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Women in Business in West Cork

Women in Business in West Cork

By Anna Healy
An informative and entertaining series of interviews hosted by Anna Healy, Life and Business Coach, with female entrepreneurs and business women in West Cork and its environs.
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For the love of food. An interview with Kate Ryan.

Women in Business in West Cork

Many hats makes life interesting. An interview with Derbhile Graham.
For the second season in my podcast series, I want to explore what Resilience means to people and what practices they have developed to overcome their challenges. Introducing Derbhile Graham. Derbhile wears many hats. She is a writer, a celebrant, a creative writing tutor and a transcriber. Earlier in her career she was a journalist and her work appeared in many national magazines and newspapers. She has published a novel. The Pink Cage (Book Republic 2011). In 2020, she was awarded a Diploma in Family and Funeral Celebrancy from the Irish Institute of Celebrants and she is now qualified to deliver baby namings, weddings, vow renewals and funerals. In 2017, she was the winner of the Arts category in the Network Waterford Women in Business Awards.
July 24, 2020
Celebrating life. An Interview with Laura Whalen
I want to tell you a little about Laura Whalen. Laura lives in Courtmacsherry with her partner and 5 children. She is a doll maker, a celebrant, a writer and the creator of women's spaces. Her work is currently focused on The Babog Project, which aims to make a doll for each of the 6000 babies that are said to have died in Ireland's mother and baby homes. For more information or to get involved in the project visit the website
July 24, 2020
Upcycling your business. An interview with Rita Holding.
Rita Holding, started her business, RH Vintage Interiors, in January 2017. Rita lived and worked in London for a number of years and always had a passion for vintage furniture and interiors. When Rita and her family family relocated to West Cork, she decided it was time to turn this passion into a business and RH Vintage Interiors was born. Her business is now thriving and she stays loyal to her established brand, which is quality, uniqueness and colour. Rita also offers a professional, bespoke painting commission service and holds regular chalk painting classes from her workshop in Rosscarbery. Rita launched a new e-commerce website in February 2019,
May 14, 2020
Mothering you. An interview with Sara Devoy.
A new interview for West Cork FM this week. Introducing Sara Devoy Craniosacral Biodynamics. You can hear her this Saturday evening at 9pm online at West Cork FM. Recognizing the spark in others has been a passion of Sara's from an early age. Working as the anthropologist for Body shop International, as a radio and Television researcher and as the owner- manager of a successful Organic farm in Rosscarbery have been some of her many roles. "Since 1990s I became fascinated by cutting-edge research pointing to the imprint our birth has on our lives." says Sara. " How we are first welcomed has a huge impact on our self-esteem, capacity to learn and build relationships." Sara offers one on one work with adults, children and babies. She also offers supportive programmes with a team called Stories from the womb, related to birth, loss and mothering. The individual Craniosacral sessions she offers to adults and babies eases physical ailments and calms the nervous system. Vitality, self-compassion and stillness are the foundations of Saras' work. Her sessions address both physical challenges as well as emotional and mental well-being Sara incorporates meditation, energy exercises, partner yoga and gentle craniosacral approaches. The emphasis is on settling into our true creative nature rather than an over-reliance on mental constructs. Sara has a practice in Rosscarbery & Cork City. She offers programmes for women in business, mini-retreats and skype sessions on request.
May 14, 2020
Telling stories. An interview with Karla Goodman.
What a lovely lady I have for you today! Karla Goodman formerly an actress turned highly experienced television producer, founded Made to Measure Films a professional video production company in 2014. The company is based in West Cork and generates fun, unique and memorable videos, tailor made to the specifics of business needs. They also produce short documentaries and have recently begun offering ‘Legacy Films’ for people wanting to capture their family history in an interview format. The production team is made up of a group of TV professionals with many years of experience, and a wealth of creativity. Their knowledge of the TV industry allows them the expertise to compete with large and expensive advertising companies but to offer outstanding production values at a fraction of the cost. After graduating in Drama and Classics at UCL, and a semester at Berkeley University in California she trained as a professional actress in London and went into professional acting and directing for 10 years. She moved into a career in television in 1998 working at Ardmore Studios, Dublin, Ricochet, Granada and Channel Four in London, She also worked on ‘Time Team’ an RTS (Royal Television Society) award winner and stalwart of British TV for 20 years. Drama is still very important to her and the ‘story’ is always the drive in most of her films. “Story telling is the the most powerful way to put ideas into the world”.
May 14, 2020
A quiet priest won't get a parish. An interview with Caroline Murphy.
For my next Women in Business in West Cork interview with West Cork FM, I feel that it is fitting that I have chosen Caroline Murphy from West Cork Eggs. This time last year, Caroline won the Network Ireland Emerging Business of the Year award. You can listen in tonight at 9pm online on West Cork FM. This is a story of City Chic to Country Chick. 20 years ago Caroline moved from London to West Cork where she met her husband and they now live on the family farm with their 4 kids, just outside Rosscarbery. In 2009 Caroline bought my first 4 hens and from there by business grew to our now 3000 free range birds. They are part of the Food Academy family and supply 21 Supervalu stores in the Cork area as well as other independent retail outlets, cafes, restaurants and hotels. “We believe in giving our hens good food, freedom and fun and in return they give us what we believe are the best eggs in Cork.” In 2018 West Cork Eggs was accredited by the Business All Stars in Croke Park in Dublin and they also won the regional and national award for “Best Emerging Business” at the Network Ireland Businesswoman awards and they won “Best New Business” at the Southern Star Awards and lastly but by no means least, they won a Gold Award at the Blas na hEireann Food awards. Caroline is involved in Network Ireland and is very passionate about helping others to succeed through being supportive and listening. She has also worked with Transition Year students which she thoroughly enjoys. “Family is hugely important to me and I think West Cork is probably the best place in the world to live!”
May 14, 2020
The Style Coach. An interview with Sharon Huggard.
I am delighted to share with you my new interview with Sharon Huggard, The Style Coach. Having previously worked in the financial services industry for fourteen years before taking time out to stay at home with her then young children, Sharon draws on her personal and professional experiences to reshape lives. Working as an in-house fashion stylist and buyer for a luxury boutique places her as one of the region’s most sought after personal stylists and style Coach Winner of Ireland’s Next Top Stylist, Sharon creates stunning style transformations for women in business who want a look that embodies their brand and style. For those in search of a wardrobe that will take them to the next level in business and life with confidence, Sharon is the women to do that! Sharon is passionate about empowering women through style to realise their true potential. This year Sharon received one of the highly coveted places on the AIB Leadership Growth Academy and qualified as a LIFT (Leading Ireland Ireland's together) facilitator. She is combining her Style Coaching and Leadership skills to Dress with Impact.'s a feeling.
May 14, 2020
Queen of The Castle. An interview with Sharon Poulter.
Sharon Poulter manages The Castle Bed & Breakfast and Café in Castletownshend, West Cork. Having taken over the running of The Castle four years ago, with her partner Justin whose the 11th generation of the Townshend family, Sharon now lives full time in the 17th Century building receiving guests throughout the year. Her schooling in hotel & restaurant management and then qualifying as a chartered accountant, means she has all the right credentials to run the Georgina Campbell award winning bed & breakfast. A genuine warm, friendly welcome awaits at The Castle which is enhanced by Lassie the border collie, to make your stay unforgettable. With limited time, Sharon manages to fit in Boxercise classes, to socialise but also keeps her fit and lets her take out some of those daily frustrations on the punch bag! Surrounded by Townshend family, there is never a dull moment in the village and enjoys her Friday night dinner at Mary Ann’s bar & restaurant to catch up on the weekly news. Sharon enjoys running The Castle, but Justin is the strategic mind, he’s always thinking of the future plans. So watch this space to see what The Castle, Castletownshend has to offer next.
May 14, 2020
Minding your mind monkeys. An interview with Anna Groniecka.
For this episode of Women in Business in West Cork, I interviewed Anna Groniecka photographer based in Clonakilty. Great nuggets of wisdom in this interview. A self-taught photographer, Anna was lucky enough to be able to turn her passion into a job. Anna’s educational background is Social Studies from Poland and Management in Cork. This has helped her understand more about human nature and running a business – both of which are important aspects of her role as a photographer. Anna always strives to learn more and to become a better photographer every day. Personally Anna is mother of two beautiful souls, Olivia and Benjamin. They are her little muses and she feels very lucky that they like posing for her and making her ideas come to life. They also have a cat named Luna, but she is not as cooperative as her kids when being photographed! Anna has lived in Clonakilty for seven years now and loves living in West Cork
May 14, 2020
The power of Networking. An Interview with Helen Wycherley.
This episode is a conversation with Helen Wycherley, Network Ireland President. Helen has been working in the family business since 2007 with her father and husband which consists of the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, West Cork and Marina Commerical Park, Cork City. Helen’s main focus is strategic and to drive the business forward in all areas. Helen has a particular emphasis on business development, financials, PR, sales, and marketing strategy. The Celtic Ross Hotel is a 66 bedroomed hotel overlooking Rosscarbery Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way. The hotel is delighted to have received many awards and accolades including Best Three Star Hotel in Ireland at the Gold Medal Awards 2018, Irish Independent Ireland’s Best 50 Places to Stay 2019, AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence, McKenna’s Guide Best Places to Stay 2019, Mrs2Be Brides Choice Awards 2019 Nominated, Best Destination Venue 2019 RSVP Magazine Wedding Awards and Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor. In 2019, having been a member for nearly 10 years in the Cork Branch, Helen stepped up into the role as President of Network Ireland, Ireland’s leading female focused business network. Helen lives in Cork with her husband John, son Liam and daughters Laura and Kate.
May 14, 2020
Going with the flow. An interview with Erin Kelly Ashworth.
I have been waiting a while to get this interview with Erin Kelly Ashworth, thankfully the universe conspired to let us meet recently and do this! I am grateful to have known Erin for over 10 years now, she is an amazing business woman and a true friend in my eyes. And now you will get to know her a little bit on West Cork FM tomorrow night at 9pm. Erin Kelly Ashworth, RYT 500 is a certified yoga teacher and mindfulness facilitator. Erin opened Life Balance Yoga and Bantry Holistic Centre in 2016 with a vision to offer a variety of holistic treatments, meditation and yoga under one roof. Bantry Holistic Centre offers massage, reflexology, reiki, integrated energy therapy, craniosacral therapy, mindfulness, counselling and coaching, and is home to a range of yoga classes from passive restorative classes, classes for people with mobility difficulties (seated yoga) and gentle yoga to more active classes: foundation hatha flow, vinyasa flow and ashtanga. Erin has an advance yoga teacher qualification and has trained in a variety of yoga styles. Her areas of specialization include Yoga & Mindfulness for Children, Yoga for people with Learning Difficulties, ADHD and Autism Spectrum, and Prenatal Yoga for Conscious and Sacred Birthing, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Therapy. Erin has been teaching for the last seven years. During this time she has been given the opportunity to utilise her various trainings including the opportunity to deliver yoga for people with disabilities. Life Balance Yoga offers classes in centre, as well as specialty classes on site in the community and in schools as well as customised wellness days for organisations. Bantry Holistic Centre is open seven days a week. To learn more about therapies, classes, workshops and retreats on offer, visit: Facebook: Twitter: Linked in:
May 13, 2020
Bridging the gap between science and technology. An interview with Katy Wareing
Katy Wareing is the director of OMKO, a software company specialising in bridging the gap between science and technology. Stemming from her background in medicine and biology, she is extremely passionate about working with companies who are developing projects which positively impact society, and is extremely proud of the work OMKO is doing in furthering biotechnology for cancer research. Being a founding member of Together in Business; a non-profit group for entrepreneurs and businesses in West Cork, she is a great believer in supporting others and paying-it-forward. Outside of business ventures she dons her wellies and tends to her smallholding.
May 13, 2020
For the love of food. An interview with Kate Ryan.
For our Women in Business in West Cork episode this week, I wanted to 'Spice' it up and find a 'tasty' 'story' for you (geddit??) Kate Ryan is a food writer and founder of, a website that is dedicated to promoting Cork Food through writing, events and tours. Kate writes regularly for The Echo, The Opinion Magazine, Irish Foodie Magazine,, She has also written for the Irish Examiner and as well as her blog, The Flavour Files. Kate is a judge with Blas na hEireann, Irish Quality Food Awards and is a Member of the Irish Food Writers Guild. In 2017, Kate was commissioned by A Taste of West Cork Food Festival to author an “Artisan Food Guide” featuring craft food and drink producers from across the region and encouraging visitors to explore their own self-guided taste journey through West Cork. Kate curates experiential pop-up food events collaborating with Chefs and producers and inspiring people to get cooking! Events encourage social dining and reconnecting through dining together, sharing food and stories. Her original Clonakilty Walking Food Tour focuses on the themes of History, Tradition, Innovation and Community as she guides visitors around the creative and vibrant town of Clonakilty introducing visitors to the town’s unique food heritage. Tailor-made private tours introduce visitors to an authentic experience of Irish food, drink, heritage, landscape and hospitality. From 8-11th October 2020, in Rosscarbery,West Cork, Kate is hosting a four-day immersive food writing workshop and food tour with award-winning US-based Food Writer, Dianne Jacob, author of "Will write for Food", the seminal book for any aspiring Food Writer. An early bird offer is currently running until 31st May with a saving of €200 pp. For more information, and to book your spot, visit:
May 13, 2020
Step out of your business and get a hobby. An interview with Joyce O'Sullivan
So for this interview for "Women in Business in West Cork", I have stayed local to Clonakilty and I am delighted to introduce Joyce O Sullivan to my listeners. Joyce owns, manages and works as a Massage & Reflexology Therapist in Solace Holistic Centre. Solace Holistic Centre opened its doors in June 2016 and is located in The Old Grainstore in Sand Quay Mill in Clonakilty. Solace offers a bright and tranquil space for everyone with a wide variety of holistic therapies available on a daily basis. Solace's vision is to provide a space where a wide range of therapies are available that can support you on your path to health & wellness. Here are but a few of the therapies that are available by appointment: Homeopathy, Nutrition, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Crystal Therapy, Pregnancy Massage, Acupuncture & Micro-blading, Life Coaching. The centre has three therapy rooms focusing on a range of holistic therapies, and to compliment the work therapists do individually, the centre also holds workshops and health & wellness courses.
May 12, 2020
Take your time. An interview with Ali Wheeler.
I had the pleasure of spending time with the gorgeous Ali Wheeler, Designer Maker of Hot Knickers Lingerie based in Clonakilty. Ali started her lingerie business just over 3 years ago with a website and a studio which is open to the public on Friday’s and Saturday’s giving the public an opportunity to meet the maker and see a designer at work. Ali studied fashion design during the 80's and for several years after that Ali had a career in the cosmetics and beauty business in London’s most prestigious stores (Harrods Selfridges etc.) Ali moved to West Cork from London in 1994 reconnecting with her Irish roots. Her son Taidgh was born in 1997.Next a partnership in Jamboree Fancy Dress Shop, where she also made one-off costumes for performers. The need to design and make was truly reignited so Ali took a studio in the back room of a local hair salon. She gained a great deal of experience working with stretch fabrics and one day made a pair of knickers as a test, these proved so popular that Ali attended the LEO Start Your Own Business Course and set up Hot Knickers Lingerie the following year.
May 12, 2020
1000 Months. An interview with Karen O'Reilly
What would you do if you had 1000 months to live? According to advice that Karen received, that is what we all have! Karen O'Reilly is the founder of Employmum, a flexible recruitment service, specialising in flexible work - part time/full time with flexible hours, remote work, job share, term time, annualised hours, compressed hours and ROWE. She set up Employmum three years ago when she sought flexible work as her husband works abroad. Recognising a niche in the market, Employmum was born. The award winning agency has been named in the 100 Hot Start Ups by The Sunday Business Post, one of the top Future of Work Influencers globally by Silicon Republic and leads the flexible work revolution in Ireland. Employmum is supported by a panel of life and career coaches and runs workshops for people returning to work. They support companies with returnship programmes. Karen has developed a flexible quality mark for companies so that they can market themselves as a flexible employer. Employmum now have offices in West Cork, East Cork and Limerick and are currently planning an office for Dublin. Karen is very excited about the launch of a new arm to their business called Employflex which will be launching in September. Watch this space…. Their motto: Life is Short. Work Somewhere Flexible.
May 12, 2020
There's Room for Everyone. An interview with Anne Marie Kingston.
Anne Marie Kingston is known to many as Cork's Queen of Decluttering.  A Newcestown woman, who followed her dreams, Anne Marie set up White Sage Home Decluttering in March 2017, after completing a 12 month professional course. Anne Marie provides a very unique decluttering service where she physically declutters with her 1-2-1 hands-on service with her clients, not just in Cork but also further afield.  Included in her fees she removes your clutter at the end of each session as well as any electrical items to the local recycling centre, transforming a room in less than a day. Key to her life and business philosophy is that there's room for everyone so hit play and find out the secrets to her success!
January 30, 2020
Grow your network and have fun! An interview with Ciara Byrne.
Ciara Byrne has done it all! From Skibbereen to Texas, and Brussels to Cork she's worked in hospitality, software and now the all important data protection.  Networking has been key to her success and she has just finished her term as President of Network Ireland's West Cork Branch.  Tune in to learn more about this amazing woman and her career. 
January 30, 2020
Service Sells! An Interview with Mary Wilcox
Are you looking to give your business an edge? Mary Wilcox is a firm proponent that service sells and through her business, Mary Wilcox Consultancy & Training, she provides a range of services to ensure your business is as successful and efficient as possible.  Mary provides group and individual training in Customer Service, People skills, HACCP certification as well as communications training for businesses in all sectors throughout Munster. Her business also provides a visual auditing service and assessment visit (Visual Audits) to your business to see how the business is doing and if improvements can be made. She will then work with you and your team to become more efficient and successful for the future. 
January 30, 2020
You're It! An interview with Aoife McInerney, a one woman marketing powerhouse.
Wondering what it's like to leave a well paid job and go out on your own?  Well then, this is the podcast for you!  After a decade working her way around a multinational company Aoife McInerney made the jump and set up a one stop show for marketing, project management and back office business systems.  Whether you need an extra pair of hands to get your website up and running, an overall marketing strategy for your business, or someone to navigate funding options to enable your business to scale up, Aoife’s work delivers results. She regularly collaborates with other marketing and creative professionals to create campaigns with impact. Having worked in corporate Customer Services, Marketing and Project Management for over a decade she brings a collaborative and enthusiastic approach to everything she does. You can hear Aoife again on West Cork FM online this Monday, Wednesday or Friday night at 9pm. You can find Aoife on Facebook and LinkedIn and you can email her on or phone her at 087-9653863
January 30, 2020