The great and the good of the Irish wind industry gathered in Clontarf Castle in Dublin on Friday Jan 25th2019 to attend these awards organised by the wonderful team at the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). Some of the attendees were unrecognisable in their black dinner suits and ball gowns and there was not a hard hat, a pair of site boots or indeed a navy pin-striped suit anywhere to be seen!
Following some very positive speeches from both Mr. Richard Bruton TD, the recently appointed Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment and Dr. David Connolly, the CEO of IWEA, our host Ivan Yates guided us all through the process of announcing the nominees and winners of 12 different industry awards covering a wide range of categories for both companies and individuals.
Ionic Consulting were delighted to be short-listed for Consultant of the Year against a stellar list of fellow nominees including Arthur Cox, Everoze, Baringa Partners and Natural Power. However, when the drum roll ended it was our name that was announced as the winners, and our MD, Ken Boyne and Operations Director, Brendan Heneghan were delighted to accept the award on behalf of all the staff from Nigel Hayes from Nordex Acciona.
Then in a whistle-stop interview with Ivan on the stage, Brendan managed to mention our record year in project delivery in 2018 (450MW), the milestone passed in 2018 (1.5GW of completed projects) and the opening of our new office in Edinburgh, while Ken carefully completed his dynamic risk assessment of the manual handling and transportation of a crystal glass award!!!
After dessert, Ken was back up on the stage but this time as award giver as Ionic Consulting were the sponsor of the Project of the Year award that was accepted by John Johnson of SSE and Peter Lynch of Coillte for the excellent Galway Wind Park project.
And just when it looked like the night couldn’t get any better, it came to the last award of the night which was for the much-coveted Person of the Year which is both sponsored and chosen by IWEA themselves. To great applause, David Connolly announced (while adorned in the green and red of Mayo’s beleaguered Gaelic football team – feel free to browse the internet in relation to the Mayo curse of 1951!!) that our very own (and fellow Mayo man) Brendan Heneghan was the winner for all his selfless work on behalf of the wider industry and IWEA in particular over many years – including a stint as IWEA Interim CEO in 2016.
Brendan was his usual magnanimous self, deflecting his well-deserved praise towards everybody else, but his pride in the industry and its achievements shone through. However it was quite clear from the comments made over the rest of the night that IWEA had indeed made the correct choice.
So the only thing left at the end of this wonderful night was for Ken, Brendan, Claire Looney and Niall McCoy to take their turn, along with the other well-deserved winners, to pose with the trophies marking an excellent night for both the company and for Brendan personally. Not sure how we top that next year but we will certainly give it our best shot!!!