Who is leading the 30,000+ people working in the South West’s thriving ICT sector? This is the question posed by representative body it@cork, who today launched the 2019 Leaders Awards and invited nominations from throughout the industry, to shine a light on those people who are leading the charge for the region’s tech community and paving the way for the continued success of tech in Cork and the surrounding areas.

 it@cork, the body representing over 220 companies working within the ICT sector in the South West region, say nominations will remain open until September 13th for the prestigious Leaders Awards, which are now in their 13th year. The esteemed accolades recognise and celebrate achievement, innovation and commitment to the tech sector in the region. Winners will be decided by a judging panel over the course of 4 weeks, and will be announced at a Gala dinner to take place at the Rochestown Park Hotel on October 18th.

 Speaking at the launch Anthony O’Callaghan, Chairperson of it@cork,

We are calling on the general public, the tech community and any other interested parties to nominate the people who they believe are worthy of recognition. 13 years in and the annual it@cork Leaders Awards grows every year in terms of the volume and calibre of applicants. The awards have traced and tracked the relentless progression of the sector in Cork and the surrounding region, and the pace at which is it growing and improving picks up with every passing year. Each year brings with it a raft of new talent and a suite of new leaders and new names – all of whom have been selected by their peers as having a marked and lasting impact on the industry.

From start-ups to global multinationals, as well as our innovative education sector, the Leader Awards recognise all those who have gone further than most in the use of technology in their respective organisations and businesses in order to excel growth. It is a great opportunity for us to celebrate collectively the achievements of the region”.

Pictured at the launch of the it@cork 2019 Tech Leaders Awards were Jerry Sweeney, CIX; Catherine Halpin, VMWare; Padraig Curran, Grid Beyond and Laura Hughes, McAfee. it@cork

it@cork have chosen the theme for this year’s Leaders Awards to be ‘Towards 2020’, which they say is a celebration of all the previous winners who have contributed immensely to the tech industry in the region, and a nod to the present and future leaders who will bring the Irish tech industry into the next decade.

An exciting addition to this year’s initiative is the opening of the new it@cork Tech Leaders Hall of Fame, into which all previous winners of the prestigious Tech Leader of the Year award will be inducted.With Cork set to become the fastest growing region under the Project 2040 plan, it@Cork say Cork is a place where opportunity meets talent, particularly in ICT.

 Eoghan O’ Mahony, Senior Cluster Manager at it@cork noted,

“Cork & the greater South West region now employs over 30,000 people in ICT and support services businesses. It is an integral part of our local economy and has consistently grown over the past 5 years to become the region’s largest employer. 

From it@cork’s perspective, as a representative body for these companies we see our role widening year on year, and the demand for our training courses, networking events and forums growing exponentially. We take our role in the industry very seriously and we are committed to delivering in whatever way we can for every member of this vibrant community – from start-ups to SMEs and MNCs”. 

Nominations for it@cork leaders awards are now open on www.itcork.ie and it@cork are encouraging the general public and the tech community to get involved in this year’s event. 

The it@cork Leaders Awards categories are split into 8 different categories: 


  1. Tech Person of the Year (Winner 2018: Linda & Dan Kiely)
  2. The One to Watch (Winner 2018: Smarttech247)
  3. MNC of the Year (Winner 2018: McKesson)
  4. Excellence in Education (Winner 2018: Gaelcholaiste Mhuire (A.G))
  5. Tech Start Up of the Year (Joint Winners 2018: Altada & GetVisibility)
  6. Smart Technology Innovation Award (Winner 2018: GridBeyond)
  7. Corporate Social Responsibility Award (Winner 2018: VMware International (Cork))
  8. Technical Training Programme of the Year (Winner 2018: Xanadu)

Back for its 5th consecutive year, is the Tech Person of the Year Award.  This is the only category that is nominated by the Board of it@cork and the ultimate winner is selected by a panel of 4 judges. 

As a previous winner of Tech Person of the Year Award, Jerry Sweeney, Founder and MD of Cloud CIX commented:

Having been on that stage & accepted the award, I can only tell people what an honour and a privilege it was not only to have been selected amongst such a stellar group of nominees, but to even have been nominated by my colleagues and peers to begin with. We have a thriving tech industry here in Cork – the city itself makes Cork an attractive proposition for any IT business looking to set up or expand. But there is nothing greater than the power of people when it comes to this industry – its people are its backbone and they are the cause of and the reason for any and all the success that the sector has and continues to achieve. So, to lead these people in our common goal of making the Cork one of the most creative, most focused, and most ingenious tech hubs, not just in Ireland, but in Europe, is an absolute privilege.”

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.