Offaly company wins National Enterprise Award

Press Release                                                            Thursday, June 9th 2016

Offaly company wins National Enterprise Award

Blast machine manufacturer from Offaly wins this year’s National Enterprise Award with category awards going to small businesses in Kildare, Limerick and Fingal.


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. has presented the top prize in the National Enterprise Awards to Applied Concepts, an Offaly-based manufacturer and exporter of blast machines used by builders and restoration companies.

Set-up by Mark Clendennen and supported by Local Enterprise Office Offaly, the Kinnitty-based company began trading in 2010 and employs ten people. Its machines are used in building and restoration projects in countries such as Finland, Estonia, Venezuela and Ethiopia.

NEA 2016 WinnerWith a total prize fund of €40,000 on offer through the Local Enterprise Offices, thirteen awards were presented in total and the other major category winners this evening were: CarveOn from Kildare (Best Exporter), Global Sauces from Limerick (Best Start-Up) and Invizbox Ltd from Fingal in Dublin (Innovation Award).

In Kildare, CarveOn was set up by two brothers, Alan and Gary McCormack, and its customised leather accessories are exported to 50 countries. Global Sauces in Limerick is headed up by Liam Hayes and Vincent Sheahan and the company manufactures 34 different varieties of sauces for the food industry. In Fingal, Invizbox was founded by Paul Canavan, Chris Monks and Elizabeth Canavanand their hardware devices keep customers in more than 60 countries more secure online.

Speaking at the awards, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD said: "I am delighted to be here today to witness first-hand the innovative entrepreneurs that Ireland has.  Through the National Enterprise Awards, the success stories of Ireland's small businesses are showcased nationally and internationally by the Local Enterprise Offices. Small businesses, like finalists here tonight at the National Enterprise Awards, are the backbone of the Irish economy and I want to ensure that I can put in place the right conditions for more small businesses to grow.  Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups and I want to encourage more people to start new businesses, with the help of their Local Enterprise Office. I want to congratulate all of this year's winners and I wish them the very best for the future, as they 'fly the flag' for Ireland's small businesses.”

Congratulating this year’s winners, Kieran Comerford of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “Applied Concepts in Offaly has achieved impressive international growth since it started trading and has brought all manufacturing in-house, rather than outsourcing it abroad. For thousands of small companies like Applied Concepts, the Local Enterprise Offices through the Local Authorities Network have become a first stop shop for business and the National Enterprise Awards help to celebrate these companies’ achievements. As a business moves through the start-up phase and into the growth phase, their Local Enterprise Office is standing by, ready to provide whatever supports are needed to help that business grow and expand. ”

Eight new regional awards were introduced this year and these were presented to:                                                                                                                                     

Dublin Region: Brian and Rachel Nolan, Nobó in Dublin City                                      

Kildare/Laois/Offaly/Westmeath Region: Tom Davitt and Dr. Orla Dardis of Scantech Geoscience in Westmeath                                                                                                              

Wicklow/Wexford/Carlow/Kilkenny Region: Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson of EquiRatings in Carlow                                                                                                                            

Louth/Cavan/Monaghan/Meath Region: Clinton Pratt of M.D.,Ualto Ltd in Cavan    

Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim/Longford Region: Detta and Aoife McNiffe, McNiffe’s Boxty in Leitrim

Galway/Mayo/Sligo Region: Donal Byrne, M.D., Big Red Barn Ltd in Mayo

Clare/Limerick/Kerry/Tipperary Region: Fionan Murphy, M.D., Murphy Marine Services in Kerry

Cork/Waterford Region: Clare Hughes, M.D.,CF Pharma Ireland Ltd in Waterford

Meanwhile, the first-ever ‘Peer Award’ was presented to Darren Hayes from Dare Technology in Cork City and was judged by all 32 finalists.

Further information on the supports available through the Local Enterprise Offices is available through