Irish Local Development Network

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Donegal’s uPilot Teoranta scoop top prize at inagural Enterprise Awards

Share: Posted on June 25 2014

Congratulations to the ILDN Border Region for organising the first ever ILDN Regional Enterprise Award ceremony.


The Border Regional Enterprise Awards were initiated by the 7 Local Development Companies in the border region (Donegal, Inishowen, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth). They were designed to highlight the significant achievements of enterprises started by unemployed people with the support of their Local Development Company under the Department of Social Protections Back to Work schemes. Under these schemes Local Development Companies supported 13,753 individuals nationwide into self-employment between 2010 and 2012. 

Sponsored by Microfinance Ireland, the inaugural ILDN Regional Enterprise Award winners were announced by Mr John Perry, Minister of State Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation with special responsibility for Small Business and were presented by Norma Smurfit who is on the board of Microfinance Ireland. 


The first, second and third placed businesses received a crystal trophy and a cheque for €1,250, €1,000 and €750 respectively. The overall winner on the night was Donegal based business, uPilot Teoranta, which designs, manufactures and operates aircraft simulators. Second place went to Eve McCabe and Claire McAleer, who operate the Crafty Kidz crèche in Monaghan town. Clare Hamill’s Puddleduck Produce, based in Castleblayney, came third.


Brendan O’Reilly,   Chief Executive, Breffni Integrated and ILDN said “In my view every one of the twenty one companies represented here tonight are winners. They all have had different business experiences and challenges and we were delighted to be able to support them to set up their own business. I know that they have all worked very hard to get to where they are tonight, nominated for a prestigious award.


“There are 50 Local Development Companies operating throughout the country and now their representative organisation, the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN), is championing the recognition of enterprise creation in the border region through this business awards initiative with the possibility of a roll out of a national award in 2015.


Terry Hyland, Enterprise Officer, Breffni Integrated Ltd said “In the period 2010 to 2012 thirty thousand unemployed individuals sought self-employment supports from Local Development Companies while 13,753 actually progressed into self-employment.  As such we in the ILDN represent a large section of business start-ups in Ireland who unfortunately suffer from a lack of state provided supports or access to mainstream funding channels due to their size and business type which are typically services orientated”.


“These awards were conceived by the ILDN   members based in the border region to highlight the success of the self-employment supports and to applaud the achievements of those who were supported.”


The 21 Nominated Companies were:

Pamela Tracey - Cavan  High Style
Jason O'Reilly - Cavan  AJ Team Products
Colin Cassidy - Cavan  Cassidy Monumentals
Diarmaid Whoriskey - Donegal DLDC Rathmore Mechanical Services Ltd
Iain Miller - Donegal DLDC Unique Ascent Outdoor Adventure Company
JP Boyle & Kevin Boyle - Donegal DLDC uPilot Teoranta
Eilish Grant - Inishowen Grant Apparel Ltd (Clubman), The
Hugh Doherty - Inishowen Iconic Flowers Ltd
Jonathan Doherty & Christopher Lynch - Inishowen Efficient Heating & Plumbing  (EHP)
Michelle Bell - Leitrim  Manor Fitness
Adrienne Diamond - Leitrim  Adventure Gently’
M Henderson - Leitrim  Pheonix Minerva’
Eleanor Wogan - Louth  Work Wise
Lloyd Fay & Colin Berrill - Louth  Phone Station
Bronagh Gorman - Louth  Feathered Beauty
Eve Mc Cabe & Claire Mc Aleer - Monaghan Crafty Kidz
Claire Hamill - Monaghan Puddleduck Produce
Roisin McCardle Monaghan Aer Talent Ltd
Gussy Langan - Sligo  GL Engineering
Jonathan Davey - Sligo  Farmyard in Your School Yard
Lisa and Joanne Cullen - Sligo  SASTA

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