More than 50,000 votes from members of the public were cast to support 300 nominations for the Irish Internet Association’s annual Net Visionary Awards, which took place last night. The overall Net Visionary Award went to Fergus Burns of Nooked.
At a gala function held in the Mansion House, Dublin the various winners collected their gongs and the local industry marked another year of growth, vision and entrepreneurialism.
Enterprise Ireland’s Lorcan O’Sullivan said there is a new breed of Irish company that is harnessing the ongoing potential of the internet as a medium without boundaries.
“We sponsored this event in the hope that it would highlight role models that other Irish people working on the internet could usefully seek to emulate. The calibre of the winners fully justifies that hope,” O’Sullivan said.
The award for Best Blogger went to Denise Cox of email newsletter firm Newsweaver and the Best Podcaster award went to Colm Hanratty of Hostelworld.
The Educational Contribution Award went to Sr Mary Corr of St Raphaela’s Primary School and the winner of the Social Contribution Category was Niall O’Connor of Ireland.com.
Internet Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Lulu O’Sullivan of 4GiftsDirect.com and the Internet Marketer award was given to Martin O’Leary of RaboDirect. Mary Dillon of Bank of Ireland collected the award for Best Online Banking.
The Web Designer Excellence Award was handed to Gillian McAuliffe of IrishJobs.ie and the Web Developer Excellence Award went to Ronan Smith of Pigsback.com. Best Online Trader award went to Alan Stapleton of WhatCar.ie.
Gerry O’Malley of the extremely popular Motor Tax Online filing service picked up a gong in the e-Government category, while this year’s Innovation award went to Kevin Gill of NewAddress.ie.
Emer Conlon of RTE Aertel Mobile won the Mobile Internet Award, while blogger and Sunday Tribune contributor Damien Mulley received the Technology Journalist Award.
After almost four years in the job IIA chairman Colm Lyon revealed that he was stepping down to concentrate on the growth of Realex Payments. The lead will be assumed by Maeve Kneafsey of Elucidate.
“These awards are an excellent barometer of the level of activity in the internet industry,” said Lyon. “This year it was great to see more regionalisation of award winners, more newcomers and more enterprises thinking beyond the norm in terms of their internet ambitions.”
By John Kennedy