EY names 24 finalists for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ 2014

7 May 2014

(From left) Tom Hayes of Enterprise Ireland, Jeremy Fitch of Invest Northern Ireland, EY Partner Frank O'Keeffe, Margaret Hearty of InterTradeIreland, and chairman of the Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel, Pádraig Ó Céidigh

EY has named its 24 finalists for the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Between them the 24 finalists employ 6,000 people and generate annual revenues of €628m.

The awards programme received nominations from 25 of Ireland’s 32 counties, as well as Irish entrepreneurs based in other locations, including California, London, New York and Frankfurt, Germany.

The 24 finalists were selected from three categories: emerging, industry and international.

An independent judging panel of previous winners chose the finalists. The panel, chaired by 2002 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Pádraig Ó Céidigh, also included Denis O’Brien, Jerry Kennelly, Anne Heraty, Liam Casey, Brian Long, Terry Clune, Pat McDonagh, Dr Edmond Harty, and representatives from Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland.

“We’d sincerely like to thank all of the phenomenal businesses that entered this year’s programme and applaud the tremendous contribution they make to Ireland’s economy, north and south,” said EY’s Frank O’Keeffe, partner in charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year programme.

“Together with our 24 finalists, they are a true testament to the entrepreneurial talent driving our nation forward.

“Our independent judging panel had a very difficult task narrowing the entrants down to these 24 outstanding entrepreneurs who were selected on the basis of their vision, leadership and resilience through one of the most challenging economic periods in our history.”

Last week, EY announced plans to create 486 jobs in Belfast. The company is also in the process of creating 80 new jobs in the Republic of Ireland.

The 24 finalists will join a group of 110 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, for a week-long CEO retreat taking place in Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of May.  

The 24 finalists for EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014


  • Bill Walsh – Aspire Technology Ltd
  • Tony Judge – Clubs to Hire
  • Terry Fox – Cupprint
  • Oisin Hanrahan – Handybook
  • Sean Mitchell and David Moloney – Movidius
  • Andrew Murphy – Sláinte Healthcare
  • Brendan O’Driscoll and Aidan Sliney – Soundwave
  • Pat Phelan – Trustev Ltd


  • Pat McCann – Dalata Hotel Group plc
  • John Purdy – Ergo Group
  • Vincent Cleary, Gerard Cleary, Brian Cleary and Mark Cleary – Glenisk
  • Ian Haldane – Haldane Shiells Group
  • Michael Hall and Lorraine Hall – Kestrel Foods
  • Gregory O’Gorman and Marian O’Gorman – Kilkenny Group
  • Brian Crowley – TTM Group
  • Ian Wilson – Wilsons Auctions Ltd


  • Brian Comer and Luke Comer – Comer Group
  • Stuart Dobson – Elmgrove Foods Ltd
  • Mark Roden – DING!
  • Dermot Smurfit – Game Account Network plc
  • Mark Hutchinson – Hutchinson Engineering
  • George Mullan – SIS Group Ltd
  • Gabriel Moynagh – Sysnet Global Solutions
  • Mike Stack – Tricel

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years