Three Tralee Business People Honoured With Awards

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Fiona Kirby of Kirby’s Brogue Inn receive a Tralee Chamber Alliance Business People of the Month Award from it President John Drummey and CEO Kieran Ruttledge.

FIONA Kirby, Don Nolan and Mike McDonnell, three outstanding business people who have shown extraordinary commitment to their customers and the town of Tralee, have won Tralee Business People Awards for April, May and June 2017.

The monthly award from Tralee Chamber Alliance recognises people who have made a positive impact to Tralee through their business and working lives.

The latest winners were announced at a business lunch at The Ashe Hotel Tralee today, Thursday.

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The President of Tralee Chamber Alliance, John Drummey, said: “Fiona, Don and Mike are stalwarts in their respective sectors ensuring that their customers always come first. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to shine a light on their contribution to the economic and community development of the town over the course of their professional lives.”

Fiona Kirby, a Tralee-native who, along with her husband Kevin Cotter from Knockbrack, Knocknagoshel, has revived one of Tralee’s most famous landmarks – Kirby’s Brogue Inn. Together they employ over 60 people at the Brogue, MJs Diner and Cotter Catering.

Since reopening in July 2014, Kirby’s Brogue Inn — which celebrates its 40th birthday this year — has gone from strength to strength, guaranteeing a Céad Míle Fáilte to locals and visitors who are always welcome.

The Brogue and Cotter Catering are famous for their food – sourced locally – and they pride themselves in the quality they offer from morning to night, seven days a week.

Fiona and Kevin are selfless in their support of local charities and the manner in which Fiona and her family have overcome personal tragedy and professional setbacks is an inspiration to all business people to always work hard, stay positive and never give up.

Don Nolan of Liscahane Nurseries receives a Tralee Chamber Alliance Business People of the Month Award from it President John Drummey and CEO Kieran Rutledge. Also included is son Donal, Deputy Editor of The Kerryman.

Don Nolan, is a native of Princes St entered the newspaper world with the family firm The Kerryman.

After the family sold the paper to INM and a period spent living in Canada he returned home to pursue a long-held passion for plants, ultimately swapping ink-black fingers for green ones.

Don opened The Garden Shop on Pembroke St in the same year he married Rock St native Patricia Hanafin (1977).

Among his suppliers was London native Bill Cooley, who had relocated to Barrow, and the pair eventually went into business together opening Liscahane Garden Centre and Nurseries in 1980.

By virtue of its broad range of plants, expert advice and dedicated workforce, Liscahane has managed to thrive through numerous challenges in the marketplace over the years to stand as a vibrant Tralee business nearly 40 years on.

Don designed the Garden of the Senses in the Town Park, he often hosts Nature Walks and gives free Consultancy advice to Tralee Tidy Towns groups.

Mike McDonnell and wife Martina, with his Tralee Chamber Alliance Tralee Business People Award.

Mike McDonnell started off life as an electronic engineer with Sony in Dublin. In 1984 he moved his family to Tralee in order to help out with the family business, McDonnell’s butchers in the Square, now the Glam Pod Beauty Salon.

After years of working in the Butcher shop he decided to open a caravan and camping site after years of watching caravans and motorhomes drive through Tralee and onto Dingle, as there was nowhere for them to stay in Tralee.

After a lot of careful planning and research Mike and Martina opened Woodlands Caravan and Camping Park in 1998. It has grown in size and reputation ever since and is now a thriving year-long business thanks to the dedication and commitment of Mike & Martina.


Fiona, Don and Mike were presented with specially commissioned wooden bowls from local craft maker, David Condon, while Tralee-based photographer, Pauline Dennigen, will photograph each of the 12 monthly winners and their portraits will be featured in an exhibition and 2018 Tralee calendar.

The proceeds from the sale of the calendar will be donated to Tralee charities.

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