PICTURES: Former Offaly footballer among regional entrepreneur winners

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Former Offaly footballer Brian Darby was among the winners as Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Westmeath's best young entrepreneurs were recognised at the Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar on Wednesday.

Offaly had three winners on the night with Dr. Emma-Rose Conroy from Euro Stallions (Ireland) Ltd winning the Best Established Business Category prize.

Christina McLoughlin, Vove Media won the Best Start Up Category Winner while Brian Darby, Little Champions, won the Best Business Idea Category.

Competing for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur in the upcoming national final will be Dr. Emma-Rose Conroy of Euro Stallions (Ireland) Ltd from Durrow, Tullamore.

Euro Stallions (Ireland) Ltd is the first EU approved embryo collection centre in Ireland. The company also provides breeder and veterinary supplies for equine reproduction including its own in-house developed fertility supplement.

Young entrepreneurs from Laois, Offaly, Kildare and Westmeath gathered in the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar on Wednesday, June 12 to compete for one of the country’s most coveted titles – Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

The winners were chosen from twelve finalists, shortlisted from almost 220 applicants in the competition which was launched earlier this year by the LEOs as part of a nationwide search to find “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE).

Now in its fifth year, IBYE is a nationwide campaign to celebrate Ireland’s young entrepreneurs and is open to individuals aged 18 to 35 who have an innovative business idea, new start-up or established business.

24 contenders (three from each Region nationally - one in each category) will be selected to compete for the national title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur on Sunday, September 15, 2019. A further €100,000 investment fund will be available to invest in the winners of the three categories at the national final - one of which will also be named as “Ireland’s Best
Young Entrepreneur.”

Eight Regional Finals are taking place across the country over the next few weeks in the search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019. Previous LEO Offaly’s national finalists include Eoin Bara of Arderin Distillery T/A Mór Irish Gin.

The Regional final was hosted by Ronan Berry, General Manager of Polar Ice Ltd. The speaker at the event was Ciaran Gorman of Bevcraft, who was a previous IBYE Regional Winner and Runner up at National Final.

The regional winners, announced by Ronan Berry and Cllr. Paddy Hill were:
Best New Idea: Dr. Diane Cooper, True Fitness, Laois
Best Start-Up Business: Pierce Dargan, Equine MediRecord, Kildare
Best Established Business: Dr. Emma-Rose Conroy, Euro Stallions (Ireland) Ltd, Offaly

Speaking at the regional final Orla Martin, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Offaly said: “We are delighted to have had such a positive response from so many strong candidates from Offaly this year - it is fantastic to see so many young entrepreneurs here today with innovative ideas and businesses."

"Our search to find and support Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs, which started last March, has turned up some incredible business talent. Our local entrepreneurs are the business leaders of the future and the entrants in the competition
have all shown innovation and drive."

"After a very successful bootcamp, County Final and now Regional Final, the Region will be proudly represented by Dr. Emma-Rose Conroy of Euro Stallions (Ireland) Ltd in the ultimate stage of the competition – the IBYE National Final in September."

Further details on the competition and supports available to young entrepreneurs are available through and