The latest news from the House of Waterford Crystal....

United States beat Europe to retain Solheim Cup

The United States recorded their biggest victory over Europe in two decades and continued their near invincibility on home soil to retain the Solheim Cup in Iowa on Sunday August 20th. The U.S. won by five points -- 16-1/2 to 11-1/2 -- the same margin as they started the final day in front of large and enthusiastic galleries at Des Moines Country Club.

The Trophy

Waterford Crystal trophies have long been associated with supreme achievement throughout the world of sport, and especially with the royal ancient game of golf. This seems to me a most appropriate association, in that the skills of the master artisan reflect, in an artistic context, the sublime qualities of the champion golfer - most notably, superb hand-eye coordination, a relentless quest for excellence and the natural extension of individualism via the tools of the trade.

Richly decorated with deeply incised patterns, The Solheim Cup trophy demanded the highest standard of workmanship from our Master Craftsmen of three great crafts of crystal smaking – blowing, cutting and engraving. Using a technique  that has hardly changed since the Middle Ages, the centre panel features a superb intaglio engraving of The Solheim Cup logo, which was designed to incorporate the trophy. And so evolved one of golf's beautiful prizes, born of fire and sand, proudly crafted with loving attention to detail by master artisans, designed to last forever, and now instantly recognizable as the symbol of one of the game's grandest events.

 

The Cup itself has enjoyed many wonderful moments in its brief lifetime. In addition to being raised high in the air at closing ceremonies by the winning captains of each Solheim Cup event, the Cup has been inspected by airport security personnel prior to trans-Atlantic trips on several occasions. It has flown in the cockpit of the Concorde. In addition, it has been cuddled like a baby in the arms of a hotel general manager who stored it overnight in his safe.

The Solheim Cup is quite heavy, weighing more than 20 pounds. Its overall height, including the mahogany base, is 19" inches. The top diameter of the cup is slightly larger than a golf hole - 4" inches - while the base diameter is 8" inches. A slightly smaller replica of The Solheim Cup has been created by Waterford and permanently resides at the Nicklaus Hall in the Muirfield Village Golf Club clubhouse, Dublin, Ohio. It is in stellar company, displayed along with trophy replicas of the Ryder Cup, the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, British Open, The Memorial, The Tradition, PGA Senior Championship, USGA Senior Open Championship and the PGA Tournament Players Championship.

 

This unique clock exhibits the finest combination of 18th & 20th century Waterford craftsmanship. The workings of the clock are by William Maddock who was the most prestigious watch and clock maker in Waterford from 1766-1790. The Maddock family were in the clock business in the city until 1850. A watch by William Maddock is in the National Museum of Ireland (ref no:4-1945).

The clock mechanism was completely restored to the highest standard when Waterford Crystal acquired the workings in the 1990's. One craftsman spent six months encasing the mechanism in 48 crystal panels and 250 decorative buttons each individually hand crafted.

This magnificent combination truly represents the splendid workmanship that has been the hallmark of quality throughout the centuries in Ireland. The clock weighs approximately 95kg/210lbs.

The clock is on display on the factory tour at the House of Waterford Crystal

 

 

Springview Farmhouse in Urlingford, Co Kilkenny was named Irish B&B of the Year by B&B Ireland, a national representative body for the B&B sector, at its AGM. Eileen Joyce was presented with a beautiful Waterford Crystal Lismore Diamond vase.

The awards shortlist was based on customer reviews from bandbireland.com, with the winner ("a B&B that went above and beyond for its guests") selected by independent adjudicator Charlie Boyle of Customer Service Excellence Ireland.

Springview (springviewbb.com) epitomizes the "core values of an excellent Irish Bed and Breakfast", Boyle says. "And some more that they add themselves in a most warm and hospitable way.”

 

 

B&B Ireland's bookings have been surging, it says, jumping by 15pc in 2016, with members' annual revenue rising by 19pc to over €9 million. Demand for B&B accommodation in Galway, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Clare, Donegal, Antrim and Kilkenny now exceeds supply, it has said. The figures come from a relatively low base, with B&B bed nights and market share having plummeted in the face of hotel competition in the 2000s.

“B&B’s are usually run by just one or two people, yet they make a huge contribution to their local economies, particularly by attracting overseas visitors into rural areas," commented B&B Ireland chief executive, Helena Healy. "The reviews these B&Bs have received is testament to the exceptional service and experience they are delivering to their guests.”

Irish B&B of the Year finalists for 2017:

  • An Rosalithir, Rosscarbery, Co Cork
  • Bun A Bhaile, Ballyvourney, Cork
  • Dromagowlane House, Adrigole, Co Cork
  • Sunville House, Ballycotton, Co Cork
  • Lis-Ardagh Lodge, Union Hall, Co Cork
  • Springview House, Urlingford, Co Kilkenny
  • Riversdale Country House, Carndonagh, Co Donegal
  • Margaret Elliott, Ocean Breeze, Donegal Town, Co Donegal
  • Honeysuckle Cottage, Ballymoney, Co Antrim

Overseas customers make up over 90pc of B&B Ireland bookings

On March 15, Irish America held its eighth annual Irish America Hall of Fame Awards luncheon in Manhattan, recognizing the diverse and critical work of Irish and Irish American leaders in the United States.

Irish America magazine inducted five new members to its Hall of Fame March 15 – Nobel laureate Dr. William C. Campbell, Northwell Health CEO and 2017 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal Michael Dowling, Hour Children founder Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, LIUNA general president Terry O’Sullivan, and Duke University athletic director Kevin White. Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson received Irish America’s Spirit of Ireland Award.

Each inductee was presented with a beautiful piece of Waterford Crystal to commemorate the occasion.

 

The 2017 Irish America Hall of Fame inductees (left to right) Duke athletic director Kevin White, Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling, Hour Children founder Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, and LIUNA general president Terry O'Sullivan with their House of Waterford Crystal Hall of Fame awards. White, Dowling, and O'Sullivan are holding the Killarney  bowl; Fitzgerald holds the Castle  bowl. (Photo: Nuala Purcell)

The Three FAI International Football Awards took place in RTE Studios on Sunday March 19th with 21 Waterford Crystal Awards presented. The ceremony celebrated all aspects of Irish football from the past twelve months, with players from the FAI Football For All programme right up to the senior men's team honoured.

Robbie Brady was a big winner on the night, scooping the Senior International Player of the Year, Young International Player of the Year, and 'Three' International Goal of the Year - the first time that one player has picked up three awards at the ceremony.

The full list of winners: 2016 'Three' FAI International Football Awards

Senior International Player of the Year: Robbie Brady Senior

Women's International Player of the Year: Karen Duggan

Young International Player of the Year: Robbie Brady 'Three' International Goal of the Year: Robbie Brady v Italy

Under 21 International Player of the Year: Callum O'Dowda

Under 19 International Player of the Year: George Poynton

Under 19 Women's International Player of the Year: Roma McLaughlin

Under 17 International Player of the Year: Declan Rice Under

17 Women's International Player of the Year: Saoirse Noonan

Under 16 International Player of the Year: Jordan Doherty

Under 16 Women's International Player of the Year: Tyler Toland

Under 15 International Player of the Year: Callum Thompson

Junior International Player of the Year: Stephen Kelly (Newmarket Celtic)

Intermediate Player of the Year: Mark Horgan (Avondale United) Football For All

International Player of the Year: Paul McMahon (Football For All Under 19 Squad)

FAI School's International Player of the Year: Conor McCarthy (Scoil Mhuire ages Smal, Blarney)

FAI Colleges & Universities Player of the Year: Paul Rooney (Maynooth University)

SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year: Daryl Horgan (Dundalk)

Hall of Fame: Robbie Keane

Special Merit: Dundalk FC

International Personality: John Hartson

 

 

Congratulations to Stuart Bingham who beat Judd Trump 9-8 in a thrilling Coral Welsh Open final. Waterford Crystal, one of the leading world brands in premium crystal,was selected by the WPBSA to produce new trophies for the new World Snooker Home Nations series.

With 200 years of heritage, tradition and exquisite craftsmanship, Waterford Crystal already have a strong association with snooker. In 2004 they were responsible for the production of the unmistakable perpetual trophy for the Masters and more recently were entrusted with the design and production of the crystal presented at the Paul Hunter Classic.

The Home Nations series is new for the 2016/17 season, compromising the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open tournaments. A new perpetual trophy has been commissioned for each tournament, with each to be named after a snooker legend hailing from that particular country.

This unique piece, the Ray Reardon Trophy was designed by Waterford Crystal designer Billy Briggs, features the Dragon on its front representing the symbol of Wales and also features the logo of the WPBSA.

 

Ireland’s tourism industry was celebrated at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards, where winners in 14 categories won awards for excellence and innovation. Minister for Tourism Shane Ross TD presented the Waterford Crystal trophies to winners at a gala event in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road in Dublin.

The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella group for the tourism industry in Ireland, organises the awards in conjunction with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Over 550 people from the industry were in attendance. Designed with the intention of rewarding innovation and excellence in tourism, 14 worthy winners were ultimately selected from approximately 250 entries.

Award winners included Westport House for Best Leisure Tourism Innovation, Dublin Airport for Best International Access Initiative, and the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre for Best Cultural Experience.

There was also a Special Recognition Award from the Irish tourism industry for the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, which the adjudicating panel felt shone a positive spotlight on Ireland to a global audience.

Pictured: Maurice Pratt presents John Concannon with the special award for 2016 Commemoration events with David McCoy, House of Waterford Crystal

Anthony Hamilton wins his first ranking title after 26 years as a professional and lifted his first ever trophy created at the House of Waterford Crystal. Hamilton defeated Ali Carter 9-6 in the final of the F66.com German Masters. The F66.com German Masters is a world ranking snooker tournament and was held at the Tempodrom in Berlin from February 1st – 5th. It was the twelfth ranking event of the 2016/2017 season.

 

“My Mum and Dad were here for the first time, I just wanted them to see me play here once before I retire because it’s one of the best venues we’ve got. And how lucky that I ended up winning the tournament", said Hamilton.

 

Snooker’s popularity in Germany has grown massively since the sport was first televised by Eurosport in 2003, and this tournament has been described as the ‘Woodstock of Snooker’ – drawing fans from all over the country to see the best players in the world. The 2,500 seater venue is described by many players as the best on the circuit, and generates an incredible atmosphere.

 

All of snooker’s top players love competing for this title, with former winners including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams, Mark Selby and 2016 champion Martin Gould.

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