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Crospon shortlisted for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award 2011

Shortlisted entrepreneurs leading the way to economic recovery

Monday 16th May 2011

Announcement of the shortlist for the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Programme
Twenty-four of Ireland’s premier business leaders have been shortlisted for the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award 2011. A record 140 nominations were received for this year’s awards. Speaking at the announcement of this year’s shortlist, Frank O’Keeffe, Ernst & Young Partner-in-Charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® Programme spoke of the unprecedented level of interest for this year’s awards and acknowledged the unique contribution made by Ireland’s entrepreneurial community.

"As Ireland continues on the path to economic recovery, we need to look towards and celebrate our entrepreneurs and their businesses. The record number of nominations received this year is a testament to the resilience and ambition of these exceptional individuals and their teams supporting them. The entrepreneurial business community continues to prove that businesses in Ireland can and does still succeed in extremely challenging business conditions, both domestically and globally. The unyielding ambition and drive demonstrated by these finalists should inspire us all and will be vital to help ensure the next generation of economic success across the island".

Padraig O’Ceidigh, Chairman of Aer Arann and winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in 2002, is once-again chair of the 11-strong panel of judges. The 24 businesses that have made it to the final stages employ a staggering 11,000 individuals. Eight companies have been selected in each of three categories – Emerging; Industry; and International – representing a diverse array of business sectors ranging from insurance, food production, engineering to online services. Winners from each of these three categories, in addition to the recipient of the overall Entrepreneur Of The Year® award, will be announced at a televised Gala Awards Ceremony to be held in October.

This year’s finalists will be joined by members of the programme’s extended entrepreneurial community at the annual CEO Retreat, which will take place in India in June. During the week-long trip, participants will engage in a number of workshops and leadership strategy sessions, meet with key Indian industry leaders, and develop a wide network of contacts, all of which will assist the Entrepreneur Of The Year® community to develop and build on their own winning strategies.

The 24 finalists are:


  • Annadale Technologies - Denis McCarthy
  • Blue Insurances Ltd/ Ciaran Mulligan & Rowan Devereux
  • Bubblebum UK Ltd - Grainne Kelly
  • Joule - Ronan Ginnell & Ian Barrett
  • Crospon - John O'Dea
  • Crowley Carbon Ltd - Norman Crowley
  • The Now Factory - Tom Morrisroe
  • Dublin Aerospace - Conor McCarthy


  • Homecare Independent Living - Mairead Mackle
  • PFH Technology Group Limited - Paul Hourican
  • Itsabagel Ltd - Domini & Peaches Kemp
  • Largo Food Exports - Raymond Coyle
  • Noonan - John O'Donoghue
  • Argento - Peter Boyle
  • Centre For English Studies - Justin Quinn
  • Version 1 - Justin Keatinge


  • Openet - Joe Hogan & Niall Norton
  • Telestack Limited - Adrian McCutcheon
  • Texthelp Systems Limited - Mark McCusker
  • MJM Group - Brian McConville
  • Munster Simms Eng Ltd (Whale Water Systems) - Patrick Hurst
  • XSP - Brendan Farrell
  • Intune Networks Ltd - John Dunne
  • Sammon Contracting Group Ltd - Miceal Sammon

Brian Conlon, founder and Chief Executive of First Derivatives Plc, was named as the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® and will represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year® Awards in Monte Carlo later this year, where he will compete for the global title.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® is part of a global recognition programme, to identify, acclaim and support entrepreneurs and is currently run in over 50 countries, across six continents. The Irish programme, now in its 14th year, continues to go from strength-to-strength, championing the spirit of enterprise and creating a new era of opportunities for participants.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year programme is supported by Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, Intertrade Ireland.

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