There are several good award events in Ireland, but for a web agency the Eircom Spiders is the top drawer, the cream of the country, and absolutely where you want to see your clients short-listed and bringing home prizes.

This year, we were thrilled to have FotaWildlife.ie short-listed in the Travel and Leisure category, DubarryBoots.com (a design and build that only launched in October) short-listed for Digital Retail Excellence, and ourselves shortlisted under Agency Of The Year.

We were bloody delighted to collect the Eircom Spider on behalf of FotaWildlife.ie this year!

Four years ago Fota came from nowhere to win the same category along with the Grand Prix award for overall best site in Ireland. The current site is our second build for Fota, and winning another Spider for this newer site feels like a great endorsement.

Mark Little, this year’s Internet Hero, spoke a lot about teamwork during his acceptance speech, and in truth that was also the key to the work that led to Fota’s win this year. Yes, I got to put on the tux and collect the prize, but the real winning work was done by a collection of great team players.

Fota Wildlife are a fantastic client. They have great vision and great faith, and we loved working closely with Stephen Ryan, John Kingston, Sean McKeown and all the staff there to produce an ambitious site that stretched boundaries in every direction.

Our long-term design collaborators Doodle Creative, always bring the bang and they produced a stunning realisation of a demanding brief under the watchful eye of our senior developer Eoghan O’Brien.

Niamh O’Mahony, @niamh_omahony, worked closely with the staff and wardens at the park, and put a lot of thought and effort into producing some really sticky, engaging content for the site that presented facets of the park never before seen… how does a giraffe get to Cork?!

Developers talk a lot about things like ‘opinionated programming’, but Eoghan O'Brien’s work is the essence of ‘client- and user-centric, considered coding’ and he did an incredible job of bringing the site together, directing the design work, and producing some ground-breaking functionality in Fotabook, the ticketing integration, the donations and booking processes, the payment gateway integration as well as some fantastic frontend development work. To a large extent the site design, build and functionality is a testament to Eoghan’s web development philosophy and remarkable talent.

As with every project we produce, every individual in the company had a part to play, making contributions in the form of work, advice and support. Fota Wildlife winning another Spider is a reminder of the importance of collaboration, and on a personal note, of how proud I am to work with the collective of dedicated, talented team members that we bring together here at StudioForty9.