Media Release

26th January, 2024




Businesses from Clare had the opportunity to meet buyers from all over the world this week as part of the Local Enterprise Showcase at Showcase 2024 at the RDS in Dublin.  There were over 100 Local Enterprise Office supported businesses from across the country present at the event with 3 in attendance from Clare.


Palm Free Irish Soap, Siar Photography & Creative Clay, were all exhibiting at the Local Enterprise Showcase, part of Showcase 2024, that saw over 4,000 buyers from retailers across the globe attend the three-day event in Dublin looking to secure new sales and partners for the year ahead.  Upwards of €25 million in business was expected to have been transacted across the three-day event.


Palm Free Irish Soap – Established in 2015, Palm Free is a green focused family business, driven by their passion to create Innovative sustainable hair & bodycare products that are kind and gentle on the skin, whilst being mindful of the world and its resources! The business has grown organically employing seven local staff that share their core values. Palm Free Irish Soap



Siar Photography - SIAR meaning “West” or “Westward” in Irish, is a range of contemporary photography prints of Ireland founded in 2019 by husband and wife team, Gary and Aoife. SIAR Photography offers over 130 original photographs by Gary, with each print printed, packaged and sold from their studio in County Clare on the Wild Atlantic Way. They also offer greeting cards, notebooks, postcards, an annual calendar and collaborated with a local candle producer to create their first candle Trá, a scent inspired by the Irish beach and coastline.


Creative Clay - Creative Clay creates ceramic giftware that brings a unique visual experience to any wall or space in your home. Irish Ceramicist Raquel Walsh from Co. Clare creates a range of ceramic pieces that are inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape around her, in particular the Burren. These creations are influenced by the marks that time, weather and use leave behind and are decorated with wildflowers often found growing along the hedgerows of Ireland. Each piece is individually assembled from rolled out slabs of clay, decorated and hand painted so no two pieces can ever be the same.


Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development, officially opened Showcase at the RDS, Dublin, highlighting how important trade shows such as Showcase are to the design and crafts sector. One of the country’s largest international trade fairs, Showcase 2024 welcomed almost 400 exhibitors and more than 4,000 buyers from Ireland and overseas. Upwards of €25 million in sales orders were expected to be transacted over the three days, with even more anticipated to be generated throughout the year due to the event.


Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Development, said“I’m delighted to be here at Showcase 2024, to see some of the incredible products on display from our craft and design sector. I’m also thrilled to welcome such a diverse group of buyers from all across the world. Ireland is globally renowned for its craft and design and Showcase truly is the international launchpad for so many Irish makers to achieve this recognition. Most craftspeople live and work in rural areas outside our capital city of Dublin. My department is working hard to ensure that we continue to support the rural development of these areas and encourage the growth of this sector for many years to come. Craft plays an integral part in Ireland’s economy, and I wish everyone the best of luck over the next couple of days.”


The Clare companies were selected by Local Enterprise Office Clare to take part in this year’s Local Enterprise Showcase at Showcase 2024.  They have been working closely with them in recent months to ensure they are in the best possible position to maximise their appearance at the event including sales technique, marketing materials and stand production. 


Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Clare said: “Local Enterprise Showcase is potentially a business changing opportunity for these Local Enterprise Office clients.  They have the chance to meet with buyers specific to their market from countries all over the world opening doors to new export opportunities that they simply would not get anywhere else. 


“Each of these clients has worked closely with their Local Enterprise Office to ensure they are in the best possible position to sell their products to national and international buyers.  This event shows the value of partnership with the Local Enterprise Offices, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland partnering to give these wonderfully talented designers and craftspeople the opportunity to bring their products to the world stage.”


This year saw the introduction of the Business of Craft Awards by the Local Enterprise Offices for all the craft and design companies taking part in Local Enterprise Showcase at Showcase 2024.  The initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices was brought in to recognise the business behind the amazing craft and design products that are created across the country. 


The awards had three categories; Best Newcomer for the best craft and design business who is exhibiting for the first time, One to Watch for the best craft and design business who has excellent export and international potential and finally Sustainability Champion for the best craft and design business who is excelling in sustainability

 Palm Free

In the Sustainability Champion category the winner was Palm Free Irish Soap, who are supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare.  The luxury range of Irish made soaps, deodorant and shampoo bars, which are free of palm oil, won the award for having sustainability running right through the business.  The company reintroduce waste materials into their manufacturing process and have clear sustainable goals across the business.  The runners up were Irish Socksciety supported by LEO Galway and Conscious Convert supported by LEO Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown.


In the One to Watch Category the winner was Bex Shelford Prints, who are supported by Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.  The businesss, who specialise in fine art prints, cards, screen prints, was reconised for an excellent focus on customer satisfaction and significant export potential.  The runners up were Hannas Bees supported by LEO South Cork and Sketchico supported by LEO Galway.


The last award for Best Newcomer went to Sully and Juno, supported by Local Enterprise Office Wexford, in their first year at Showcase.  The company create a range of sensory friendly clothing and were reconised for outstanding commercial and design skills with an ambitious business roadmap for international expansion. The runners up were Pawpear supported by LEO Waterford and Kyna Maree supported by LEO Meath.         


It was also another strong year for Local Enterprise Showcase exhibitors as part of the Showcase Awards with several Local Enterprise Office client companies securing awards and recognition through the Showcase awards.


Best Product Category Winners:

  • Showcase Best Product – FASHION: Linda Wilson Knitwear
  • Showcase Best Product – HOME: Rhyme Studio Inc
  • Showcase Best Product – GIFT: badly made books
  • Showcase Best Product – JEWELLERY:  Lynsey de Burca
  • Showcase Best Product – WELLNESS: Pure Oskar


Other Showcase Award Winners:

  • Design & Crafts Council Ireland Award – Éiru
  • Local Enterprise Office Award – Stories by Ola
  • Sustainability Award – Hanna’s Bees


For more information on Local Enterprise Showcase 2024 and supports available to those operating in the design and crafts sector, log on to and for more information on Showcase 2024, log on to





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