Local Company Makes ‘Final Eight’ at National Enterprise Awards

Local Enterprise Offices confirm that small businesses from Louth Galway, Donegal, Clare, Westmeath, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Dublin have all made ‘Final Eight’ on June 11th

The ‘Final Eight’ have been revealed by the Local Enterprise Offices ahead of the 18th National Enterprise Awards at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham later this month and local company Elemex has made the final eight.

The eight finalists announced for the 2015 National Enterprise Awards, in alphabetical order, are:

Áine Knitwear (supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare)                                                                                                             
Elemex (supported by Local Enterprise Office Louth)

Gannon Eco (supported by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath)

Glendalough Distillery (supported by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow)

Kinnegar Brewing (supported by Local Enterprise Office Donegal)

MyBio (supported by Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny)

Property Channel/Property Button (supported by Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Dublin)        

Vision Built Manufacturing (supported by Local Enterprise Office Galway)

Click here for more information of the Final 8 >>

Representing the construction and property sectors, Vision Built Manufacturing (Galway), design, manufacture and install building structures, Elemex from Louth, design heating systems and heating technology, Gannon Eco from Westmeath, reprocess waste materials to recycle them into raw materials and the Property Channel/Property Button in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, manage utility switchovers for letting agents.

The Irish drinks industry is also well-represented this year, with Glendalough Distillery from Wicklow (póitín, botanical gins and whiskey) and Kinnegar Brewing from Donegal (craft beers), both making the final eight. MyBio from Kilkenny, a supplier of research products for the scientific research industry and Aine Knitwear, a Clare-based knitwear design and manufacturing brand, have also been shortlisted this year.


Joe English, Acting Head of LEO Louth praised Elemex from Drogheda on reaching the ‘final eight’ for this year’s National Enterprise Awards, saying: ‘it is a real pleasure to work with Gerard, Mary and the team as they continue the proud tradition of engineering and manufacturing in Drogheda. Everyone in the LEO Louth office wishes them every success both in the competition and for their business. We hope to continue to support their work in the years to come’.

Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, Kieran Comerford, said: “In 2014, the network of Local Enterprise Offices supported over 24,000 entrepreneurs and start-ups all over the country, including all our finalists. These awards showcase the innovation , creativity and the development potential within Irish SMEs, all across Ireland.  By highlighting all those business success stories, the National Enterprise Awards give recognition to Ireland’s small business heroes”

Previous winners of the competition have included Irish Yoghurts from West Cork, Hot Irish Whiskey (Walsh Whiskey) from Carlow and Innovate Telecoms and IT from Wexford. The most recent winners of the competition, Design Pro in Limerick, provide precision automation and machine build services. They went from employing 10 people in 2013, when they won the award, to employing 22 people today. Headed up by Paul Collins, the company is on track to double its workforce again over the next two years.


The overall winner of the €5,000 top prize is being announced by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on June 11th. Results and updates will be available through www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #NEAwards15 on social media.



For all media queries around the National Enterprise Awards, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.

Photography Note: High res, reproduction-free images of the eight National Enterprise Award finalists are available through your Local Enterprise Office. Interview opportunities are available with the local finalist, along with representatives of the Local Enterprise Office.

The National Enterprise Awards are organised by the Local Enterprise Offices and were previously organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards (dissolved in April 2014 and replaced with the network of Local Enterprise Offices).


Event: National Enterprise Awards at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, organised by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (www.localenterprise.ie)


Facts and Figures

 In 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices collectively supported over 24,000 small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers, through various training programmes, mentoring services, networks, web-related grants and financial assistance. Through the LEOs, 7,305 jobs were created during 2014 in gross terms (4,012 extra jobs in net terms).

The Local Enterprise Office is the First Stop Shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting or growing a business in Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices, which are part of the Local Authorities Network, provide advice, information and support to those starting up or growing a business.




(Finalists listed in alphabetical order, by company’s name)



CLARE: Áine Knitwear (McConnell Woollen Mills T/A) was set up in 2000 by Anne

Behan and is a fully-indigenous knitwear design and manufacturing business. The designs are unique and are a fusion of modern technologies and traditional Irish hand craft. Áine supplies over 100 shops in Ireland with exports equating to 66% of her business. Promoter: Anne Behan E: anne@aineknitwear.com W: aine.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare)


LOUTH: Elemex Ltd manufactures electric heating and temperature

control equipment for industry, and offers a unique design and build service for individual client’s process heating applications. As an established brand, the company services all industry sectors, and has many years accumulated experience in providing innovative solutions to customer’s requirements.

Promoter: Gerard Healy E: gerard@elemex.ie W: elemex.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Louth)


WESTMEATH: Gannon Eco (John Gannon Concrete Ltd T/A) are solution providers

for industrial waste streams. Gannon Eco reuse or remanufacture 100% of the material they receive at their site. Waste stream items are reprocessed at Gannon Eco and recycled as raw material for products directly marketed and sold by Gannon Eco.Promoter: Niall Gannon E: niall@ecorecycling.ie W: gannoneco.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath)


WICKLOW: Glendalough Distillery makes innovative spirits while staying true to the tradition and heritage of ancient distillation. Initially the business started with the first ever spirit, poitín, and since then have moved to whiskey and most recently the release of two seasonal, wild botanical gins.

Promoter: Barry Gallagher E: barryg@glendaloughdistillery.com W:glendaloughdistillery.com

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Wicklow)


DONEGAL: Kinnegar Brewing was established by Rick LeVert and Libby Carton in northeast Donegal. Kinnegar pairs brewing tradition with a contemporary sense of adventure to produce clean, crisp, full-flavoured beers. Their unfiltered, naturally carbonated range is a familiar sight in good pubs, restauraunts and independent off-licences island-wide. Promoters: Rick LeVert and Libby Carton E: info@kinnegarbrewing.ie W: kinnegarbrewing.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Donegal)


KILKENNY: MyBio. In 2009, Linda Nolan recognised the need for an innovative supplier, to the Life Science Research market in Ireland. One of the core foundations on which MyBio was built, was the portfolio of high calibre, reliable and carefully selected research products with a client-centred consultative approach.

Promoter: Linda Nolan E: l.nolan@mybio.ie W: mybio.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny)


DÚN LAOGHAIRE-RATHDOWN, DUBLIN: Property Channel/Property Button is built by property agents, for agents. They manage the ancillary commercial transactions resulting from a residential property transaction (eg management of utility meter readings). Their service enables their customers to improve their own customers’ experience i.e. every task related to fulfilment of utilities, white goods, furniture, carpets, trades people and all other services necessary at a new home.

Promoters: Jim Urell and Patrick O’Farrell E: jim@propertychannel.ie W: propertychannel.ie

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown)


GALWAY: Vision-Built designs, manufactures and installs LGSF (light gauge steel frames) structures,

compliant with building requirements in the UK and Ireland. Vision-Built provides full design advice and accurate estimation, minimising project risk, improved quality and speedy construction for all types of residential and commercial projects. Recently completed project: 80 bed hotel, constructed in just four weeks.

Promoter: Gerard McCarthy E: gm@vision-built.com W: vision-built.com

(Supported by Local Enterprise Office Galway)