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#ArdeeBAFTAs Recap: Looking back at past winners

Paul Farrell of Farrell Furniture winning at the 2017 Ardee BAFTAs. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

As we publish this, the 2018 Ardee BAFTA Awards is around about 24 hours away – and excitement is ramping up. In total, over 13,000 votes had been cast on ThisIsArdee.ie, across six categories. For the first time ever, voting for all categories was opened up to the public. This means more so than ever before, you have got to decide who the deserving winners are.

The night doesn’t simply celebrate the best of business in Ardee, but all that is good in the community too. In 2017, Ardee Concert Band fought off much competition to be named Best Community Group while Wille Martin – producer of locally made film Wild Goose Lodge – was given a special merit award.


This year, there are 27 nominees across six different categories. Below, we relive the BAFTA Awards from previous years, listing winners in their respective categories. A full gallery of images from the 2017 BAFTAs are available by clicking here. ThisIsArdee.ie will be at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening and you can follow it all on our Twitter and Instagram accounts – and by using the hashtag #ArdeeBAFTA on social media.


Last year’s gala event went down a treat. In total, seven awards were handed out on the night. A big contingent from Ardee Concert Band were in attendance and they were very popular winners of the Best Community Group category. Can they retain their title this time around? As the world waited for Donald Trump’s inauguration, Paul Farrell won the ‘Trump Award’ for best businessman – he even went as far to don the ‘wig’ for the night.

A big crowd of members from Ardee Concert Band attended last year, and they were delighted with their Best Community Group win.

Noelle Douglas won the ‘Hillary Award’ while Callaghan’s Butchers won their second BAFTA – and they aim for a third on Saturday. KK Construction won the highly sought after Best Newcomer gong. The ladies from McGoey Pharmacy delighted in their win for Best Customer Service. Hughie O’Neill signed off as chairman by announcing that €90,000 worth of Ardee Town vouchers had been sold in the 12 months to Christmas 2016.


Best Customer Service – MCGOEY’S PHARMACY
Businessman of the Year – PAUL FARRELL
Businesswoman of the Year – NOELLE DOUGLAS
Best Community Group – ARDEE CONCERT BAND


The Fair Green Bar, Fab Flowers and Ardee Rugby Club were among the big winners at the fourth annual Ardee BAFTA Awards at the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross held in January 2016.

A big crowd assembled at the event held by the Ardee Traders and Business Association and they saw winners crowned in six different categories, two of which were put to a public vote on Facebook (unlike this year, where all six categories are up for public consideration).

McCoy’s Fair Green Bar saw off some serious competition to be named ‘Premises With The Happiest Atmosphere’. The pub beat Hamill’s Bar, Nosh Cafe Bistro, HeadStart Hair Salon and O’Dowd’s Veterinary Clinic to the coveted gong.

Another hotly contested category was for ‘Best Newcomer’, with five businesses that have opened premises in Ardee over the last 12 months up for the award. Fab Flowers, Mr Smartphone, Titto’s Take Away, Hair by Sylvia and Bambino were all nominated, with William Street-based Fab Flowers triumphing.

The awards ceremony was MC’d by Hughie O’Neill while star of Father Ted and Killinaskully Joe Rooney also took to the stage for a short comedy set before the awards were handed out.

Julieann McCoy of the Fair Green Bar was delighted with her win in 2016.

Best Newcomer – FAB FLOWERS
Cute In A Suit – JOHN KIERAN
Trader Who’s Always On The Phone – MICKEY GIGGINS
Trader Who’s Good With Their Hands – DERMOT MURRAY
Premises With The Happiest Atmosphere – THE FAIR GREEN BAR
The Rose of Ardee – JACKIE MURPHY
Best Community Group – ARDEE RUGBY CLUB


Two years in and after 270 packed out Darver Castle for the first awards, the BAFTAs were on the move in 2015 – making the hop to the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross for the third edition. That was because it was bigger and better than ever. 400 people donned their best evening wear this time around. A mulled wine (were they trying to get rid of excess Christmas stock?) and Champagne reception greeted all who attended.

As far as awards went, Brian Muldoons won the best unique of the night. They took home the prize for Best Ice Bucket Challenge. That summer, businesss in Ardee and people around the world took part in the online sensation, raising money and awareness for ALS. The Muldoons’ effort had clearly gone down well!

Vera Commins was named Trader with the Secret of Etneral Youth, while Deli-licious will have been deli-ghted with their Best Newcomer win. Audrey Callaghan, Colman & Ann O’Flynn were the other winners on the night. The Ardee Active Retirement Group won the table quiz prize. Before the dance floor was cleared for a night of dancing, chairman John Caffrey announced that €47,000 worth of Ardee Town Vouchers had been sold in 2014.


Best Ice Bucket Challenge – BRIAN MULDOONS & SONS
Trader with the Secret of Eteneral Youth – VERA COMMINS
Best Newcomer – DELI-LICIOUS
Happiest Trader in Ardee – AUDREY CALLAGHAN
The Friendliest Staff – COLMAN & ANN O’FLYNN PHARMACY


Now an annual event, the BAFTAs were back in January 2014 with the ever popular Darver Castle in Readypenny once again the venue. Coming early in the year, the night offered a chance for locals to let their hair down and get back in the party swing of things after the post-Christmas downtime.

The event was a sell-out, with a waiting list having to be drawn up such was the demand for a coveted place in the Castle’s main function hall. Just as sought after were the awards themselves. On a night in which will long in the memory of all who attended, Callaghan’s Butchers (are you seeing a pattern here?) won Friendliest Staff ahead of competition from SuperValu, Hickey’s Farm Shop and Bradley’s Pharmacy.

Elsewhere, Julia Ann McCoy won Trader with the Gift of the Gab while Hughie O’Neill was named Socialite of the Year and O’Brien’s Stationery were named Best Newcomer. Bryan Lynch and Brendan Matthews, the long time Tidy Towns chairman, were also celebrated.


Business with the Friendliest Staff – CALLAGHAN’S BUTCHERS
Trader with the Gift of the Gab – JULIEANNE MCCOY
Socialite of the Year – HUGHIE O’NEILL
Proprietor That is Always Present – BRYAN LYNCH
Special Merit Award – BRENDAN MATTHEWS

The awards themselves have really transformed over the years. Here’s the 2014 set.

The very first BAFTA Awards took place in January 2013 in Darver Castle, with a crowd of 280 in attendance. Now-former Ardee Traders chairperson John Caffrey gave the inaugural address while Hughie O’Neill was the MC on the night. Kathleen Kelly of Karina Hair Fashions, a longstanding trader in the town, helped with handing out those much coveted first ever gongs. 27 businesses contested the six categories.


Most Helpful/Friendliest Businessperson – Michelle Murtagh
Longest Back In 5 Mins Proprietor Just-In Boutique
Best Dressed Business Person – Pauline Sharkey
Hardest Working Trader – Brendan Faulkner (Railway Bar)
Best Kept Premises – McGoey’s Pharmacy
Shop That Never Opens On Time – The Station

Pictured above is the 2017 BAFTA Awards organising committee (Vinny McCoy, Alison Duffy, Ciara Farrell, Karen Duffy, Anne-Marie Rice, Dermot Murray, Deirdre Dickson and Anita Halpenny).

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