Kilkenny Chamber, along with the sponsor State Street, has announced the winners for the Kilkenny Business Awards 2020.


Two awards are always in the gift of Kilkenny Chamber, the President’s Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Whilst the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic prevented the usual black tie gala event from taking place this year, the Board of Kilkenny Chamber were determined to continue the November tradition by awarding these two accolades.


John Hurley, CEO of Kilkenny Chamber said,


“It is my pleasure to announce that the Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Kitty Donohoe of Goresbridge Horse Sales and the President’s Award this year will be presented to Bobby Kerr, a well-known household name not just in Kilkenny and across the country.”


The Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidents Award awards recognise longstanding local businesspeople that are part of the fabric of Kilkenny’s business community and who have made an extraordinary contribution to Kilkenny’s brand and economy.


Kitty Donohoe was the driving force behind the family business, Goresbridge Horse Sales, which was started in 1968 by her husband, Ned. His untimely death in 1978 placed her, a non-horsey 42 year old mother of nine children with another baby on the way, at the helm of what has become Europe’s largest auctioneer of sport horses. Kitty was the first woman appointed to the Irish Horse Board. She drove the business forward, while raising her young family, displaying a model of can-do attitude to all who did business with her.


Bobby Kerr is a proud Kilkenny man who has always maintained strong links with his native city. He learned about hospitality from his father, who had led the consortium that built the landmark Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny’s first Grade A hotel. These days Bobby is best known for his roles in Insomnia and Newstalk. His media career began as a ‘Dragon’ where he participated in the first four series of Dragon’s Den and still retains an interest in eight businesses that he backed on the show.


Kilkenny Chamber President, Colin Ahern commented,


“The President’s Award is an accolade that has been presented annually, since 2012, by the Chamber President to someone who is well-known, who has a connection to Kilkenny and who has made an important and significant contributions in business and community, in Kilkenny and nationally. This year’s recipient Bobby Kerr is a proud Kilkenny native, who has had a hugely successfully career in a number of industries both in Ireland and abroad. Bobby stood out to me personally, as I’m involved in the hospitality industry myself and I believe that he has always been a great ambassador and example to all Kilkenny people and entrepreneurs in particular.”


Kilkenny Chamber has selected a charity partner, St. Vincent de Paul Kilkenny and is encouraging people to support it and give generously via its website: www.svp.ie/home.aspx. St. Vincent de Paul is a long standing organisation which focuses on practical approaches to dealing with poverty and alleviating its effects on individuals and families. This organisation strives to achieve social justice and equality of opportunity for all citizens.


For more see: www.kilkennychamber.ie  | #KBA2020