Offaly man among finalists in Entrepreneur of the Year awards

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Offaly man among finalists in Entrepreneur of the Year awards

Offaly man among finalists in Entrepreneur of the Year awards

Offaly-based entrepreneur Donnacha Hurley of Motor Mania Limited is among the 24 finalists announced for the 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland awards.

Collectively, the finalists, announced today, employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of almost €1.2bn. The finalists will compete across three categories - Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being named The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019. Donnacha is listed for the industry section, taking on the likes of Supermacs' Pat McDonagh.

Hurley follows in the footsteps of well-known Offaly business people Vincent and Gerard Cleary, Glenisk, who were finalists in 2014.

The 24 finalists have been shortlisted from more than 120 nominations by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources Plc, and winner of the 2006 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ award. 

Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources Plc, and Chair of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ judging panel commented: “As with every year, the standard of nominees has been incredibly strong. The judging panel always has a very tough job trying to reach a shortlist of 24 finalists but it is fantastic to see a wide range of different industries represented."

"I am proud to be able to play a part in recognising the brave entrepreneurs who are creating employment across the island. It’s wonderful to see so many thriving companies driven by entrepreneurs who are boldly pushing themselves and the teams to the forefront of their industries. This year’s finalists are at the start of what will be a very exciting journey, not just this year but as they become part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community. I’d like to wish them the very best at the beginning of an unforgettable journey through the programme and beyond."

Commenting on the announcement, Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur of The Year™ programme said: “2019 has been an incredibly competitive year for nominees. The judges have arrived at an exceptional list of finalists. This year, our shortlist has everything from fast food to energy, with many of the entrepreneurs representing businesses that are household names."

"Cutting-edge technology businesses are prominent again this year, alongside a strong mix of more traditional businesses. The standard of the finalists this year is reflective of a very healthy entrepreneurial community on the island of Ireland."

"These entrepreneurs are the ones bravely taking risks to drive innovation and create employment in every town and village across the island, something EY has been very proud to be able to directly support over the last 22 years through EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™. I am looking forward to getting to know this year’s finalists as they become part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year community.”

Now in its 22nd year, the programme has established itself as a world-class development programme that supports, promotes, and connects a prodigious community of entrepreneurs, championing entrepreneurship throughout the island of Ireland and around the world. Since its inception, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community has grown to a network of more than 500 alumni who harness each other’s wealth of experience, with 77% now doing business with one another.

This year’s finalists will join more than 60 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ alumni for a week of executive education and exclusive corporate insights in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau in May. The CEO Retreat is the island’s largest unofficial trade mission, specifically focused on fostering entrepreneurship. The retreat will focus on developing the entrepreneurs, and facilitating an environment for networking and problem-solving.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland programme is supported by Premium Corporate Sponsor Julius Baer International, and Government sponsors Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI. For further information, please visit www.eoy.ie