16 December 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
On December 18th, Cork honours one of its native sons and leading supporters of business and many different Cork organisations, with the award of, The Corkonian of the Year 2017. The award will be presented at a celebratory dinner in The Clarion Hotel. The organisers of the award, Cork Civic Trust developed the award in conjunction with the numerous organisations in Cork who make a difference to the lives of people in Cork city and county.
Michael Mulcahy, Chairman of Cork Civic Trust said
“this is only the second award for The Corkonian of the Year Award and we are delighted to partner with the charitable, voluntary, social, civic and business organisations of Cork who do so much great work for our citizens, to honour James O’ Sullivan as a Corkman and leading supporter of so many Cork organisations. We are particularly pleased that he and his wife Cathy and their family will join us on December 18th in Cork for the presentation of the award at a celebratory dinner held in his honour in The Clayton Hotel Cork City. The Corkonian of the Year 2017 is all about recognition one person each year who makes a difference to many different local organisations in Cork and we asked the sector for their recommendations and it became clear that the involvement of James O’ Sullivan in so many different organisations was a great reason to acknowledge him for his tremendous support of Cork in so many ways and over the past 30 years. The support that James has given as past President and Director of Cork Business Association and in his role in the past as District Governor of the Lions 1051 Island of Ireland. James founded Carrigaline Lions Cycle Classic which has raised over €500,000 for worthy beneficiaries over the course of the past 20 years. James is a former President of Carrigaline & District Lions Club and was part of the Corporate Fundraising Committee tasked with raising funds of €1m for the Carrigaline Youth Project. The Board of Cork Civic Trust believe that James O’ Sullivan is a shining example as a true Corkonian who has put his city and county first who has helped change the image of Cork in so many ways and is a very deserving recipient of The Corkonian of the Year 2017”.
Biography of James O’ Sullivan
The business interests of James O’ Sullivan include his role as director of the well-known Cork Company, M&P O’Sullivan Limited; a business now in its fourth generation, having been founded by his grandfather back in 1905 and this year celebrates 111 years in business. James is also former Chairman of the Small Business Forum in Ireland set up by the Enterprise Minister and served under the Chairmanship Ged Nash TD Minister of State for Business and Employment on the High Level group on Regulation at the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation. This was established to encourage entrepreneurship and to ease some of the burdens of small businesses operating in Ireland. James is a Past President of the Cork Business Association where he served three terms in this role and also served in numerous other roles through his involvement in the Association and currently is a director. James has served on the Audit Committee of Cork City Council for the last five years. James is former President of Carrigaline & District Lions Club and was part of the Corporate Fundraising Committee tasked with raising funds of €1m for the Carrigaline Youth Project. James served as District Governor of the Lions of 105I (the Island of Ireland) in 2009 / 2010. He has also served as Chairman of the Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund, which is tasked with looking after the less fortunate who worked previously in the Grocery Trade. In his Presidential year, 1991/1992, James founded the Carrigaline Lions Cycle Classic. This is an annual fun and fundraising event that draws participation of approximately 150 cyclists not just from Cork but also other parts of Ireland and which has raised over €500,000 for worthy beneficiaries over the course of the past 20 years. James established the Twinning of Carrigaline Lions with Herne-Emschertal Lions Club Germany back in 2002, a first between an Irish Lions Club and a German Lions Club and this link has proved extremely successful with annual get-togethers of both clubs. James is a recipient of Melvin Jones Fellowship which is one of the highest honours bestowed on a serving Lion.
James has served on Cabinet in the roles of Zone Chairman (1993/1994), Region Chairman on two occasions (1995/1996 and 1997/1998), Chairman of Future Planning and is currently serving on the Lions Merl Team. He is PRO for Carrigaline Lions and still involved in the Clubs Annual Cycling Classic Event. James officially took on the role of District Governor at a ceremony at the World Convention of Lions Clubs International in Minneapolis in the presence of the newly elected World President, Eberhard Wirfs , on Friday 24th July 2009, the Irish Handover took place from outgoing District Governor David Dempsey (Wexford Lions Club) to James O’Sullivan of Carrigaline and District Lions Club, incoming District Governor 105I . At that time, Carrigaline and District Lions Club President John Collins stated that “James has been successful in business and in leading business organisations. His breadth of experience both within Lions and beyond has proved to be invaluable to our community, Club and the wider Lions Organisation. He will bring application, dedication, wisdom and wit to the positioned District Governor. His record of achievements speaks for itself and we believe that he will bring the same success to the position of District Governor and to the responsibilities that it entails. Parts of James’ responsibilities include representing Ireland on the Council of Governors, which is the governing body of over 18,000 Lions in the British Isles, and Ireland.”
James is 57 years of age and is a keen sailor and has served as Rear Admiral in the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which is the oldest Yacht Club in the world. The Club will celebrate its 300 year anniversary in 2020 and James previously served as Chairman of the 2020 organising committee. James is also Chairman of the RNLI in Crosshaven. James also has an interest in broadcasting and hosts his own radio show “The Business Hour” on Cork Community Radio at the weekend. James lives in Carrigaline with his wife Cathy and his daughter Emma is director of a Montessori School in Brisbane and his son Eoin is Field Sales Development Manager in the Family firm based on the Sarsfield Road in Wilton. James has a keen interest in European Affairs and regularly travels throughout Europe and holidays in Croatia.