Wednesday 16 October 2019

Bright future for Louth

Olivia Ryan

The amazing opportunities available to Louth as a leader in economic, social, tourism and heritage were highlighted at the 2019 Louth Enterprise awards last week.

Keynote speaker at the awards was Shane Coleman who was glowing in his optimism for the future of County Louth.

His address was made to business people from across the region attending the Louth Enterprise Awards 2019.

The event was the social highlight of Local Enterprise Week 2019 which saw the Local Enterprise Office Louth and Louth County Council stage twelve free education and networking event for business and start-ups.

Hosted by Louth broadcaster and journalist Alison Comyn, the Louth Enterprise Awards event was proudly supported by Dundalk Credit Union.

Networking and lunch preceded the awards ceremony.

In her role as MC, Alison announced the three category winners and the awards were presented by Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council Cllr. Liam Reilly, Stewart Agnew of Dundalk Credit Union and Head of Enterprise in Louth Thomas McEvoy.

Exempt Medicinal Products from Drogheda won the Best Start Up Award. The company supplies medicines to patients with complex needs, such as elderly or very young patients, who have difficulty ingesting medicines or getting customised doses.

Jonathan Fawdry and Alan Lane accepted the award.

The Best Established Business Award was won by Farm Tours Ireland. Based in Castlebellingham, this agricultural tour operator offers bespoke, expert-guided farming tours all over Ireland. The Giggins family, who run the business, were represented by mother and son Nollaig and Angus.

There was great excitement when the winners of the Innovation Award were announced.

Based in Ardee, the winner is Celtic Wind, the first company in Ireland or Britain to undertake the sowing, harvesting, cold pressing, bottling and distribution of CBD Hemp Oil. Alan Stewart and Elaine McCourt proudly received the award and will now go forward to represent Louth at the National Enterprise Awards 2019 at the Mansion House Dublin in May.

Following the announcement of the awards, broadcaster and proud County Louth man Shane Coleman took to the stage.

Shane Coleman is the presenter of Newstalk's flagship Breakfast programme. He is a former Political Editor of the station and previously presented The Sunday Show on Newstalk for five years.

He is also a regulator contributor to both the Irish Independent and the Sunday Independent. He was previously Political Editor and Business Editor of the Sunday Tribune. He is the author of four best selling books on Irish politics, including 'Bertie Ahern and the Drumcondra Mafia' and 'Scandal Nation'.

In his keynote address, he acknowledged the threats that Brexit might bring to the county but he was very upbeat in his assessment of the future.

He acknowledged the attributes of the county and urged people the length and breath of the county to work together for the economic and social progress of the county. He also urged people to be future-focussed, saying that towns that look ahead, embrace change and evolve will thrive in the decades to come.

Concluding the event, Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy reminded the audience that 'Enterprise is so crucial to the health of the economy here in Louth. Our role in the Local Enterprise Office is to advice and guide SMEs across the county to help them in them grow and create jobs.'

He added: 'Although Local Enterprise Week may be over, we are always here to help and support local business and we encourage you to visit to discover how we can help your business.'

Drogheda Independent