Offaly businessmen honoured at innovation awards

TULLAMORE businessman Christy Maye received the life time achievement award at the midlandsireland.ie Gateway to Innovation and Excellence Awards held recenlty.

TULLAMORE businessman Christy Maye received the life time achievement award at the midlandsireland.ie Gateway to Innovation and Excellence Awards held recenlty.

The event was held in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Friday May 20 and attended by over 300 business people. The Lifetime Achievement Award was sponsored by the Mullingar Park Hotel and Josephine Hughes presented the award to the winner; the man who made Tullamore the “entertainment capital of the midlands” , Christy Maye.

Christy’s dedication to his many businesses is unparalleled. Christy is an entrepreneur, retailer, publican, farmer, DJ, racehorse owner and historian. He has made a significant and longstanding contribution to business and the community in the Midlands.

Marty Whelan, Master of Ceremonies, welcomed guests and invited President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Paul O’Reilly to speak about the work of the Midlands Gateway Chamber and in particular the positive changes the gateway status has had on the midlands region. Mr O’Reilly said, “One of the key issues for the Midlands Gateway Chamber was the formulation and launch of the new brand for the Midlands, which was completed in partnership with the MRA with the launch of ‘midlandsireland.ie’, the new brand for the region. The awards have been named ‘MidlandsIreland.ie gateway to innovation and excellence awards’ in continuation of this journey.”

The Guest speaker, Manchán Magan, travel writer for the Irish Times, spoke in a light hearted tone about the opportunities the midlands had to offer. Minister Willie Penrose, TD spoke briefly after dinner and following this the awards ceremony got under way.

The First award was the Environmental Responsibility Award, sponsored by Bord na Mona. Gabriel D’Arcy the current Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador of the Year and CEO of Bord na Mona presented the award to the winner Molloy PreCast Products Ltd.

The next award of the evening was the Emerging New Business Award, whihc went to The Flat Bread Company.

The Best International Trade Award went to Trend Technologies. Business Person of the Year Award was sponsored by MidlandsIreland.ie was presented this award to the winner, Tom Doyle, Cuisine Royale.

The final business award of the evening was the Outstanding Business Award, which was sponsored by Stevens Cooke & Associates and Blackhall Financial Services. John O’Connell of Stephens Cooke & Associates and George Stephens of Blackhall Financial Services presented this award to the winners, Belvedere House Gardens and Park.

The Mullingar Chamber President, Julie Magan, awarded Mary Hamill with the special recognition award. Mary Hamill, a Parkinson’s disease sufferer raised funds for research into Parkinson’s diseases by playing one hole of golf on 18 golf courses in 18 counties in one day.

The Ambassador of the Year award was sponsored by Bord na Mona. President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber, Paul O’Reilly and Gabriel Darcy, CEO of Bord na Mona & Ambassador 2010-2011 presented to the winner John Teeling of Kilbeggan Whiskey and Cooley Distillery. Mr Teeling is now the Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador for 2011-2012, a role he felt priviledged to be awarded with.