News & Events

Kilkenny crowned Overall Winner at Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2019 scooping €33,000 cash prize

  • Castlebar, Co. Mayo, claims Rising Star Award and €20,000 cash prize
  • 42 towns shared in the prize fund of €193,000 on the night

Kilkenny has claimed the title of Ireland’s most enterprising town at this year’s Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards, taking home the trophy and a cash prize of €33,000.

Representatives from Kilkenny’s winning town team were presented with the trophy and cash prize by Francesca McDonagh, CEO of Bank of Ireland, at a gala reception in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Co. Kilkenny last night.

The annual Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town Awards brings business, community groups and local authorities together, in each town, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area. Since the inaugural awards in 2016, towns and urban areas and villages across the country have shared more than €500,000 in funding to invest in their community.

The town of Castlebar, Co. Mayo walked away with the Rising Star Award which was introduced to the competition last year for towns or urban areas that have significantly improved as a place to live, visit and invest. Ballincollig in Cork was the winner of the City Award.

Francesca McDonagh, CEO, Bank of Ireland added, “Supporting enterprise and the financial wellbeing of individuals, businesses and their wider communities is at the heart of everything we do.  Strong local economies are the backbone of the Irish economy and we’re proud to recognise, celebrate and support businesses and community groups working together to create jobs, drive growth and build thriving communities. I congratulate Kilkenny on their win and hope that all the nominated towns enjoy their success and continue to build on it into the future.”

The guest of honour at the awards,  Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said “The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards are a great way to showcase and celebrate the spirit of enterprise in our towns and I’m delighted that the Local Enterprise Offices play an important role in supporting this initiative. All the towns nominated serve as an example of how an engaged, supportive and resilient enterprise community can create opportunities from challenges and I congratulate Kilkenny and all the other deserving prize-winners on their achievement.”   

For a full list of 2019 award recipients visit


Notes to editor

About the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards

Now in its 4th year, the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards is a nationwide search to find Ireland’s most enterprising community. The previous national winners were Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (2018), Tralee, Co. Kerry (2017), and Boyle, Co. Roscommon (2016). The competition provides a stage for local businesses, community groups and local authorities to show how they are working together to meet their own challenges and make their own opportunities. This year there were almost 70 towns and urban villages from almost every county nationwide nominated for the awards. A panel of judges visits all the nominated towns from mid-August until early October, providing an opportunity for them to see first-hand the collaboration and enterprise that exists in each community. The winners are revealed at a gala awards ceremony in December.

For more information, please contact:

Bank of Ireland: Brian O’Neill / / 087 947 0985

Teneo: Nicole Chesser / / 085 715 5448