Business News

EY announce finalists for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014

By Business & Finance
07 May 2014

EY today announced the 24 finalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 programme.

Competing against leading entrepreneurs throughout every corner of the island, the 24 finalists were selected in three categories – emerging, industry and international. 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.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year identifies, profiles and celebrates entrepreneurial trailblazers, regardless of sector, for their dedication to excellence, innovation and ingenuity.  Representing the full spectrum of industries at the core of Ireland’s economy, the 24 finalists, together, employ 6000 people and generate annual revenues of €628m.

Announcing the shortlist, EY’s Frank O’Keeffe, partner-in-charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, said: “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. Together with our 24 finalists, they are a true testament to the entrepreneurial talent driving our nation forward.”

He continued: “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.”

The entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by 2002 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year,  Pádraig Ó Céidigh, which included Denis O’Brien, Jerry Kennelly, Anne Heraty, Liam Casey, Brian Long, Terry Clune, Pat McDonagh, Dr Edmond Harty as well as representatives from  Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern 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 and Vancouver at the end of May. Referred to as a ‘game-changer’ among the Entrepreneur Of The Year community, the CEO Retreat will include executive education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and University of Washington in Seattle, both of which are ranked in the Top 30 universities in the world.  Special guest lectures will also be held by Singularity University as well as master classes with globally recognised entrepreneurs and C-suite members of some of the world’s biggest multinationals.

“Ireland’s business owners were particularly hard-hit by the economic downturn and now is the time to accelerate their ambition and focus their sights on the global opportunities that lie ahead” commented O’Keeffe at today’s announcement. “Through the support of the programme, our aim is help our 24 finalists continue to grow robust businesses, stimulate job creation and stay ahead of the curve well into the future.”

The winners from each of the three categories as well as the overall winner will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Gala taking place in Dublin on October 23rd.  The overall winner will then go on to participate at World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monte Carlo in June 2015.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 finalists are:


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


  • Pat McCann – Dalata Hotel Group plc
  • John Purdy – Ergo Group
  • Vincent Cleary, Gerard Cleary, Brian Cleary & Mark Cleary – Glenisk
  • Ian Haldane – Haldane Shiells Group
  • Michael Hall & Lorraine Hall – Kestrel Foods
  • Gregory O’Gorman & 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