The latest news from 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.

Waterford’s Thomas Barr is the Beat South East Sports Star of the Year 2016. He won the accolade at the annual award ceremony which recognises achievement by sportspeople and teams from the South East region. Thomas was presented with the Waterford Crystal trophy to commemorate this acheivement.

 

The highlight of his year was his performance at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, where he finished fourth in the 400m hurdles. The Sports Star award was staged at Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Tullow on February 4th. Winners in other categories included the Kilkenny All-Ireland Senior & Intermediate Camogie teams, Kung-fu Champion Dale White, the Wexford-Youths Womens Soccer team & Hartlepool striker Padraig Amond. Congratulations to all!

 

The World Snooker Masters, sponsored by Dafabet is snooker’s most prestigious invitational event since 1975. It is regarded as one of the Triple Crown events, and is second longest tournament behind the World Championship.

Snooker’s second Triple Crown event began on 15th January and concluded on 22nd and has been staged at the iconic London’s Alexandra Palace in North London since 2012. The top 16 elite snooker players from around the world compete at this major event.

Ronnie O’Sullivan clinched the seventh Masters title by defeating Joe Perry. O’Sullivan fought back from 4-1 down, won seven in a row to go 8-4 ahead, and then held off a late fightback from Joe Perry to win it 10-7. This win means that Ronnie O’Sullivan has surpassed Stephen Hendry’s record of six Masters Titles.

In 2004, the WPBS Association commissioned House of Waterford Crystal to design and manufacture a bespoke trophy for Snooker’s invitational event. The trophy was named after Paul Hunter in 2017. Hunter died from cancer at the age of 27 in 2006 and World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn announced last year that the Masters trophy would be renamed after the three-time winner. O'Sullivan dedicated his record-breaking win to the late Paul Hunter. Hunter was a popular player on the circuit and was praised for his community work and for bringing more focus to the sport - and O'Sullivan was honoured to be the first recipient of the newly named trophy.

The Waterford Crystal team recreated the concept of a ‘nest of 15 snooker balls in a triangle, in an upright position’. The finished trophy measures 12 inch in height and is resting on a 2 inch wooden plinths and weighs 9kg.The piece is sculpted from a solid block of highly polished leaded crystal. The completed trophy captures the beautiful elegance, sparkle and flawless finish, a hallmark of all Waterford Crystal pieces.

 

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