Harry Hughes, of Portwest, and now one of the three Hughes brothers who only last week, successfully completed the acquisition of the historic Westport House and estate, was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ for 2017 at the 20th annual awards ceremony held in Dublin. Over 1,500 business leaders from across the island of Ireland were in attendance at the awards gala, alongside guest of honour, Tánaiste, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald to celebrate the achievements of the 24 finalists. The 2017, finalists, collectively employ over 5,200 people and last year generated revenues of almost half a billion Euro.
Anne Heraty, Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Judging Panel said:
“Each year the standard and diversity of entrepreneurs gets higher and we saw a number of outstanding businesses across all three categories. As the finalists progress through the programme, I along with my colleagues on the judging panel put them through a rigorous judging process. This year Harry Hughes stood out – he is a visionary leader who has built a world class business from his roots in Westport, Co Mayo. Harry personifies the entrepreneurial spirit and is a role model for any aspiring entrepreneur. The Judges were impressed with Harry’s clear thinking, his perseverance, commitment to his team, community and his humility. In selecting him as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2017, we are recognising the excellence and innovation he has brought to the business to help drive it to these heights.”
The winners are selected by an independent panel of judges chaired by Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources plc. The panel includes previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (overall and category) winners Michael Carey, Mark Roden, Terry Clune, Dr. Edmond Harty, Joe Hogan, Jerry Kennelly, Brian Long, Pat McDonagh and Denis O’Brien as well as Joe Healy from Enterprise Ireland and Jeremy Fitch from Invest Northern Ireland. When determining the winners, the judges evaluate a number of criteria, including: innovation; value creation; strategic direction; financial performance; national and global impact; and the entrepreneur’s contribution to society and industry.
Speaking at the awards gala in Dublin, Tánaiste, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald said:
“The Entrepreneur of the Year winners and nominees have shown great leadership to achieve success in their businesses. I am privileged to speak at this event to celebrate their leadership and vision. I wish to acknowledge the jobs entrepreneurs create and the contribution you make to the economy. I would like to wish all the finalists here tonight the very best for the future.”