The Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells was the setting for the glamorous inaugural Meath Style Awards on Friday. The top award on the day, the Excellence in Style award, went to Debbie Harper of The Glass Slipper, Navan, who also won the award for Best Boutique.
Over 200 guests enjoyed a champagne reception before tucking into a three-course lunch, during which the various awards were presented. Mary McGuigan, sales and marketing manager, Meath Chronicle, warmly welcomed all to the ceremony, and thanked all the sponsors of the awards, including the Headfort Arms Hotel, Versatile Bathroom and Interiors, Navan; Motivation Weight Management Clinic, Navan; Coole Swan Dairy Cream Liquer, Cavan; Meath Tourism and Navan Town Centre. The host for the afternoon was Olivia Duff of the Headfort Arms Hotel.
There were eight categories in all, including Best Boutique, Best New Business, Best Fashion Accessories, Best Beauty Salon, Best Spa, Best Hair Salon, Best Bridal, and the most prestigious award of the ceremony, the Excellence In Style Award. The first award was Best Boutique, with Chic Unique (Ashbourne), The Designer Circle (Ratoath) and The Glass Slipper (Navan) all nominated. Sponsor and manager of Navan Town Centre, Pat Mullaney, congratulated all nominated for this award, and presented an overjoyed winner, Debbie Harper of The Glass Slipper, with her prize.
The second award was Best New Business, with Navan businesses dominating this award. Solitaire Hair Salon, Beauty By Laura and Balance Medi Spa were all competing and sponsor and manager of Versatile Bathroom and Interiors, Catherine Treacy, presented the award to winner Laura McClorey of Beauty By Laura. Nominees for Best Fashion Accessories were Wilkinson's Jewellers, Prepy's Fashion Accessories and Gifts and Lamont Shoes were the nominees. Sponsor and manager of Coole Swan, Jenny Coffey, presented this award to winner Erin Keogan of Prepy's.
Best Beauty Salon was the fourth award to be presented. On their second nomination were Balance Medi Spa and Beauty By Laura, while Alchemy Beauty Clinic was the third nominee. Sponsor Leah Cooney from Motivation Weight Management presented this award to winner Carol Fitzsimons of Alchemy. Nominated for the fifth award, Best Spa, was Liberty Spa (Navan), La Royale Day and Therapy Clinic (Navan) and The River Spa (Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim). Sponsor and chairman of Meath Tourism, John Farrelly, who remarked on the ever-growing tourism business in Meath, especially the upcoming Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle in September, handed over the prize for Best Spa to the Cusack Family of The River Spa.
Best Hair Salon was heavily contested with each business looking like a potential winner. Panache Hair Salon (Kells), Ben Garry Hairdressing (Navan) and Headstart Hair Salon (Trim) were all nominated. Martina Leahy of Inspire magazine presented the award to Ben Garry of Ben Garry Hairdressing. Nominated for Best Bridal were The Bridal Party (Navan), Bridal by Maria B (Navan) and Abellé (Trim). Sponsor Vincent Duff of the Headfort Arms Hotel presented Kathy Kelly of Abellé with the award in this category.
The overall award, Excellence in Style, was presented by Navan Town Centre manager Pat Mullaney to the winner of Best Boutique, Debbie Harper of The Glass Slipper, Navan. Director of operation of the Celtic Media Group, Frank Mulrennan, said the Meath Chronicle was proud to organising these awards, not only to support growing businesses in Meath but also to celebrate success in this difficult economic climate. He said the Meath Chronicle, founded in 1897, had survived two world wars and at least six recessions.
The Celtic Media Group employs 150 people and also publishes the Anglo-Celt, Westmeath Examiner and Westmeath Independent newspapers. He paid tribute to Muireann Walshe, the artist who designed the Meath Excellence in Style Award, who, despite being just 23 years-old, has a terrific career ahead of her. Mr Mulrennan said her work married the ancient and modern and drew inspiration from the designs carved into the stones at Newgrange and Tara. Awards also were presened to Meath's three most stylish women on the day, Sharon Keogan, Clara Clarke and Marie Cooney, while the award for the best dressed lady on the day went to Jolene Donegan.