Award winners announced at Showcase 2018

Posted 22.01.18

Karen Hennessy, CEO of Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (on left) with Áine Behan of Áine Knitwear, Winner of Overall Best Product Award and Winner of Showcase Best Product - Fashion & MADE/Slow

Winner of Overall Best Product Award – Áine Knitwear

Best Product Category Winners:
Showcase Best Product – FASHION & MADE/Slow: Áine Knitwear
Showcase Best Product – HOME: Foxford Woollen Mills
Showcase Best Product – GIFT: Ballyshane
Showcase Best Product – JEWELLERY: Scribble & Stone

Other Showcase Award Winners:
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Design Ireland Award – Holden Leathergoods
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Innovation and Craftsmanship Award – Benefield Spencer Glass
Local Enterprise Showcase Award – Soul Engraver

Winners of the annual Showcase Awards were announced at Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Expo, which takes place at the RDS in Dublin until Wednesday, 24th January. Showcase 2018 was officially opened on Sunday, 21st January by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D. and awards were presented by Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. The annual show has established itself as a must-see trade event, attracting buyers from Ireland and more than 20 other countries, including UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Far East, all keen to see the latest designs from Ireland’s top brands and craft producers.

Showcase is an international launch pad for the 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople who will be unveiling their new season collections across fashion, jewellery, home and giftware during the four-day event. A particular emphasis is placed on new products to market, providing retailers with opportunities to discover and stock up on the latest design-led products, many of which are unique to the show.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “Since this annual trade show was founded 42 years ago, the continued growth and development of Showcase indicates that there is a strong desire from buyers both in Ireland and internationally to discover and access high-quality Irish designed and crafted products. Our annual Showcase awards programme not only shines a light on the excellent craftsmanship, design and presentation of the makers’ work but also highlights the importance of encouraging new product development, allowing buyers to see the very latest innovations from Irish designers and craftspeople at the fair. With such a wide range of exceptional Irish products to choose from, it is always a tough task for our selectors to pick winners and I would like to congratulate all this year’s award recipients, runners-up and those who were highly commended.

Exhibitors selected for the Showcase Best Product Awards 2018 were chosen by specialist curators; Alanna Gallagher (home & gift), Natasha Sherling (jewellery); Catherine Condell (fashion & MADE/Slow) and Emma McGrath (Design Ireland). The curators nominated the ‘Best Product’ in each of their categories and each category produced a Best Product Award and Highly Commended awards. The overall Best Product Award at Showcase 2018 was chosen by the Showcase judging panel.

The Overall Winner of the Showcase Best Product Award was Áine Knitwear for its A-Line Woollen Dress. Áine designs and manufactures lady’s and men’s knitwear in Clonlara, Co. Clare on the Wild Atlantic Way. The brand is a fusion of contemporary and traditional design creating a vibrant heritage collection in lambswool, cashmere blends, alpacas and silks.

Best New Product Category Winners:

FASHION & MADE/Slow: The Showcase Best Product Award in the fashion category was Áine Knitwear for its A-Line Woollen Dress. Highly commended in this category were Bernie Murphy from Buncrana, Co. Donegal for her Turquoise Tweed 3-Piece and Celtic Tweeds from Balbriggan in Dublin for its Men’s Tweed Jacket.

HOME: This year’s Showcase Best Product Award in the home category went to Foxford Woollen Mills from Foxford, Co. Mayo for its Woollen Cushions. Highly commended were Elements of Action from Rathmines in Dublin for its Framed Mirror, and J. HILL’s Standard from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford for its Decorative Lamp.

GIFT: The Showcase Best Product Award in the gift category went to Ballyshane, based in Duckett’s Grove Castle, Co. Carlow, for its Wooden Boards. Highly commended in the gift category were Alanna Plekkenpol from Bray, Co. Wicklow for her Decorative Tiles, and Caulfield Country Boards from Kells, Co. Meath for its Wooden Egg Cups.

JEWELLERY: The Showcase Best Product Award in the jewellery category went to Scribble & Stone, which is based in Rathmines in Dublin, for its Cube Neckpiece. Highly commended in this category were Jennifer Kinnear Jewellery’s Neckpiece, and Miriam Wade Jewellery from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, also for her Neckpiece.

Other Category Winners:

DESIGN IRELAND: The winner of the Design Ireland award was Holden Leathergoods from Dingle, Co. Kerry for its Leather Travel Bag. Highly commended were Dúinn Designs from Carlingford, Co. Louth for its Mixed Linen Scarf, and Jerpoint Glass Studio from Kilkenny for its Decanter. The winner of this award was selected by a panel of independent judges which assessed Design Ireland exhibitors for stand design and display, product quality and overall suitability.

INNNOVATION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP AWARD: The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Innovation and Craftsmanship Award, which promotes innovative and creative development in craft, was won by Benefield Spencer Glass from County Antrim. Mourne Textiles from Newry, Co. Down was highly commended in this category, while Callan, also from Co. Down, was the runner up.

LOCAL ENTERPRISE SHOWCASE: The Local Enterprise Offices selected Soul Engraver from Donaghmede in Dublin as the winner of the Local Enterprise Showcase Award for its Engraved Neckpiece. Highly commended were Bearded Man Ireland from Navan, Co. Meath, for its Soap Dish and Shaving Brush, and Craftek from Cork for its Platter.

Showcase 2018 runs until Wednesday 24th January and is for trade attendance only. For further information, please visit


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Tara Walsh, Emer Igbokwe or Emma Kelly at Elevate PR on +353 (0)1 662 5652 or / /

About Showcase
Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo® is one of the country’s largest international trade shows.  The annual event is attended by over 5,000 buyers from Ireland and more than 20 countries around the world, generating sales orders of over €20 million over the four days of the show. Showcase is a partnership between the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the show internationally through their network of offices overseas. More than 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople exhibit at the fair, including over 100 emerging Irish businesses supported by their Local Enterprise Offices. Showcase is for trade attendance only. 

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients.

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