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News & Events

Minister English visits Fingal Local Enterprise Office

[Photographs available here]

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, visited the Fingal Local Enterprise Office today. The visit to the office is the latest in a series of nationwide visits by Minister English who is keen to meet the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) teams and engage with some of their client companies.

Minister Damien English said:

“The Local Enterprise Office in Fingal have worked hard with businesses across the county over the past 18 months and continued to offer exceptional services such as mentoring, training, upskilling and financial supports. I am grateful to Oisín Geoghegan and the LEO team for helping local firms to protect their businesses and maintain job opportunities, and especially for their commitment in assisting businesses to make the transition to online trading during the pandemic.”

“People have shown that by ‘Looking for Local’ a big impact can be made on communities through supporting our local businesses. Consumers can enjoy first class products, services, and experiences on their doorstep in Fingal, and by supporting ‘Look for Local’, they will help ensure positive economic, environmental and societal impacts that will benefit all in the community.”

Oisín Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise in Fingal, welcomed the Minister to the Local Enterprise Office, saying:

“It is imperative that the necessary resources are invested in viable start-ups and small growing businesses to help them to succeed. We need our small businesses to flourish. They are providing extremely important local jobs throughout our towns and villages and collectively they have a huge impact on the local economy. Through his visit to the Local Enterprise Office and our client businesses here today, the Minister is demonstrating his support for the small business sector and acknowledging the very important role that they play in our economy.”

The day commenced at Fingal County Hall, Swords, where Minister English met with Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Daniel Whooley, Fingal Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly, representatives of Fingal County Council, and the owners of four LEO client companies. This diverse selection of businesses included Nufields Ltd. which sells certified organic grow kits, seeds and equipment, the Irish Institute of Music and Song, which delivers music education courses nationally and internationally, Arcane Chocolate, which formulate and produce a bespoke artisan range of handmade chocolates, and Take the Cake, which produce consumer fresh cakes with locally sourced ingredients. These businesses illustrate the broad range of companies availing of supports and services through the Local Enterprise Office.

The Minister also met with Jock Jordan of The Gift Voucher Shop (‘One4All’ gift vouchers), who explained how the Gift Voucher Shop (GVS) was established 20 years ago and was supported at the outset by the Fingal County Enterprise Board, by way of an equity investment. It has since become a very successful employer in Swords, having expanded to over 70 staff. The success of GVS is an excellent example of how a small start-up can benefit from modest financial State and Local Enterprise Office intervention, helping the start-up to build credibility to fulfil its ambitious growth plans.

Minster English was then welcomed into Fingal Council Chamber by Deputy Mayor Cllr. Daniel Whooley and Fingal Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly where he listened to a presentation from the Head of Enterprise, Oisín Geoghegan, outlining some of the recent key achievements of LEO Fingal and the LEO Local Enterprise Development Plan 2021-2024. 

Minister English formally launch the Local Enterprise Development Plan 2021-2024 with Deputy Mayor Cllr. Daniel Whooley, Fingal Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly, Director of Services for Fingal County Council Emer O’Gorman and Head of Enterprise, Oisín Geoghegan.

The Local Enterprise Development Plan provides a comprehensive framework for building on the many successes to date for the Fingal area. The Fingal LEO aims to ensure that all aspiring and established entrepreneurs in their community receive a support structure that is practical, contemporary, multi-faceted and comprehensive, to enable the local small businesses to thrive.

Minister English then travelled on to the Drinan Enterprise Centre for a tour of the facility and had a chance to meet Nigel O’Leary CEO of LEO client company Dimension 88. Nigel explained Dimension 88 provides digital twinning, which is a digital replica or "a clone," that can be viewed in a VR Headset or on a digital device. This digital twin can be used to model and simulate developments and manufacturing devices before construction, allowing manufacturers to test for design flaws prior to production.

The last visit of the day was to Hope Beer Brewery, located at Howth Junction Business Park. Wim De Jongh, CEO of Hope Beer Brewery met the Minister and explained how his company, a microbrewery which produces a range of craft beer, has availed of extensive supports from LEO Fingal. Hope Beer Brewery is a previous winner of the overall Fingal Enterprise Award, winning “Best Start-Up” in 2017.

On conclusion of his visit today, Minister English also said:

"The Local Enterprise Office in Fingal can be proud of their involvement with the talented micro and small business ecosystem in North County Dublin.  The positive engagements today underline an encouraging future for economic development and growth in local enterprise as the economy continues to exit the pandemic and get back to more normal trading conditions.”


The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

For further information please contact Press Office, D/Enterprise, Trade and Employment, press.office@enterprise.gov.ie or (01) 631-2200

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