The finalists of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh 2011 have been announced and represent a mixture of business types across the city and county.
In the category with 1-20 employees the finalists were: EmployAbility Services Galway, Food 4 Thought and the Galway Dive School.
In the category with 20+ employees the finalists were: Joyces Supermarket, Menlo Park Hotel and Monroe’s Tavern.
Mayor Crowe also announced ‘An Seomra Yoga’ for Gradam Speisialta na Moltóirí because of their commitment to the use and promotion of the Irish language in the day-to-day activities of their business.
Speaking at the press event, Mayor Crowe said that “on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, and as we celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge, I think its particularly important that we cherish our culture and language.
“Here in Galway city we are fortunate that the Irish language is a feature of our identity which helps us to stand out, enhances our cultural reputation, attracts tourists to the city and strengthens the Galway City Brand. I commend the all of the business people here today who are actively using the Irish language as part of their daily business. Your efforts greatly contribute to ensuring that the Irish language is a living language and an integral part of this city”
On the judging panel this year are; Carmel Brennan, President of Galway Chamber, Jimmy Griffin, Griffin’s Bakery/Bácús Uí Ghríofa, last year’s winner of Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh, Sinéad Ní Neachtain, NUI Galway and Pádraic Ó Ráighne, TG4.
Speaking on behalf of the adjudicators, Sinéad Ní Neachtain said; “Nineteen businesses entered the award this year, all with different levels of Irish incorporated into their business. We selected the following 6 because the strand of Gaeilge throughout their business was very clear to us and it was also incorporated into a whole range of areas within their business.
“All of the judges were very impressed with the strength and commitment of these businesses to the language and how they used the language in innovative ways and ‘as a natural part of their brand.
“Other comments from the Judges were; ‘It was good to see that business involved in the Gradam before are coming back stronger than ever and making the shortlist. On the other hand, we had an impressive number of new entries this year who also made the grade!
The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony in the Pavilion Suite of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Mid-April.