10 August 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Founding Board Members of Ludgate, Sean O’Driscoll and John Field have been named July Cork Persons of the Month. The Ludgate Hub has transformed Skibbereen into Ireland’s digital workspace capital.
John Field, winner of ‘The Outstanding West Cork Business Ambassador’ award at the West Cork Business and Tourism Awards last year, celebrates JJ Field’s 85th year in business this year. Sean O’Driscoll is a highly successful and well known Irish business leader.
The Ludgate Hub, based in Skibbereen town, utilises the digital age for job creation and innovation. With 1 Gigabit broadband connectivity, the business allows regional Ireland to communicate and compete with urban hubs, making it the first of its kind in Ireland. Many businesses operate at Ludgate, and the hub has facilitated many indirect jobs in West Cork.
“Digitisation of rural Ireland is akin to the electrification of Ireland in the past and John Field and Sean O’Driscoll want to make Skibbereen, a hotspot for technology start-ups and multinationals to locate and prosper at a global level. It is great to see two local successful businessmen working hard, on a voluntary basis, for their home place of west cork” said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan.
John Field offered up the building to house the Ludgate Hub, and Sean O’Driscoll used his extensive network to create a powerful board, all of whom work on a pro-bono basis. Board members are Kevin Buckley, Spearline; Oliver Farrell, Vilicom Engineering; Dee Forbes, RTÉ; Ronan Harris, Google; Brian McCarthy, Fexco; John O’Doherty, AIB; Anne O’Leary, Vodafone Ireland; Rosaleen Blair, CBE; Professor John O’Halloran, UCC; Anne Philips, formerly HSBC; Adam Walsh, JJ Field. Ludgate also receives help and support from local residents including Lord David Puttnam.
“This project works because we have the full support and involvement of the local community. Now high-speed connectivity is consigning geography to history. This is the model for rural Ireland’s future,” said Sean O’Driscoll.
John Field and Sean O’Driscoll’s names will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at a Gala Awards Lunch in the Rochestown Park Hotel on January 15th 2021.