Clonakilty Celebrates One Year of Being Ireland’s First Autism Friendly Town

In October 2018, Clonakilty, through the partnership with AsIAm and SuperValu alongside local retailers Eugene and Catriona Scally of Scally’s SuperValu, became Ireland’s first ever Autism Friendly Town. Their journey to becoming Autism-Friendly saw businesses, organisations and community groups throughout Clonakilty undergo training and organisational changes to receive accreditation. This initiative and accreditation was a first for anywhere in Ireland and the last year has been an incredible success for the whole Clonakilty community. The aim of this SuperValu and AsIAm initiative is to create a greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of autism so that our communities become more accessible and enjoyable places for autistic people to live in.

Clonakilty’s journey to becoming Autism Friendly began in 2015 when Scally’s SuperValu became the first retailer in Ireland to implement changes in-store ensuring members of the Autism Community could enjoy a better shopping experience. Since then the entire community has got behind the initiative and Eugene Scally of Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty said “We are only one year into this initiative and already the awareness of autism in Clonakilty has increased so much and the positive impact on the community is clear. The feedback we have received not just in our store but across all organisations and businesses throughout the community from both locals and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. The work the committee has done during this journey has created a conversation around autism in the town and made Clonakilty a better place for autistic people and their families to live, work and visit. Not only are locals telling us about how much more inclusive and accessible Clonakilty is but tourists with autism have shared how much they have enjoyed visiting a town that accommodates their needs.”

One of the most popular additions to Clonakilty during this journey has been the sensory garden. Located on the grounds of the West Cork Model Railway the sensory garden was developed to create an environment within the community that would enrich the lives of children and adults living with Autism by providing opportunities to play and explore in a safe and secure space all while enjoying a calming sensory experience. The garden features elements that appeal to all five senses using a range of materials and plants. Exploration in nature improves physical, sensory and emotional health and supports overall well-being and parents have commented that their children have found the garden captivating and engaging, asking to return again and again.

To celebrate the anniversary Alan Gardner star of the Channel 4 programme, The Autistic Gardener visited Clonakilty to see Ireland’s first Autism Friendly town and share how autism has made him one of the world’s leading landscape designers and how autistic people can focus on their strengths to find careers they enjoy. He said “I am delighted to be in Clonakilty to celebrate the first anniversary of the community becoming Autism Friendly. It is clear to see it’s an initiative the whole community had got behind and a great example of how when understanding of autism increases the positive impact it can have for autistic people in all areas of their lives from shopping to employment.”

A key theme of the celebrations this week in Clonakilty is employment and autism. The community are turning their focus on how they can support the autism community find work experience and employment that works to their strengths.

SuperValu Marketing Director, Ray Kelly said, “Supporting Clonakilty on their journey to become Autism Friendly was a proud moment for SuperValu last year. It is our ambition at SuperValu to build more inclusive communities across Ireland and Clonakilty has proved a massive success. The work the Clonakilty community did to receive the accreditation and in the year since is truly impressive and we look forward to continuing our support of Clonakilty and the other 11 towns that have just begun their journey to become accredited Autism Friendly Towns

SuperValu is committed to raising understanding and awareness of autism among its customers and staff. With over 50,000 families in Ireland living with autism, those affected face barriers to inclusion because of the attitudes of people who may not have first-hand experience of autism.

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Big School Cook Off Competition returns for 4th year with SuperValu on board once again

Form 8 pupils Sophia Little and Eva Bagnall, from Aquinas Diocesan Grammar, join Noel McMeel, Executive Head Chef of Lough Erne Resort, Caitriona Lennox, Mount Charles’ Business Development Manager, Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing at SuperValu and James Street South owner and Head Chef Niall McKenna to help launch this year’s Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Competition, in association with SuperValu.[/caption]

The annual Mount Charles Big School Cook Off Competition, in association with SuperValu, launches with top chefs in NI calling for students interested in cooking, to get involved.

The competition, now in its fourth year, is open to all post primary school pupils across Northern Ireland and Donegal, aged between 11 and 14.

Young people in teams of two are challenged to submit a main course recipe idea that feeds two, focusing on locally sourced ingredients that can be bought on a budget of a tenner, or euro equivalent.

The recipes will be shortlisted on Friday 22nd of November, one per county, and the winning team from each county will progress to cook their recipe for an esteemed panel of judges at the grand finale of the competition next March, in Belfast Met’s Titanic Quarter Campus. County finalists will also be invited to perform a cookery demonstration of their dish, at their local SuperValu store in January, ahead of the final.

Launching this years’ competition, Mount Charles’ Business Development Manager, Caitriona Lennox said:

“This competition is first and foremost an exercise in addressing the serious skills gap in the food service industry in Northern Ireland, by encouraging the next generation of potential young chefs to learn about food provenance and get cooking. We want to support kids with a passion for cooking and give them an insight into the hospitality industry. We’re hoping it will inspire them to consider a career in foodservice and we’ll do what we can to support their future training and skills development.

“Teacher feedback has been amazing, and the competition is growing year on year. Schools are taking part because of the experience it offers the pupils, as well as the great prizes on offer and the kudos of winning the biggest and most prestigious cooking competition in the schools’ calendar,” she said.

Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing at SuperValu said:

“SuperValu is delighted to be involved once again in this great initiative giving our top young foodies a chance to showcase their talents. Good luck to everyone entering and we look forward to welcoming the regional finalists to their local SuperValu for live demos next year.”

Speaking on behalf of NI chefs championing the competition, Executive Head Chef of Lough Erne Resort, Noel McMeel said:

“We are delighted to lend our support to this initiative, it’s our duty to connect and do more within hospitality and show the next generation of catering professionals how rewarding this industry can be. We’re encouraging pupils aged between 11 and 14 to go to their teachers and tell them you want to be involved. We’ve also shared our best advice in interviews that will run throughout the competition registration period on Belfast Live, to inspire students who want to join our industry. Cooking for the judges in the grand final will also be a wonderful experience and could open the doors to a fantastic future in catering.”

This year teams are asked to submit their recipe ideas by uploading a word document or a video to detailing their recipe choice, locality and seasonality of their ingredients and how they researched and tested their dish.

Full competition terms and conditions can be found at



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SuperValu and Centra host scrumdidlyumptious party for action cancer

Leading convenience retailers on final push to reach £3 million fundraising target

Leading retailers SuperValu and Centra will host a special Scrumdidlyumptious party in stores right across Northern Ireland this Saturday, as they edge closer to their £3 million fundraising target for charity partner, Action Cancer. The party will take place in selected stores on Saturday 12th October from 12-3PM, with all funds raised donated to Action Cancer, NI’s leading local cancer charity.

SuperValu and Centra have supported Action Cancer since 2001. Every year, Centra and SuperValu retailers and their customers pull out all the stops to raise much-needed funds for the cancer charity. It is hoped the nationwide fundraiser, which coincides with the 55th anniversary year of the hit Roald Dahl novel, will bring the retailers closer to their milestone £3million target. It is believed this will be amongst the largest amounts ever raised by a company for an individual charity in Northern Ireland.

Funds raised by SuperValu and Centra support a range of projects, including the Big Bus mobile breast screening unit and the Health Action Programme for Children, which encourages children to take steps to prevent cancer in later life.

Brendan Gallen Head of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra said: “The money raised by SuperValu and Centra retailers over the years for Action Cancer has been vital to keeping the Big Bus on the road and delivering much needed MOT health checks and screening services to those who wouldn’t otherwise be screened for breast cancer. The funds raised also support Action Cancer in delivering the Health Action Programme in schools across the province, helping to increase awareness of healthy lifestyle choices among young people.   

“To continue supporting all this great work, we are asking our customers to visit their local SuperValu or Centra store on Saturday 12th October, to enjoy the array of treats that will be on offer and dig deep to support this truly lifesaving cause.”


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SuperValu and Centra scooped 139 awards in Blás Na hÉireann

SuperValu won a massive 118 Blás Na hÉireann awards at the annual awards ceremony in Dingle last weekend. SuperValu picked up 42 awards for its’ own brand range of products – winning 21 Gold, 11 Silver and 10 bronze.

SuperValu’s Food Academy producers went home with 76 awards –25 Gold, 27 Silver and 24 Bronze including two Chef’s Larder Awards for Rocker Organic Farm Mixed Salad Leaves & Dunanny Organic Flour. The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate the very best in Irish food and drink and SuperValu’s continued success at the awards, with over 455 accolades in the last four years alone, shows the commitment SuperValu has to the very best quality Irish food.

Centra picked up 21 Awards, an increase of 6 on last year. 13 of these are Inspired by Centra Awards, 6 of which are GOLD (+3 on LY). Centra is delighted that 4 of the Made in Store Salads won awards (1 GOLD for the BBQ Smoked Salmon Quinoa Salad Bowl, 1 Silver for the Torn Ham & Egg Salad Bowl, 2 Bronze for Tom Durkin Spiced Beef & Supergrain Salad Bowl, and Green Grain & Goats Cheese Salad Bowl). Centra now the Best Food to Go Salads in Ireland!!

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Musgrave and SuperValu retailer both nominated for energy award

At the same time, Fermoy retailer Riordan’s SuperValu has been shortlisted in the ‘Small and Medium Business – Exemplary energy management’ category at the same awards. Last year, the store became the first SuperValu store in Munster to install solar panels, as part of a €3 million investment by SuperValu to roll out the technology across its store network.

The introduction of solar panels was part of a wider community suitability scheme, run in association with the SEAI, which saw Riordan’s SuperValu and other stores across Ireland investing time and money to build sustainable communities around Ireland.  Following the store’s participation in the SEAI scheme, Riordan’s SuperValu reduced its carbon footprint by over 40%.

The Musgrave Energy Team has worked with 40 of Musgrave’s independent retailers across the country to fit environmentally friendly refrigeration systems, greatly reducing their energy consumption. Looking ahead, Musgrave’s team will continue to work with independently owned and operated retailers to make their stores more energy-efficient, with plans to roll out solar panels to 30 SuperValu stores over the next two years.

Commenting on the SEAI awards nomination, Daniel Murphy, Sustainability Manager, Musgrave, said, “We look at sustainability differently from other businesses; for us, sustainability means living up to the core responsibilities that any good business should; to look after its people and customers, to minimise its impact on the environment. We have set ambitious annual energy and waste reduction targets and put renewable and alternative energy in place to cut our carbon footprint. We’re honoured to be shortlisted for the Energy Awards as our nominations illustrates our achievements to make our business more energy efficient.”

Now in its sixteenth year, the SEAI Energy Awards recognise and reward excellence in all aspects of energy management across seven categories. The winners of the 2019 SEAI Energy Awards are set to be announced at a Gala Awards ceremony on October 16th in the Radisson Golden Lane, Dublin.

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SuperValu Lisburn Leading the Way with Flagship Store Opening

Contemporary, new store offers convenient alternative to large supermarket shopping following £850K revamp

SuperValu has unveiled its new flagship store on the Knockmore Road in Lisburn following a £850K refurbishment, creating 12 new jobs. The bright and contemporary store, which continued trading during the works, was officially opened on Saturday 28th September 2019.

The major investment, by leading NI retailer SuperValu, has allowed for new and exciting additions in store, including a new hot and cold deli, alongside an enhanced meat range. The store is also the first in Northern Ireland to offer Moo’d Ice Cream, with a delicious range of flavours and toppings on offer. A rotisserie chicken and deli pizza range ensure all meal times are covered, while Coffee lovers are catered for with an in-store Frank and Honest gourmet coffee dock, featuring 100% compostable coffee cups.

The major new development promises to cater for everyone, from those shopping for weekly essentials through to consumers seeking healthy but convenient lunch and dinner alternatives. The store also boasts an impressive new off-licence along with self-service tills, a seating area and USB charging points.

Commenting on the redevelopment, Store Manager Jamie Graham said: “The team at SuperValu Lisburn are proud to unveil our new-look store. Customer feedback and initial sales over our re-opening weekend show that our new and improved store has been very well received. We look forward to welcoming customers, both new and existing, to see for themselves the fabulous new additions but more importantly the great value and service on offer.”  

Commenting on SuperValu’s continued expansion, Trevor Magill SuperValu Northern Ireland said: “At SuperValu, our focus is on ensuring we meet the needs of consumers who are changing their shopping habits to buying little and often. Reflecting these changes, our store refreshes are providing more inspiration and ideas to shoppers with a focus on quality across fresh produce, meat and a range of in-store food-to-go concepts. Lisburn is a great example of this and I wish Jamie and his team every success.”

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Glaslough is Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2019

Minister Ring allocates €1.4 million to support work of Tidy Towns groups

A record 918 communities entered competition this year

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan has been named as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2019. The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is now entering its seventh decade and Glaslough was judged to be the best from a record number of 918 entries to the competition this year. The announcement was greeted with great celebration and excitement at yesterday’s awards ceremony at The Helix in Dublin.

On hand to present the prizes were Mr. Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development and Mr. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor for the 28th year. The Helix was packed with representatives of TidyTowns groups from all over the country, eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners.

Glaslough, Co. Monaghan also claimed the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Village. Other winners included Blackrock, Co. Louth receiving the award for Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town. Westport, Co. Mayo received the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town, while Ennis, Co Clare. was declared as Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Minister Ring said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Glaslough who are very deserving winners. Glaslough, who first entered the SuperValu TidyTowns competition in 1966, have great passion and pride in their community. They have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, regional and European level. Today, all that commitment and dedication has paid off with the top prize being awarded to them. This is the second time that Glaslough has been awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Town, which is a remarkable achievement and shows that the commitment and enthusiasm of the TidyTowns committees continues to remain strong.   

 I want to congratulate Glaslough and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today. The work of all those involved in the TidyTowns effort results in the attractive and welcoming towns and villages we see all over the country, and from which we all benefit. It is this passion and pride that has made our towns and villages not only attractive and welcoming for visitors, but have created a ‘sense of place’ for those who live, work and raise families there. That is why this competition has continued to flourish for more than 60 years.  

 Minister Ring also announced a special allocation of €1.4 million to support the work of individual TidyTowns Committees around the country to assist them in their continued efforts to enhance their towns and villages. This is the third year in a row that Minister Ring has allocated this funding to support the work of the TidyTowns Committees.

The Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that I am making available €1.4 million in order to directly support the TidyTowns committees who work so tirelessly to bring out the best in their towns and villages. All of the towns and villages involved in the competition across the country should benefit from this investment. Wherever you have active Tidy Towns committees, it gives the town a real sense of pride and engagement, and creates a great atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.”

 The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor. He said: “I want to pay tribute to SuperValu, who are now in their 28th year as sponsor and who continue to work with us to grow the competition. It is getting stronger every year with increased participation, an increased number of awards and a notable increase in the efforts of the communities involved. 

 SuperValu have shown fantastic support for the competition, not only through their financial sponsorship but also through the support provided to local TidyTowns groups by their network of local retailers.” 

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said:

“I would like to congratulate Glaslough for being named Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2019. It is really a remarkable achievement and is testament to the commitment, dedication and passion of the Glaslough SuperValu TidyTowns committee.

 “I would also like to congratulate the category winners who all made an outstanding effort to make their communities better places to live and work in. The immense pride in where you’re from shines through every part of what you have achieved to reach these high standards. 

 “Since SuperValu started sponsoring TidyTowns almost 30 years ago, the competition has steadily grown from its initial focus on making our villages and towns neat and tidy, to the present day, where it is now the greatest sustainability initiative in Ireland.

 “2019 was another landmark year for the SuperValu TidyTowns competition. The competition tagline, ‘Caring for our Environment’, underlines our shared commitment to having a positive impact on our surroundings. This year it has inspired thousands of passionate volunteers and a record number of 918 TidyTowns committees to deliver a range of extraordinary projects across the country. 

 “SuperValu shares this desire to build sustainable communities and the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is one of the best ways for us to achieve this. We are delighted to have been involved in the competition for the past 28 years and we look forward to SuperValu TidyTowns reaching 1,000 committees.”

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have supported the competition since 1992.

Full details of all this year’s winners are available at and at

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Noel Keeley appointed as new Musgrave CEO

Musgrave Group plc announced today that Noel Keeley, current Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners, has been appointed as CEO designate of Musgrave and is due to take up this position on 1st January 2020, following a handover period with current CEO Chris Martin. This follows a recruitment process which began with the announcement earlier this year that Chris Martin would retire from the business.

Noel Keeley is currently Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners, where he is responsible for Musgrave’s wholesale business across the island of Ireland. He has transformed Musgrave MarketPlace, which has become Ireland’s leading wholesale business for retailers, SMEs and a one-stop shop for the hospitality sector. He has also led the growth of SuperValu and Centra in Northern Ireland and he was responsible for the acquisition of fine food specialist La Rousse Foods. Noel Keeley joined Musgrave in 2005 and was Group HR Director before he took up his current role in 2010.

Commenting on the appointment, Musgrave Chairman, Nicky Hartery, said: “We are delighted that Noel has accepted the position as Musgrave CEO. He will bring his vast experience to bear as we build on our Growing Good Business strategy. Under Noel’s leadership our wholesale and food service business has become the market leader across the island of Ireland and he has driven the growth of SuperValu and Centra in Northern Ireland. We would like to thank Chris Martin for his leadership over the past fifteen years, having firmly established Musgrave as Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company.”

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Awards drive continues for SuperValu and Centra retailers

SuperValu and Centra stores in Northern Ireland have been shortlisted for a total of nine awards in six categories at Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer Awards, highlighting once again the excellence on offer across both brands.

Ireland’s Forecourt and Convenience Retailer Awards, taking place on September 18th, are the only specialist awards in Ireland for the convenience and forecourt retailing industry. They act as a benchmark of success in the industry and are hotly contested each year.

The shortlistings are detailed below:

Forecourt Retailer of the Year

  • Lilley’s Centra Drumlyon, Co. Fermanagh
  • Moran’s Centra Coleraine, Co. Derry Londonderry

Newcomer of the Year

  • Centra Carryduff, Co. Down
  • Centra Dublin Road, Co. Fermanagh

Best Customer Service

  • Moran’s Centra Coleraine, Co. Derry Londonderry

Best Food To Go

  • Moran’s Centra Coleraine, Co. Derry Londonderry

Best Forecourt Facilities

  • Moran’s Centra Coleraine, Co. Derry Londonderry
  • Barbican SuperValu Newcastle, Co. Down

Store Manager of the Year

  • Alastair Connor, McCool’s SuperValu Ballymoney, Co. Antrim

In addition, Bell’s SuperValu in Crossgar is shortlisted for Northern Ireland Forecourt Trader of the Year at the 2019 Forecourt Trader Awards. These awards are regarded as the most prestigious event in the UK petrol retailing industry calendar and recognise the best in the business. The ceremony takes place on September 12th.

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Making Cork more accessible

Musgrave recently partnered with Access Earth to run a Volunteer Mapping Event on the afternoon of the 14th of June 2019 where colleagues, from the Airport Road office Cork, worked in pairs to rate various business places around Cork city on their accessibility using the Access Earth App.

Access Earth is the world’s first business and travel site for people living with disabilities (‘the TripAdvisor for people living with disabilities and their caregivers’). It was founded by Matt McCann – Matt has cerebral palsy and has struggled with accessibility challenges.

Access Earth is founded on three main principles – know more, do more, live more. They believe that they can open the world to this community by providing and crowdsourcing the most critical information to access restaurants, hotels and attractions (Know More). By providing this information, it will give those in the community the opportunity to go out and experience new things (Do More). With access to this information, they aim to inspire and encourage their community to find joy in life in spite of their challenges (Live More).

Over the course of an afternoon, colleagues rated 605 places.

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