News & Events

Minister Richmond visits the Local Enterprise Office in Laois

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond T.D., visited the Portlaoise Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Laois today (Friday, 16th February).

The Minister was greeted at County Hall by Laois An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Paschal McEvoy, CEO of Laois County Council, John Mullholand, Director of Services, Gerry Murphy, and Head of Enterprise Evelyn Reddin, where he was introduced to some members of the LEO team, as well as some of their client companies.

 Minister Richmond said:

I am delighted to be here in here in Portlaoise to visit the Local Enterprise Office, meet the team and their clients.

"I always enjoy meeting some of the brave entrepreneurs, who have taken the steps to start their own business. In 2023, the Laois LEO supported over 140 companies who in turn employ 777 people, which is a testament to the supports they provide, as well as the strength of the local businesses here in Laios.”

The Minister was introduced to representatives from some of the local businesses that have been assisted by the LEO including David Walsh Kemmis, founder and Marketing Director at Ballykilcavan Brewing Company. They offer a variety of craft beers each made by hand on a copper-clad 1000 litre kit. The company, a leader in sustainable brewing, produces beers using 100% Irish barley grown on their farm, selling them locally, in France, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

Minister Richmond then met PJ Kavanagh, owner of Kavanagh's Bar & Venue, a family run pub which has been in the family over five generations and has been serving Laois' people since 1869.

Minister Richmond then met Wellington Da Silva – Co owner of Mueller & O’Connell Bakery in Abbeyleix. Mueller & O'Connell is an artisan bakery that produces 11 different variety of breads daily, offers seasonal pastries and supplies local food markets.  The Minister then met Imelda O’Brien, owner of Midland Denture Clinic who create and repairs dentures, specializing in 3D printing and receiving dental scans. The Minister was then introduced to Pauric Hackett of Make and Share, an event management company who offer comprehensive solutions for clients, including design, production, event management, and fabrication of bespoke pieces.

Finally, Minister Richmond met Flaxilet O’Flynn of O’Mimo’s Good Globe Pantry. Their homemade fresh Chilli Sauces and tantalising Apple Chilli Sage Jam are made in small batches with premium and where possible, local ingredients. The O’Mimo’s range aims to bring excitement and a new food sensation to the market.

On the conclusion of his visit, Minister Richmond said:

It was a pleasure to meet the team and clients from the Local Enterprise Office in Laois. It is always enjoyable to see firsthand the positive impact that the LEOs have in assisting these new businesses to get up and running.

The entrepreneurs I have met today show the diversity of businesses that are emerging from Laois and show the possibilities that are open to anyone who wishes to start their own business. “