Marie Doyle Henry from the EIQA pictured with Mace Houlihan Lismore Joan and Michael Houlihan at The National Q Mark Awards, Dublin. Known as The Oscars of Business Excellence and celebrating 50 years, The Q Mark Award is the highest accolade an Irish business can achieve, given both the intense competition and the exacting standards required. (Picture Conor McCabe Photography)

It was a proud day for Mike and Joan Houlihan when they travelled to the Clayton Hotel in Dublin for the National Q Mark Awards Ceremony last Friday night, September 28.

Although not crowned as overall winners, Ballyrafter Service Station MACE, Lismore were nominated alongside only seven other shops in the ‘Forecourts Level 1’ category.

The nominations are based the annual HIQA audit and this is the second year that the Houlihan’s have been nominated for the Q Mark award.

“It was an an honour to be there,” Joan Houlihan told The Avondhu. “It’s a sign of all the hard work we put in to make sure our premises is at the highest standard. We are so proud of our wonderful staff too, without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Joan.

Almost 600 people representing 140 companies attended a formal black-tie Q Mark awards ceremony in competition for one of only 27 awards presented. The evening was filled with celebration but also a heady anticipation as many familiar faces waited for the final results to be announced.

Major funds were also raised on the night for CanTeen Ireland, a nationwide support group for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 years who have or have had cancer.

The overall national winners, sponsored by eTravel and Virgin Atlantic, were Fanagans Funeral Directors named as overall national winner for their Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise named as overall National winner for Hygiene and Food Safety.

Congratulations to the Houlihan family and the staff at Ballyrafter Service Station, Lismore who are clearly working to the highest possible standards in relation to Hygiene and Food Safety.