Culture team gong

Declan Kearney, Communications Director at Aer Lingus presents the Aer Lingus Viscount Award for 'Outstanding Contribution' to Aideen McGinley, Martin Bradley and Oonagh McGillion of the Derry City of Culture Team.

Declan Kearney, Communications Director at Aer Lingus presents the Aer Lingus Viscount Award for 'Outstanding Contribution' to Aideen McGinley, Martin Bradley and Oonagh McGillion of the Derry City of Culture Team.

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Derry’s City of Culture team have been honoured with a special award for boosting the North’s economy with “thousands” of visitors.

The successful team behind Derry’s successful bid as City of Culture 2013 was one of eight organisations from the North rewarded for helping sustain the economic ties that have been developed between Northern Ireland and Great Britain at the annual Aer Lingus Viscount Awards in association with UTV and Business Eye.

At special ceremony in London recently, the team was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award, which was created this year in recognition of a team effort to add value to the east-west links by bringing in visitors in their thousands to Northern Ireland.

Welcoming the award Chair of Culture Company 2013, Martin Bradley said: “The Aer Lingus award recognises the business connections that can be achieved through City of Culture 2013 and our commitment to fulfilling the legacy of strengthening the economy through growth in the creative and tourism industries. We will continue to maximize the local and global business connections afforded by the City of Culture designation.”

During the awards, a seven-strong judging panel deliberated over 100 of the North’s most successful companies.

The panel was made up of Declan Kearney, Communications Director at Aer Lingus, Tracy Meharg, Managing Director of the Innovation & Capability Group at Invest NI, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, Jamie Delargy, Business Editor at UTV, Richard Buckley, Editor of Business Eye, Adrienne McGill, Business Editor of the News Letter and James Stinson, Business Correspondent at Irish News.

The categories were; Most Innovative Company of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Small/Medium/Large Companies of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Outstanding Contribution and the Aer Lingus Viscount Award for Overall Excellence.

Declan Kearney, Communications Director at Aer Lingus said; “We were hugely impressed not only by the volume but the calibre of this year’s entrants. It’s been an incredibly challenging 24 months for companies large and small, and the achievements of those businesses and individuals who made the shortlist are to be commended.