LEO Limerick client to be centre stage at National Ploughing Championships

An entrepreneur from County Limerick will be among a select group of Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) clients to showcase their wares at this year’s National Ploughing Championships this September.

Bruff-based Colin O’Loan, Director of The Irish Artisan Charcoal Company, www.irishcharcoal.com , will be part of the Local Enterprise Village at Europe’s largest outdoor event.

From the 19th to 21st September, the ‘Local Enterprise Village,’ managed and funded by the Local Enterprise Offices, including LEO Limerick will be home to 31 diverse start-ups and small businesses from all over the country. Many of the small businesses will be making their debut at the Championships, using the opportunity to launch new products and services to the 280,000 visitors expected by the National Ploughing Association (NPA).

LEO Limerick will be represented at the Local Enterprise Village by The Irish Artisan Charcoal Company, Bruff, Co Limerick.

Colin O’Loan, Director of The Irish Artisan Charcoal Company said “It’s a massive opportunity for our company, which isn’t even 18 months old to be getting this sort of exposure, all courtesy of LEO Limerick. This level of marketing and promotion been given would not be possible for us as a small company, so it’s phenomenal to have been chosen to be in the Local Enterprise Village.”

“The popularity of the National Ploughing Championships means we have a fantastic and unique outlet to showcase our products. We are a lumpwood charcoal-making company, 100% Irish owned and employing local people. We are the only company in Ireland making charcoal from Irish Hardwood for sale in Ireland and abroad. The timber is locally sourced from sustainably managed woodlands in Ireland”.

“The fact that we have received the nod from the experts in LEO Limerick means we must be heading in the right direction.”

The company won the John and Sally McKenna Award for product of the year 2016 and the charcoal is used in Restaurants throughout Ireland including Michelin Star Restaurants.

LEO Limerick client to be centre stage at National Ploughing Championships 810x456
Pictured with Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald & Minister Pat Breen are Anna-Marie Delaney, CCMA ; Anna May McHugh,NPA; Colin O’Loan ,Irish Artisan Charcoal Company; Kieran Comerford, LEO and Eoghan Hanrahan of Enterprise Ireland. Photo: Mark Stedman

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald said: “Through the LEOs, this Government continues to be committed to supporting and sustaining the development of micro and small businesses such as those taking part in the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships.”

“By boosting the profile of indigenous Irish companies at major international events, the focus is on promoting trade and driving innovation and export growth across all business sectors across the country.  For the 280,000 people expected at the National Ploughing Championships in September, I would encourage them to pay a visit to the Local Enterprise Village to support Ireland’s start-ups and small businesses.”

Eamon Ryan, Head Of Enterprise with LEO Limerick feels that the National Ploughing Championships are the ideal opportunity to raise the profile of local small businesses and start-ups to a mass audience,  as the event attracts over a quarter of a million visitors every year.

He said: “For those at the ploughing championships looking for products and services for the home, the family or the farm, the Local Enterprise Village is unique because it offers every visitor a chance to meet the person behind the company and to buy directly from them, to help support jobs in small businesses all over the country.”

Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director said: “It is wonderful to see that so many diverse and interesting businesses will be represented at this year’s National Ploughing Championships’ ‘Local Enterprise Village’.  This is a unique opportunity for these small businesses which have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office, with 283,000 visitors in attendance last year, to showcase their products to the large number of visitors that Ploughing attracts.”

A third of companies within the Local Enterprise Village are coming from the food and drink sector, offering visitors a ‘taste’ of new ranges such as chilled coffees, smoked fish pates, low-calorie beef, granola, herbal drinks, ready to bake mixes and high protein snacks.

The village will also be the home of small businesses which manufacture locally for the home and farm, such as rainwater gutters, architectural joinery, blasting machines, push-pull cables and sprayer attachments.

In addition to agri-tech products for farmers, visitors will also be able to meet the makers behind furniture, fashion, craft, skincare and sports equipment companies, all based in Ireland.

More details around the Local Enterprise Village and the supports on offer through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are available at www.localenterprise .ie.

The 86th Annual National Ploughing Championships run from September 19th to 21st at Screggan, Tullamore, County Offaly with tickets on sale through www.npa.ie .