News & Events

Offaly company wins National Enterprise Award

Blast machine manufacturer from Offaly wins this year’s National Enterprise Award with category awards going to small businesses in Kildare, Limerick and Fingal.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. has presented the top prize in the National Enterprise Awards to Applied Concepts, an Offaly-based manufacturer and exporter of blast machines used by builders and restoration companies.

Set-up by Mark Clendennen and supported by Local Enterprise Office Offaly, the Kinnitty-based company began trading in 2010 and employs ten people. Its machines are used in building and restoration projects in countries such as Finland, Estonia, Venezuela and Ethiopia.

With a total prize fund of €40,000 on offer through the Local Enterprise Offices, thirteen awards were presented in total and the other major category winners this evening were: CarveOn from Kildare (Best Exporter), Global Sauces from Limerick (Best Start-Up) and Invizbox Ltd from Fingal in Dublin (Innovation Award).

In Kildare, CarveOn was set up by two brothers, Alan and Gary McCormack, and its customised leather accessories are exported to 50 countries. Global Sauces in Limerick is headed up by Liam Hayes and Vincent Sheahan and the company manufactures 34 different varieties of sauces for the food industry. In Fingal, Invizbox was founded by Paul Canavan, Chris Monks and Elizabeth Canavan and their hardware devices keep customers in more than 60 countries more secure online.

Speaking at the awards Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Small Business Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD said: "I am delighted to be here today to witness first-hand the innovative entrepreneurs that Ireland has. Through the National Enterprise Awards, the success stories of Ireland's small businesses are showcased nationally and internationally by the Local Enterprise Offices. Small businesses, like finalists here tonight at the National Enterprise Awards, are the backbone of the Irish economy and I want to ensure that I can put in place the right conditions for more small businesses to grow. Two thirds of all new jobs are created by start-ups and I want to encourage more people to start new businesses, with the help of their Local Enterprise Office. I want to congratulate all of this year's winners and I wish them the very best for the future, as they 'fly the flag' for Ireland's small businesses.”

Congratulating this year’s winners, Kieran Comerford of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “Applied Concepts in Offaly has achieved impressive international growth since it started trading and has brought all manufacturing in-house, rather than outsourcing it abroad. For thousands of small companies like Applied Concepts, the Local Enterprise Offices through the Local Authorities Network have become a first stop shop for business and the National Enterprise Awards help to celebrate these companies’ achievements. As a business moves through the start-up phase and into the growth phase, their Local Enterprise Office is standing by, ready to provide whatever supports are needed to help that business grow and expand.

Eight new regional awards were introduced this year and these were presented to:

Dublin Region: Brian and Rachel Nolan, Nobó in Dublin City

Kildare/Laois/Offaly/Westmeath Region: Tom Davitt and Dr. Orla Dardis of Scantech Geoscience in Westmeath

Wicklow/Wexford/Carlow/Kilkenny Region: Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson of EquiRatings in Carlow

Louth/Cavan/Monaghan/Meath Region: Clinton Pratt of M.D.,Ualto Ltd in Cavan

Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim/Longford Region: Detta and Aoife McNiffe, McNiffe’s Boxty in Leitrim

Galway/Mayo/Sligo Region: Donal Byrne, M.D., Big Red Barn Ltd in Mayo

Clare/Limerick/Kerry/Tipperary Region: Fionan Murphy, M.D., Murphy Marine Services in Kerry

Cork/Waterford Region: Clare Hughes, M.D.,CF Pharma Ireland Ltd in Waterford

Meanwhile, the first-ever ‘Peer Award’ was presented to Darren Hayes from Dare Technology in Cork City and was judged by all 32 finalists.

Further information on the supports available through the Local Enterprise Offices is available through


For all media queries, please contact Engage Ireland on: Sarah Bohan (087 65 39936)/ Siobhan Fitzharris (086 466 6967)/ office(at)

Reproduction-free high res images of the winners are available through Photocall Ireland (pre-ceremony) and Joe Keogh Photography (ceremony).

Notes to Editor:


(Please note: these results are under embargo until 21.00 on 09.06.16)

Organised by Local Enterprise Offices and set up in 1997.

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Special Guest: Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation T.D., Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor

Overall Winner (Cash Prize for business: €10,000)

Offaly LEO - Applied Concepts Limited: Manufacturer and exporter of abrasive blast machines

Best Exporter (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)

Kildare LEO - CarveOn: Manufacturer and exporter of lifestyle leather accessories

Best Start-Up (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)

Limerick LEO - Global Sauces: Sauce manufacturing for food sector and retail

Innovation (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)

Fingal LEO - InvizBox: Secure digital services for customers around the world

Regional Awards (Cash Prize for business: €2,000)

Dublin Region:

Dublin City LEO - Nobó: Dairy-free ice -cream alternative

Kildare/Laois/Offaly/Westmeath Region:

Westmeath LEO - Scantech Geoscience Ltd.: GPR surveys for engineering sectors

Wicklow/Wexford/Carlow/Kilkenny Region:

Carlow LEO - EquiRatings Ltd: Data analytics for the sport of Eventing

Louth/Cavan/Monaghan/Meath Region:

Cavan LEO - Ualto Ltd: Electrical process and plant automation

Donegal/Sligo/Leitrim/Longford Region:

Leitrim LEO - McNiffe’s Boxty Bakery: Traditional Irish food producer

Galway/Mayo/Sligo Region: Donal Byrne, M.D., Big Red Barn Ltd in Mayo

Mayo LEO - Big Red Barn: Portable structure manufacturer and events

Clare/Limerick/Kerry/Tipperary Region: Fionan Murphy, M.D., Murphy Marine Services in Kerry

Kerry LEO - Murphy Marine Services: Boat-builders and designers

Cork/Waterford Region:

Waterford LEO - CF Pharma Ireland Ltd.: Pharmaceutical company

Peer Award

Cork City LEO - Dare Technology: renewable energy technology developer

Other Finalists – National Enterprise Awards 2016

Clare LEO - Titan Logistics: Fourth party logistics

Cork North and West LEO - Hennessy Timber Group: Timber manufacturer

Cork North and West LEO - Health & Safety Publications Ltd.: Publishing company

Cork South LEO - GoCambio: Travel and languages web-platform

Donegal LEO - Brain training services

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown LEO - ClearChoice: Software for financial brokers

South Dublin LEO - Wyldsson: Health foods producer

Galway LEO - N. Barrett Engineering Ltd.: Animal handling equipment

Kilkenny LEO - Goatsbridge Fish Processors Ltd: Trout fish processing

Laois LEO - Twiznight Ltd.: Digital media technology

Longford LEO - ARK Energy: Technology for the energy sector

Louth LEO - Sing Li Foods: Curry sauces for retail and wholesale

Meath LEO - TouchHits: Digital touchscreen jukebox manufacturer

Monaghan LEO - Cloud 10 Beauty: Online shop for beauty products

Roscommon LEO - Roschem Products Ltd.: Cleaning detergents manufacturer

Sligo LEO - L.C. Seating Ltd.: Custom-made mobility seating

Tipperary LEO - Savvy Kitchens: Bespoke kitchens

Wexford LEO - Hentech Fabrication Ltd.: Mild steel fabrication

Wicklow LEO - Showoff: Software and app development


Local Enterprise OfficesThe Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are now the ‘first-stop-shop’ State support service for micro and small businesses in each local area. The LEOs provide advice and a signposting service to other State supports and services to anyone who wishes to start or expand a business. The LEOs also provide financial assistance for projects that meet certain criteria in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector as well as soft supports such as training and mentoring.