The late Martin Howley
One of the giants of the fishing industry in Donegal, and, indeed Ireland, the late Martin Howley of Killybegs, has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) National Seafood Awards.
Thunderous applause, the biggest cheer of the night, and a standing ovation greeted the announcement at the gala ceremony in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge last night.
Presenting the award to Martin's son Padraig and daughter Marguerite, BIM Chairman Kieran Calnan said, "Martin exemplified everything you need to be a great leader. He led by example, starting as a fisherman in Killybegs in the 1970’s and rising to become a pioneering mackerel skipper, then a successful businessman and a great leader in the fishing industry.
"His passion, energy and innovative spirit were a unifying and driving force. Martin is a most worthy recipient of the BIM Lifetime Achievement Award."
In an emotional and proud night for Donegal, the county took home the highest number of awards. The other Donegal winners were: Barry Shaw, Killybegs, Student of the Year; Island Seafoods Ltd, Killybegs, Green Processor of the Year; and Foyle Warrior Ltd, Greencastle.
Out of 38 finalists shortlisted across the areas of Skills, Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness, twelve winners received awards for their outstanding contributions to the fishing, fish farming, seafood processing and retail sectors at a ceremony officially opened by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Michael Creed, T.D.
BIM’s CEO Tara McCarthy commented, "The Irish Seafood Sector contributes €1 billion in GDP to our economy and employs over 11,000 people predominantly in our coastal regions. The BIM National Seafood Awards provide us with the opportunity to celebrate the positive contribution of this valuable indigenous industry and recognize excellence and leadership across this diverse sector. It is an exciting time to work in seafood and the high standard demonstrated by our winners and all of our finalists bodes well for the future as we collectively aim to achieve growth as set out in the Government’s Food Wise 2025 plan."