Innovation and job creation were to the fore as three start-up businesses emerged as winners at the DLDC Wild Geese Irish Whiskey 2014 awards.
They were uPilot from Annagry, which makes flight simulators; outdoor adventure company Unique Ascent from Dungloe; and Rathmore Mechanical Services from Ballyshannon.
Each of the businesses got a cheque for €500 and now goes forward to the regional enterprise awards in Cavan in June.
The presentation of the awards took place in the Central Hotel in Donegal Town on Friday night.
There was a special award for outstanding achievement for Diane Harvey and D’s School of Motoring and Training in Killybegs. She also received €500.
Twelve businesses were shortlisted for the awards out of hundreds set up under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme, operated by Donegal Local Development Company. All the businesses have been started by people who were out of work or made redundant.
Louise Brogan, enterprise co-ordinator with DLDC, said it was a night to celebrate the achievements of people who’d come through tough times and developed viable sustainable businesses.
“The awards have brought twelve Donegal businesses into the limelight but there are many more that could also have been on the shortlist. This is about giving hope to people who are unemployed and saying there’s something out there for them.”
The awards were presented by Aaron Maugham from the sponsor of the awards, The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Company. Speakers at the award ceremony also included Michael Conway of Ardara, who won the overall Enterprise Award in 2011; James Cassidy of the Healthwise Pharmacy group; Caoimhin MacAoidh, DLDC chief executive; and marketer Nicola Lacey, who acted as MC.
uPilot Teoranta, set up by John Paul Boyle and Kevin Boyle, uses cutting-edge technology in developing flight simulators. At the moment they’re developing a Boeing 727-800 series simulator.
Unique Ascent, operated by Iain Miller, takes people to explore Donegal’s most beautiful, remote and wild places, and has created ten part-time jobs. Rathmore Mechanical Services, set up by Diarmaid Whoriskey with business partner TJ O’Mahoney, has employed between six and twelve people since starting in 2009. It offers heating, plumbing, air-conditioning and other services.
If you’re unemployed or have recently been made redundant, you can take a business idea – from IT to hairdressing – to Louise and her colleagues at DLDC. Contact Louise on 07497 23368 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey visit www.thewildgeesecollection.com or contact Aaron Maughan on +44 (0) 8700 339 866, +44 (0) 7760 388 276 or email@example.com
The shortlisted companies were – Aoife Dorrian, Shining Stars Montessori and crèche, Letterkenny; Kerry Harvey, Design Your Moments, Donegal Town; Diane Harvey, D’s School of Motoring and Training, Killybegs; Iain Miller, Unique Ascent – Outdoor Adventure Company, Dungloe; John Paul Boyle and Kevin Boyle, uPilot Teoranta, Annagry; Andrew Montgomery, Dano’s Petshop, Stranorlar; Yvonne Gallagher, Flour Pot cafe/restaurant/home catering, Laghey; Diarmaid Whoriskey, Rathmore Mechanical Services, Ballyshannon; Amy Slevin, hair salon, Ballybofey; Aiden McGuirk, neuromuscular therapist, Letterkenny; Selena Hosford, home baker, Milford; and Aoife Nielsen, online t-shirt/hoodie and gift printing business, Donegal Town.Tags: