporated!  The NR Chamber has been an integral part of developing the business community in this local district and has been led by some determined and empowered Presidents.  Tonight we have the pleasure of being joined by such past presidents as Mark Minihan from PWP, John Anglim from John Anglim Mens Shop, Ernest Levingstone from E.W. Levingstone & Co, Mary Browne from Brownes Photography, John McSweeney from AIB Bank.

If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication these individuals put towards infusing their community with leadership, motivation and guidance, this New Ross and District Chamber would not have been operating for 40 years! * As I mentioned previously, the chamber is nothing without its members and the hard working dedicated volunteers of its board members and we thank you all for your continued support and help to collaborate our community in creating a productive and enjoyable business environment. We trust you will continue to promote your local business district by inviting your friends and family to visit and take advantage of the many wonderful shops, services, establishments, restaurants, attractions and events here.  We thank you for your sustained support of this chamber through your membership contributions and encouraging your neighbouring businesses to do the same. The expression, the more the merrier holds true in this situation and we invite you to join if you are not a member already so that we can cooperatively achieve more.


My vision is that this Chamber can easily continue to operate for at least another 40 years and another 40 beyond that.