28 November 2018: Letterkenny has been announced as the overall winner of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018. Representatives from Letterkenny’s National Enterprise Town Awards Committee were presented with a trophy and €33,000 cash prize fund by special guest, the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Bank of Ireland, at a gala reception in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Co. Kilkenny. The prize fund is for investment in the further development of enterprise activity in the town.
The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards recognise and reward towns and urban villages, where businesses and the community have come together, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area. This year 83 towns and urban villages from almost every county nationwide were represented on the night and 35 received awards.
The town of Kells, Co. Meath walked away with the Rising Star Award for the work they have done to date in restoring the ‘Kells Old Printworks’, which had lain derelict for over 35 years in the town. The €20,000 cash prize fund will be used to complete the restoration project of the antique printworks in 2019 in order to make Kells a more attractive tourist destination.
Other special category winners on the night included, Galway City, Dunleer, Co. Louth and Kinsale, Co. Cork who were awarded €10,000 each for the continued development of enterprise in their communities.
Speaking at the awards, Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said “These awards are the culmination of Bank of Ireland’s National Enterprise Programme for 2018, for which it is to be commended. The wellbeing of SMEs is absolutely critical to the wellbeing of our economy, our communities and broader society. Any initiative which recognises and champions innovation and enterprise, such as this, is of immense value and has my full support.
“People from right across our country are represented at these awards; ranging from city centre urban communities, to pretty seaside towns, bustling western cities and rapidly growing suburbs. The diversity of entrants, and that which brings everyone together, with their unique set of historical, geographical, infrastructural, economic and social opportunities and challenges, is a cause for celebration. It is encouraging to see the way in which these communities and businesses come together in this way and I congratulate all those who have taken part for their efforts.”
Francesca McDonagh, CEO, Bank of Ireland added, “Tonight’s awards are about recognising the enterprising activity being undertaken by towns and communities all over Ireland. I have been impressed with the energy, commitment and sheer hard work that we have seen from the awards entrants across the length and breadth of the country.
“At Bank of Ireland our purpose is to enable our customers and communities across Ireland to thrive – and as Ireland’s largest lender, enterprise is at the heart of everything we do. We are proud to have a presence in over 250 communities across Ireland and we are passionate about supporting enterprise in these communities. I want to thank City and County Councils for their support of these awards, and congratulate Letterkenny on being crowned overall winner.”
For a full list of winners visit www.thinkbusiness.ie