eircom Spider Awards 2011 winners announced

The winners of the 2011 eircom Spider Awards were unveiled last night at a gala black-tie event in Dublin’s Convention Centre, hosted by well known comic and TV personality Dara O’Briain. Independent.ie was media partner for the eircom Spider Awards.

Ray Nolan was awarded the Internet Hero at the awards.

Ray founded Web Reservations International (WRI) in 1999 when he identified an opportunity to introduce online bookings to the hostel industry, a sector which had previously been ignored by mainstream online travel companies.

Today WRI provides online confirmed reservations to over 50,000 accommodation providers, directly and through more than 2,500 global affiliate partners.

A serial IT entrepreneur, Ray has been instrumental in the success of a number of companies in the Irish technology sector. He founded Raven Computing (subsequently Coretime Ltd) in 1989 to develop bespoke software solutions for the legal, and hospitality sectors, before subsequently developing a leading time and billing management system. He sold Coretime Ltd, to Sage in 2004.

WRI was sold in November 2009 to San Francisco-based private equity investor Hellman & Friedman for over $340 million. Ray was presented with the Ernst and Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2003 and the Irish Internet Association Net Visionary Award in 2006.

Ray is currently involved in a number of new start-ups, including Worky.com, a new hiring network which aims to transform the way employers recruit staff and the way people find jobs.

TheJournal.ie scooped three eircom Spider awards. The team won the eircom Grand Prix Award as well as the Best News website award and Best Digital Editor award.

Again this year members of the general public were given an opportunity to vote for their favourite in two of the award categories.

The Big Mouth award which is presented to the most influential online voice was won by Rukkle.com. Rukkle.com is all about entertainment. Their aim isn’t to highlight every single entertainment news story on any given day, but to create a concise and easily digested roundup of what they think is the most interesting and humorous stuff from the large quantities of information available across the social web.

On Rukkle.com, you can get your daily ‘distraction’ fix by checking out a selection of the biggest entertainment, social and viral news stories from around the world, while also having the choice of listening to a dedicated Top 40 music radio station, Rukkle.fm and watching the latest Rukkle videos via Rukkle.tv on YouTube.

The second Public Choice Award was awarded to the public’s favourite online community website.

The winner this year was Runireland.com. RunIreland.com is a Galway owned, popular running and sports website.

The website, which allows clubs, charities and individuals to promote and manage the online entry for sports events has become a huge success in athletics and triathlon circles.

Commenting on the awards, Stephen Beynon, Chairman of the judging panel and managing director, consumer and small business, eircom said “Congratulations to all of the winners – each and every one is truly deserving of their awards. It’s great to see such talent and innovation across so many sectors in Ireland”.

Awards were presented across 20 categories and the full list of winners on the night included:

Best Financial Services Website

Winner: Bonkers.ie

Best Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Website

Winner: Killarneyonamap.ie

Best Charitable and Non Profit Organisation Website

Winner: National Gallery of Ireland

Best Retail Excellence Website

Winner: The Corkscrew Wine Merchants

Best eBusiness

Winner: Boardsdeals.ie

Best Campaign

Winner: Velvet Can Music Grow on Trees

Best News Website

Winner: TheJournal.ie

Best Education Website

Winner: CourseHub.ie

Best Sports Website

Winner: 1escape

Best Entertainment Website

Winner: TV33player

Best Listings Website

Winner: Prosperity

Graduate Award

Winner: Liam Carey

Best Web Design and Development Agency

Winner: Kooba

Big Mouth Award (as voted by the public)

Winner: Rukkle.com

Best Community Website (as voted by the public)

Winner: Runireland.com

One to Watch Award

Winner: Pigsty.ie

Digital Editor Award

Winner: TheJournal.ie

Best Mobile App

Winner: National Irish Bank Smartphone Banking Application

Internet Hero

Winner: Ray Nolan

eircom Grand Prix

Winner: TheJournal.ie

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