New president for Cork business group

The Cork branch of Network Ireland, a voluntary organisation which supports the personal and professional development of women, has appointed Maria Desmond as president at its AGM on Tuesday.

The Cork native, who grew up in a family business in Bishopstown, has a professional background in marketing and market research. She is the Regional Fundraising Manager at Enable Ireland and succeeds out-going Network Ireland Cork president, Barbara Nugent in the one-year voluntary role.

Maria, a former winner of a Network Cork Businesswoman of the Year Award, has been on the Network Ireland Cork committee since 2018, with responsibility for events. She has just completed her role as Vice President and Awards Coordinator. A UCC MScComm graduate, she had 25 years’ experience running two of her own businesses before joining the team at Enable Ireland’s Ballintemple site in 2016.


Speaking about her new voluntary role, Maria said: “I am honoured to be elected president of Network Ireland Cork, the largest Network Ireland branch in the country. Thank you to Barbara for her commitment during the past 12 months and the hard work of the talented 2021 committee. Although it was another challenging year, under Barbara’s leadership, the committee drove through innovative new initiatives including a hybrid event model and a podcasts series.

“With the help of the 2022 committee, I want to build upon this legacy and further grow the profile of the branch. From inspiring monthly guest speakers to networking opportunities; mentorship programmes to promotional opportunities, I hope members can lean on the branch to develop the skills and confidence to progress their careers and businesses in 2022.”


New principal officers also appointed include Ingrid Seim as vice president, Melissa Curley as secretary and Noella Carroll as treasurer.

Adhering to public health advice, the 2021 Network Cork Christmas party has been cancelled. However, alternative outdoor get-togethers have been organised instead.