Here are the frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018. 

Questions and answers

  1. Purpose of the competition?

The competition aims to promote enterprise by bringing business and community groups together, in each town, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area.

  1. Why is Bank of Ireland launching this competition?

Bank of Ireland is the country’s largest lender and committed to helping customers achieve their business ambitions. Bank of Ireland recognises that SME’s, Startups and Community Organisations are a significant driver of the country’s success and spirit.

  1. Is this just a sales promotion for the bank?

This is not a sales promotion for Bank of Ireland. This competition is the Bank’s way of recognising the efforts being made by local people to promote and grow their towns and communities and to play its role as a business leader.

  1. What is the local council’s role in the competition?

The competition is held in collaboration with local authorities.        

  1. How are the towns chosen for the competition?

The Towns and Urban Villages/Areas are generally put forward by the relevant local authority.

  1. How many entries are allowed from each county or city council area?

There will be a maximum of four entries per county or city council area.

  1. Why is the competition called Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards when city areas and villages can also participate?

Every city has urban areas and villages that operate as a town in their own right and have distinct identities and local business and residential communities. The definition of a town for the purpose of these awards includes City Villages and Urban areas.

  1. Who are the judges?

The names of the judges and their bios will be made known to the towns organising committee prior to judging.

  1. What is the format of the judging?

Each town will be visited by the judging panel for a three-hour session which includes:

  • 30 minutes presentation by the town
  • 30 minutes question and answer session
  • 20 minutes to meet people socially
  • 80 minutes to visit and view key initiatives selected by the organising committee
  • 20 minutes concluding comments and wrap up
  1. What if our town exceeds three hours?

The maximum time for the visit is three hours and the judges will expect towns to adhere to this timeframe and schedule the visit accordingly.

  1. What are the judging criteria?

See application form.

  1. How does a town enter the competition?

See no. 5 above. Once selected the town to submit application form through (Now closed for 2018)

  1. Where do I submit my application?

       Only online applications are accepted here: (Applications for 2018 are now closed).

  1. There is no Bank of Ireland in my town? Can it enter?

Yes. This competition is open to all towns/urban villages/cities in the Republic of Ireland irrespective of whether there is a Bank of Ireland branch.

  1. Who should I talk to?

Nearest Bank of Ireland branch or a Bank of Ireland Head of County. Contact details below. 

  1. What are the various categories?
  • Small: <5,000
  • Medium: 5,001- 10,000
  • Large: 10,001+
  • Cities-urban villages/areas (confined to cities)
  • Rising Star: Project Based
  1. What are the prizes?
Category Prize Number Awarded Total
Regional Runner-Up Framed Certificate + €2,000 12 €24,000
Regional Winners Trophy + €3,000 12 €36,000
National Category Winners Trophy + €10,000 3 €30,000
Town Initiatives of the Year Framed Certificate + €5,000 3 €15,000
City Award Runner-Up Framed Certificate + €2,000 1 €2,000
City Award Winner Trophy + €10,000 1 €10,000
Overall National Winner Trophy + €20,000 1 €20,000
Rising Star €20,000 1 €20,000


  1. Is the overall national winner prize on top of regional and category winner’s prize?

€33,000 is the total prize money for the overall winner (Regional Category winner €3,000, National Category Winner €10,000 & overall winner €20,000).

  1. What are the Town Initiatives of the Year Awards?

These are special cash awards out of a total fund of €15,000 (three cash prizes of €5,000 each) made at the discretion of the judges to projects/initiatives they discover on their judging journey which they believe would benefit from this award.

  1. Who is the prize paid to?

The nominated Organisation as specified in the application form.

  1. Are there any restrictions on how the prize money can be spent?

This is at the discretion of the winning town. However, during their visit, the Judging Panel will ask the nominated organisation what they would spend the money on.

  1. When are the winners announced?

The winners will be announced at the awards night which will be held at The Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny – 28th November 2018.

  1. Apart from the cash prize, how is the town acknowledged?

Each Category Winner will receive a trophy. The overall winner will receive the trophy and be crowned ‘Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018 – Overall Winner’

  1. Will there be positive publicity by the bank for the towns?

Press releases will be issued to local and national media and the town will feature in future promotion of the awards.

  1. Can the judges’ decision be appealed?

The judges’ decision is final and cannot be appealed.

  1. Can the entries receive feedback on the judges’ visit and will the marks be available?

If requested, an overview of the judges’ reflections on their visit will be made available. The judges’ marks are not available.

  1. What is the Rising Star Category?


In the National Enterprise Towns Awards 2018, there will be a new Rising Star category with one prize of €20,000 awarded to the winner.

This Award is aimed at Towns/Urban areas with unemployment and social exclusion issues. The towns may also have visible derelict/empty premises or spaces where there are plans or projects being progressed to create a place of social/artistic/creative/technological or enterprise interaction.

Please note that a Rising Star submission can only be made for a town that is being nominated for the main competition.

Eligible projects

Use of or completion of works on vacant or derelict premises which is going to be used for one or more of the following;

  • Community arts use
  • Community tourism information centre
  • Community enterprise
  • Community technology hub
  • Community promotion
  • Community youth technology facility
  • Community older persons activity space
  • Social inclusion welcome centre
  • Community library
  • Community heritage/history centre
  • Local story telling centre

The above are examples of projects and will not exclude a unique/innovative proposal.

Bidding for a rising star award

  • Project must be clearly described
  • Project must be centrally located in the town/urban village/area
  • Proposers must have the voluntary company/organisation responsible for the project established
  • Proposers must confirm that they have sufficient rights as owners or lessees
  • Submission must detail current stage of project and show a clear future use for the project
  • Submission must demonstrate the benefit/impact of the project to the town and why this project will help make the town a Rising Star
  • Submission must clearly outline what winning the award would mean and how the prizemoney would be spent
  • Confirmation that planning permission has been granted or else not required for any works being done

Application process

Project must be nominated online as part of town/urban village/area NETA application form.

A separate detailed document on the ‘Rising Star’ submission must be submitted as part of the application form.

Documentation must show evidence of satisfying the criteria above.

A separate judging panel from the main competition will be established. Applications will initially be assessed based solely on the documentation submitted and one submission from each region plus one from the cities will be shortlisted. The five entries shortlisted will be visited by the judging panel.

The winner will be announced and presented at the National Enterprise Towns Awards night.

Award will only be paid when evidence of the submission is confirmed.    


List of Bank of Ireland contacts by County

Name County Mobile No. Email address
Fergal Brosnan Carlow 087 1947931
Kieran Tuite Cavan 086 2555593
Marie Meehan Clare 087 9598259
Sean Byerley Cork City 086 3838199
Eilis Mannion Cork County 086 6792188
Barry Gallagher Donegal 086 3831947
Sean L’Estrange Dublin City Council 087 1160250 Sean.L’
Karl Manning Dunlaoghaire Rathdown County Council 086 6019288
Laura Henry Fingal County Council 087 7435147
Brian Carey Galway City 086 044 3737
Tomas Diskin Galway County 086 2618955
Frank Shaw Kerry 086 2413982
Roisin Crotty Kildare 087 9558337
Fergal Brosnan Kilkenny 087 1947931
P J Ralph Laois 087 6938063
Tara Rodgers Leitrim 086 2853832
Maria Kelly Limerick 086 2383981
Ita Gray Longford 087 2141390
Paula Harmon Louth 086 8564425
Mary Doherty Mayo 087 6995694
Karen Cunningham Meath 087 2539697
Kieran Tuite Monaghan 086 2555593
Áine Malone Offaly 087 2191946
Tara Rodgers Roscommon 086 2853832
Tara Rodgers Sligo 086 2853832
Karl Manning South Dublin County Council 086 6019288
Mick Ryan Tipperary 087 0607602
Pamela Pim Waterford 087 3631828
Ita Gray Westmeath 087 2141390
JJ Keyes Wexford 086 3831832
Maria Coleman Wicklow 087 9366301