Gothic Castle stages Business Picnic to make connections happen

Duckett’s Grove Castle just outside Carlow Town will be the venue for the second Business Picnic being held on Wednesday 23rd July 2014 hosted by Carlow & Wexford Local Enterprise Offices and partners. The Business Picnic provides an important opportunity for the local, regional and national business community to come together and celebrate their successes, hear stories from their peers and to promote themselves by networking in an informal setting, building new relationships with over 250 enterprises who will be in attendance.

Rick O’Shea from 2FM helped launch the event and is host for this year’s picnic which features award winning comedian Eric Lalor and a panel of 8 business people who will share their business stories. Speaking about the event , Head of Local Enterprise for the Local Enterprise Office in Carlow Kieran Comerford said “Local Enteprise Office Networking Events are popular and lively events which generate much interest from businesses and make a real difference in terms of making connections that make business happen”.

This year the event is in association with Carlow Network of Enterprising Women, Write on Track, We Teach Social, CK Blogger Network, VISUAL, Bank of Ireland, Fairgreen Shopping Centre, Sign Management Services, IT Carlow, Red Oak Tax Refunds, Department of Social Protection (Intreo and EURES), Carlow Chamber, Carlow Tourism and Carlow County Childcare Committee.

All businesses, owner managers and their key staff are invited to attend this event which is free of charge, please contact the Local Enterprise Office in Carlow on 059/9130880 or e-mail with your name and company details.


Business Picnic Launch Image 1

Rick O'Shea (MC) Sitting -  Derek Shannon -Bank of Ireland , Kieran Comerford - LEO Carlow , Mary Wynne - Enterprise House , Anna Byrne - LEO Carlow , John O'Connor , Red Oak Tax Refunds

Standing is Eileen O'Rourke - Carlow  Tourism,   Lorna Sixsmith - Write On Track, Tom Banville - Leo Wexford.









Rick has been a presenter on RTÉ 2fm since 2001 and presently hosts a lighthearted weekday afternoon listener participation driven talk and music show.

O’Shea was known amongst Ireland’s blogging community and founder of his own blog. In April 2006, he hosted the inaugural Irish Blog Awards, and has regularly presented the annual Irish Web Awards and Irish Social Media Awards ceremonies.

In 2010, he announced his permanent retirement from blogging but does use Twitter. On 22 July 2012, Rick won the Irish celebrity version of the iconic tv quiz show Mastermind



Eric Lalor’s first foray into comedy was a bit unusual. In 2006, as one of the participants of RTE Two’s Des Bishop’s Joy In The Hood, his first ever gig was filmed on his home turf of Ballymun in Dublin and broadcast to the entire nation.

Des went to Ballymun in search of new comedic talent and discovered Eric. Des was so impressed with what he saw that he brought Eric on his record-breaking, nationwide ‘Fitting In’ tour. Opening the show at ‘Live at the Marquee’ in Cork, Eric performed to 5,000 people.

Since then, Eric has gone from strength to strength and has now garnered a reputation in Irish comedy as a consistent performer, making him one of the most sought after acts in the country.


The Panel

Lorna Sixsmith – Write on Track and We Teach Social

Lorna Sixsmith is an author, blogger and social media trainer. Following the popularity of her Irish Farmerette blog and a successful crowdfunding campaign in July 2013, she self published her first book in December 2013. ‘Would You Marry A Farmer?’ is now available in all good bookshops. A second book will be released in 2015.

Lorna offers social media training and a copywriting service at Write on Track, provides online social media training at We Teach Social and is the co-founder of the KLCK Bloggers Network. She co-organises the Blog Awards Ireland event each year.

John O’Connor – Red Oak Tax Refunds

John O’Connor is Managing Director of Red Oak Tax Refunds. Red Oak Tax Refunds is a leading supplier of personal tax services, including Tax Refund services, to PAYE employees in Ireland.

We have achieved this through maintaining strong personal relations with our customers, while leveraging on our experience of handling thousands of cases each year.

Ailish Delaney – I.T. Carlow

Ailish works at the Institute of Technology Carlow as Enterprise Development Manager at the Institute’s Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre (ERIC). Ailish works with start - up companies through a comprehensive combination of infrastructure, business support services and specialised resources.

Mag Kirwan – Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Goatsbridge Trout Farm was established in 1961 by Mags Kirwan and her husband Gerard Kirwan close to Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Goatsbridge Trout Farm is now a thriving family business where they take huge pride in producing farm fresh, premium quality Irish trout. Producing truly local products from start to finish; growing their own fish through their whole lifecycle from eggs to fully adult fish. Mags is passionate about the philosophy of ‘farm to fork’ so customers can enjoy a taste & freshness that is second to none. They select the best fish for customers, supply the best restaurants, wholesalers and personal callers with trout fresh from the farm.

Miriam Lloyd – Sewing Concepts studio

Miriam is a creative dressmaker with over thirty years experience. She owns Sewing Concepts studio in Ballon, Co Carlow where she provides a full dressmaking and alteration service. She specialises in transforming Wedding dresses into heirloom Christening gowns. Miriam also runs sewing classes/workshops in her studio for those who want to learn how to make their own clothes.

Donna Spellacy – Done Deal

Donna Spellacy is Community Manager with Done Wexford-based is Ireland’s biggest and fastest-growing classifieds website. From a standing start in 2005, the website has experienced an average of 10 – 15% growth in visitor traffic and ad placements per month. is now the number one place to buy and sell things in Ireland.

Ger Walsh – Sign Management Service

Ger Walsh is Owner Manager of Sign Management Service, an award winning Carlow business specialising in managing large format signage, banners and billboards. With the belief that signage is an investment and not a cost, Ger and her team create and deliver strategies on how their clients can maximise the return from outdoor signage.

Noeleen Ryan – The Sweet Shop

Noeleen Ryan is a retailer based in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow which provides sweets and party items for a variety of events and functions.