Five from the north shortlisted for EY Entrepreneur of the Year crown

Pictured at the announcement of the 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year shortlist are Anne Heraty, and Kevin McLoughlin.
Gareth McKeown

FIVE business representatives based in the north have been named finalists in the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland 2019 programme.

Mark Dowds, co-founder of Ormeau Baths and technology firm, Trov; Patrick Derry of Armagh-based Derry Refrigerated Transport; and Ashley McCulla of Lisburn-haulage firm McCulla Ireland are among the local finalists in 24 strong-list published yesterday.

They are joined by Laurence O'Kane, owner of Irish pharmaceutical wholesaler, IMED Healthcare, which has an office in Draperstown, Co Derry; and Richard Kennedy, CEO of Belfast agri-technology company, Devenish Nutrition

The five will be looking to emulate previous Northern Ireland winners, including Belfast hotelier, Bill Wolsey, who last year scooped the Industry category gong in the awards initiative.

This year’s 24 finalists employ more than 13,000 people and have combined revenues of almost €1.2 billion. The finalists will compete across three categories - Emerging, Industry and International, with one winner being named The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 at the awards gala held in Dublin in November.

Anne Heraty chair of the judging panel and CEO of CPL Resources said it was a "very tough job" to decide the finalists from more than 120 nominations.

“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," she said.

"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."

Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme added:

“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."

Now in its 22nd year, the Entrepreneur of the Year programme supports, promotes, and connects a community of entrepreneurs 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 on the island of Ireland who harness each other’s wealth of experience, with 77 per cent now doing business with one another.

The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists are:

Emerging Category

• Mark Dowds, Trov, Antrim

• John Mullins, Amarenco Solar, Cork

• Tom Cronin, Rye River Brewing Company, Kildare

• Mervyn O'Callaghan and Simon Murray, Provision Vehicle Cameras, Dublin

• Sonia Deasy, Pestle & Mortar, Kildare

• Ian Nolan and Alex Kelly, Brightflag, Dublin

• Triona Mullane, mAdMe Technologies, Dublin

• James and Timothy McElroy, HouseMyDog, Dublin

Industry Category

• Matt Ryan, Press Up Entertainment Group, Dublin

• Pat McDonagh, Supermac's Holdings, Galway

• Mark Whitaker, Johnson & Perrott Motor Group, Cork

• Patrick Derry, DRT (NI) LTD, Armagh

• Peter and Una Kearns, The Institute of Education, Dublin

• Ashley McCulla, McCulla (Ireland) Ltd., Antrim

• Laurence O'Kane, IMED Healthcare, Derry

• Donnacha Hurley, Motor Mania Limited., Offaly

International Category

• Richard Kennedy, Devenish, Antrim

• Andrew Day, Keywords Studios, Dublin

• Lily Holmes, PB Machine Tech, Carlow

• Paul McKenna, mac-group, Dublin

• Philip Noone, Aalto Bio, Dublin

• Shane Evans, Scrapinghub, Cork

• Brian Leslie, Seaquest Systems, Donegal

• Lulu O'Sullivan,, Dublin

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