News & Events

Ploughing’s Local Enterprise Village showcases Ireland’s small businesses

Minister Breen officially opens the Local Enterprise Offices’ Enterprise Village

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, today officially opened the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships.

The Local Enterprise Village, which is designed and hosted by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), contains 30 small businesses showcasing their products and services from a range of sectors, that have been supported on their enterprise journey by LEOs nationwide. The Local Enterprise Village will also be visited by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, during the week.

For the next three days (18th – 20th September) artisan food and drink producers, agri-tech and tourism companies, design engineers, master saddlers, fire safety tech businesses and natural skincare producers will be housed in the Local Enterprise Village, with the opportunity to meet up to 280,000 visitors.

Some of the Local Enterprise Village clients will be using the opportunity to launch new products, which include; a new ATV security device (SUIP Manufacturing), a natural Irish skincare range exclusively for men (Airmid Skincare), a coffee blended craft beer (Dead Centre Brewing), poitin infused BBQ ketchup (Fitzpatrick’s Gourmet Ketchup), party jewellery (Emma by Jane), commercial design facility (RTR Electronics) and limited edition ploughing championships socks (Irish Socksciety).

The Local Enterprise Offices, which are funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation work in partnership with the Local Authorities and Enterprise Ireland. The 31 offices located in each county nationwide provide a ‘first stop shop’ of supports and expert advice for entrepreneurs, start-ups, micro enterprises and small businesses providing training, mentoring and financial supports.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said; “The Local Enterprise Village is highlighting the thriving small business ecosystem around Ireland and the great work that the LEOs are doing in fostering entrepreneurship in a range of sectors. My Department is very much committed to helping all businesses grow and we have put significant supports in place to ensure that every aspiring business person with a great idea is given the best possible assistance to make that idea a reality. The Local Enterprise Village is just a snapshot of Ireland’s small business owners, those entrepreneurs who had a great idea and with the support of their Local Enterprise Office, made that small idea into great business.” Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said; “I am delighted to open this year’s Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships. The Local Enterprise Village is a showcase of what is great about the Local Enterprise Offices across the country. It highlights the diversity of companies and sectors that LEOs support both in starting their businesses and assisting them to grow. While these companies may seem small, they are very much the backbone of our economy and the Local Enterprise Offices are now supporting over 7,000 client companies who are responsible for in excess of 40,000 jobs around Ireland.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, said; “Seeing the variety of clients and understanding the stories of the businesses at the Local Enterprise Village highlights that the entrepreneur economy in Ireland is alive and well. All of these businesses have made their way to market in different ways, but what is consistent is the training and support they have received from their Local Enterprise Office, be it mentoring, training or financial assistance they all have a different story of how the LEO played its part in their great stories. We will continue to give small businesses access to the supports they need to get their companies off the ground and to continue to support them as they look to grow.”Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise, LEO Carlow and Chair of the LEO Ploughing Championships Committee, said; “The Local Enterprise Village is an exceptional opportunity for all these businesses to showcase their services and products to thousands of potential customers and even potential business partners. Each of the companies is here thanks to their Local Enterprise Office support and it gives their business a great boost both from a profile perspective and with additional sales. They have all been preparing for months and have undergone Local Enterprise Office training to be here, which focused on maximising their sales and marketing. This will help ensure their stands look the very best they can be and that they know who to talk to and most importantly how to best sell themselves and their products.” The Local Enterprise Offices play a key role in developing start-ups, and business growth locally, offering a range of financial, mentoring and network supports to new businesses, existing micro-enterprises, and small businesses.

In 2017, Local Enterprise Office client companies created over 3,700 new jobs across the country and continue to support entrepreneurs and business people to start, grow and drive export development throughout the country.


For further information: Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 / Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 /

Photography Note: Reproduction-free photography from the Local Enterprise Village over the three days of the National Ploughing Championships is available from Joe Keogh Photography (Mobile: 087 934 7807).


Location: Block 4, Row 13, Stand Number 280

Jo Browne (Joanne Browne) – supported by LEO Carlow

Established in 2016, Jo Browne is the brand-name behind natural solid perfume, cologne and now skincare ranges since 2018. Her products, which are a travel-friendly alternative to perfume and cologne, are hand-made with organic beeswax in Ireland.

Fitzpatrick’s Gourmet Ketchup (Frank Fitzpatrick) – supported by LEO Cavan

Fitzpatrick’s are a Cavan-based producer of natural ketchups, marinades and sauces infused with Poitín for added flavour. Fitzpatrick’s Ketchup was recently advertised in the UK’s Fine Food Digest, which is a stepping stone for the company to start exporting to the UK market. The company is due to launch two barbeque products in the Poitin range shortly and successfully completed the Food Academy programme with the Local Enterprise Offices, Bord Bia and SuperValu.

Quirky Irish Icons (Patricia Pierce) – supported by LEO Dublin City

Quirky Irish Icons, which was set-up in 2015, are hand-crafted icons of Ireland, aimed at the Irish diaspora. Made by hand with clay, Quirky Irish Icons are fridge magnets which are on sale through The Little Museum of Dublin, Irish Design House and Glasnevin Museum Shop. The range of 17 iconic images of Ireland will also be available through Arnotts in Dublin over the coming months.

Emma by Jane (Jane Asple) – supported by LEO South Dublin

Emma by Jane is an international jewellery and clothing label created by Irish designer, Jane Asple. Emma by Jane is focused on fashion, quality and affordability and showing customers statement pieces that can complete their outfit. Emma by Jane is available online at and the brand is launching its new ‘Party Collection’ at this year’s Ploughing Championships.

Goodness Grains (Geraldine O’Shea) - supported by Local Enterprise Office Longford

Goodness Grains was established in 2013 by Paul Diffley and Geraldine O’Shea and now employ 21 people in Longford. The company fell from the family restaurant who noticed in 2010 the need for gluten free products on menus and with the difficulty in sourcing these products the family set about developing their own setting up Catex in 2013. Now they are one of the largest gluten free bakery producers in the UK & Ireland having recently moved into a 20,000 sq ft bakery in 2017, with a product range of loaves, bagels, muffins, baked goods and viennoiserie and seasonal lines. Their customer profile is 51% retail and 49% food service. They are also the only Irish producer of gluten free Danish pastries.

VivaGreen (Russell Walsh, Sean O’ Haire and David Kelly) - supported by LEO Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

VivaGreen is an Irish engineering company that researches, develops, manufactures and patents a range of compostable, plastic-free and chemical-free products. These innovative products are designed to substitute hazardous products that are used in our homes, workplaces and agriculture/landscape sector every day. VivaGreen produces a range of products, including: ‘MossOff’, the world’s only chemical-free solution to getting rid of moss; ‘GreenStake’ biodegradable landscape stakes and ‘GreenSax’ Compostable Bag range. VivaGreen will also be launching a new product in September called ‘ReMade’, which is a range of plastic refuse sacks, made in Ireland from 100% plastic waste recovered from Irish homes and businesses.

BusterBox (Liam Brennan and Paul Carrick) – supported by LEO Fingal

BusterBox is a Fingal company launched by three dog lovers in 2016 to cater for other dog lovers. On a subscription basis, BusterBox sends a monthly box of toys and healthy treats for dogs to owners all over Ireland and the UK. BusterBox employs three full time staff with plans to double the team in 2018.

The Busy Botanist (Jo Arbor and Clair Kelly) – supported by LEO Kerry

Set-up in 2017, the company sells and markets a range of herb-based drinks under the ‘Busy Botanist’ brand that contain no added sweeteners, artificial colourings or flavours. The company successfully completed the Food Academy programme through the LEOs, Bord Bia and SuperValu and in September, the company will be exhibiting at the Speciality Fine Food Fair in London, to expand into the hospitality sector.

Centrepiece Rosettes (Tara Lane) – supported by LEO Kildare

Centrepiece Rosettes, set-up in 2016, manufacture rosettes, sashes and rosette display hangers for equestrian, agricultural, canine, small animal and poultry shows. The Kildare-based company also manufacture for clients across the corporate, social and community markets and all their products are made in-house using woven edge satin ribbon.

Theft Finders (Ivan Sheridan) – supported by LEO Kilkenny

Theft Finders is an online database founded by Ivan Sheridan to help people report stolen or lost items, such as machinery, vehicles and tools. Clients can also register their valued assets, using the Theft Finders’ secure Asset Management facility, so that they are more safeguarded from theft in the future.

Dromod Boxty (Aine Faughnan) - supported by LEO Leitrim

Dromod Boxty has been an artisan producer of boxty, potato bread and pancakes since 1990, using a family boxty recipe which had been passed down through the generations. The family-run company has expanded and grown with the introduction of Health Bread, Millers Munch and Ginger Cake, which is on sale through retailers in Connaught and Leinster.

RTR Electronics (Pat O’Meara) – supported by LEO LimerickRTR Electronics was established in 2004 and employs 13 staff in Annacotty in Limerick. The company provides electronic design services, offering the design, prototyping and volume manufacturing development of electronic products and systems along with the associated software control and interfaces. RTR will launch their design facility at the Ploughing Championships, which will help new entrepreneurs get off the ground giving them a service that will turn their idea into a commercial product – all of which can be completed at RTR’s state of the art facility in Limerick.

Farm Tours Ireland (Siobhán Giggins, Aonghus Giggins and Gerry Giggins) – supported by LEO Louth

Farm Tours Ireland is a family-run, agri-tourism provider, offering fully customizable, expert guided inbound and outbound agricultural themed tour packages. A tour with Farm Tours Ireland affords unique access to top farms, food producers and agri-businesses, and takes the hassle out of organizing transport, accommodation, meals, and visits to Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Established in 2012, Farm Tours Ireland currently employs four full and part-time staff, with plans to hire an additional full-time staff member by the end of 2019.

The Studio (Alan Phillips) – supported by LEO Meath

The Studio is a specialty coffee roasting company based in Meath, importing and roasting coffee beans under the Studio brand. The company is launching its new range of coffees at this year’s National Ploughing Championships - the Barista and Aroma ranges, which will complement the Studio range to make specialty coffee accessible to consumers who want to try something different at an affordable cost. Established in 2017, the company employs three people with plans to hire two new people by the end of 2018. The company is already exporting to Germany and the UK with plans to export to Nordic countries in 2019.

Tacklelow Rugby Products (James Sheridan) - supported by LEO Monaghan

JB Rugby Innovations, trading as Tacklelow Rugby Products, offer rugby tackling equipment for boys and girls aged from 6 – 12 years of age and are based just outside Monaghan Town. The company, which was set up in 2012, manufactures and supplies size specific tackle bags and training bibs under the brand name of TackleLow. The company is exhibiting at this year's Ploughing Championships for the first time and plans to expand into the UK market.

Intellicom (Neil Wisdom) – supported by LEO Offaly

Intellicom develops, sells and supports cloud-based telephone, contact centre and connectivity solutions to the Irish and European Market. With the use of the intellicom | intune Telephony Portfolio and the intellicom | inform Customer services portal, the company improves staff and customer communications, efficiency, productivity and satisfaction. The company can deliver cost savings and a better way of communicating for businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors and has customers across 15 countries.

Dead Centre Brewing (Liam Tutty and Billy Tutty) – supported by LEO Westmeath

Established in September 2017, Dead Centre Brewing was the first craft brewery to be set-up in Co. Westmeath. The company’s first beer was the Marooned Oatmeal IPA, quickly followed by seasonal beers called </sourcecode> and Seeking Sunshine (a session pale ale and a summer IPA). The company is currently working on their next product - a collaboration brown ale with Bell Lane Coffee in Mullingar for launch at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.

Little Big Bikes (Simon Evans) – supported by LEO Wicklow

Little Big Bikes design and sell a range of adaptable children’s bicycles, which are convertible balance bikes. Their three-in-one design, with pedals, allows the bicycle to be adapted to suit the needs of a child as they get older. Hand-assembled in Ireland, Little Big Bikes are exported to over 50 countries.

D-Plant Horticulture (Brendan Doyle, Paul Doyle and Robert O’ Connor) – supported by LEO Wexford

D-Plant Horticulture propagation nursery was established in 1997, providing propagation services to nurseries, garden centres, foresters and other growers in Ireland. Since 2009, their focus has turned to the propagation of Eucalyptus plants to produce biomass and wood fuel. They are a pioneering business, leading the way in establishing Eucalyptus as one of the major contributors to the offset of fossil fuels in Ireland. The business currently employs two fulltime and two part-time staff, with the aim of doubling this within four years.

Hightower Painting Products (Keith Mc Grory and Colin Byrne) – supported by LEO Waterford

Hightower Painting Products, set-up in 2017, has invented a patented paint bucket system that is extendable and mobile. The system is designed to reduce the need for climbing up and down ladders when painting at heights. The Hightower product range offers both DIY enthusiasts and trade professionals a faster, safer and hassle-free painting experience.

Irish Socksciety (Joanna Zalech, Aleksandra Kieldanowicz) – supported by LEO Galway

Irish Socksciety design high quality, eye-catching affordable socks inspired by Irish humour, well-known sayings and the Irish lifestyle. Set up by two Polish entrepreneurs in Galway, the company also designs promotional socks for companies and charity organisations and have produced over 30,000 pairs of socks since October 2017. One of the most prominent owners of a pair of Irish Socksciety socks is An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D.

Firemole (Sean O’Tuoma) – Supported by LEO Cork City

Firemole is a fire safety tech product that attaches to electronic devices to protect from overheating. Firemole can be attached in seconds to your electronic device and will sound an inbuilt alarm once a temperature of over 60 degrees is detected. Developed by electrician Sean O’Tuama to combat a rise in electrical fires, Firemole have been sold internationally to Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

SUIP Manufacturing Company (Pius & Elizabeth McCloat) – Supported by LEO Sligo

The company began in 2015 as they developed the idea of a sprayer attachment for ride-on lawnmowers that would also consumers to spray their lawns as they cut. After funding from their Local Enterprise Office in Sligo they went into production and after two exhibitions at the Ploughing in 2016 & 2017, sales soared. They have now developed a range of attachments for ATVs and will unveil a new ATV security device at the Ploughing Championships this year.

Airmid Natural Handmade Skincare (Kevin Lynch) – Supported by LEO Clare

Airmid was established in 2015 based out of the UNESCO Global Geopark in Clare, they produce a range of natural and ethically sourced products including soaps, oils and candles. Established to be easy on eczema which both Kevin and his son suffer from, Kevin, an organic horticulturalist, they now have a full range of skincare products for men and women. Airmid is named after the Irish goddess of herbs and healing to the Tuatha De Danann, Ireland’s magical ancient tribe. They will launch a new “Green Man” luxury skincare range at the Ploughing Championships.

Le Skinny Chef (Aymar Goudet) – Supported by LEO Laois

Established in 2016, Le Skinny Chef have created a range of artisan soups, sauces, dips and pesto allowing consumers to create restaurant quality dishes at home. All the products are naturally gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. Supplying 55 stores across the country Le Skinny Chef have won the Great Taste Award in 2016 and 2017 and in 2018 will begin to supply to the Dunnes Stores Simply Better range. They will launch a new Tomato Provencal sauce at the Ploughing Championships.

Roscarbery Biltong (Maurice Allshire) – Supported by LEO Cork N&W

Rosscarbery Biltong was launched in September 2017 by Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd and is a high protein, dried beef snack for on the go. The snack has already taken silver at the 2017 Blas Na hEireann awards. It is created in their on-farm production unit using locally sourced ingredients. The company, which is a family affair, was set up by Willie and Avril Allshire in 2000 and now their two sons, William and Maurice are employed their as they build a 50-seater on-farm tourist facility to present visitors to the region with West Cork Farm Tours.

De Roiste Foods (Jimmy Allen) – Supported by Local Enterprise Office South Cork

Set up by Jimmy Allen, De Roiste Foods are artisan breakfast meat producers. They produce a range of black pudding, white pudding, rashers and sausages. Based in Ballyvourney in Cork they are winners of two Blas Na hEireann Awards.

Wildwood Balsamics (Fionntan Gogarty) – Local Enterprise Office Mayo

Wildwood Balsamics produce a range of artisan vinegars infused using wild berries, blossoms and herbs. The range, which have been awarded a raft of awards including two Great Taste gold stars, gold and silver at Blas na hEireann and number 1 food to watch by the Irish Food Guide, comes in flavours such as wild garlic, elderflower, fuschia, wild mountain thyme, wild rose petal and rosemary.

Saoirse Saddlery (Alan Ward) – Local Enterprise Office Roscommon

Established by master saddler, Alan Ward, Saoirse Saddlery has been at the heart of cutting edge saddle design and manufacture in Ireland since 1999. Exporting all over the world the company creates bespoke and off the shelf saddles along with a range of other accessories for horses.

Tipperary Boutique Distillery (Jennifer Nickerson) – Local Enterprise Office Tipperary

Run by Jennifer Nickerson, Stuart Nickerson and Liam Ahearne, the trio are producing a world class single malt whiskey from the fields of Ballindoney Farm in Tipperary. Jennifer, who grew up around distilleries all her life, 9 to be exact before the age of 18, is a chartered accountant and tax advisor bring those skills to her passion for whiskey. Stuart Nickerson has spent over 35 years working with Scotland’s finest distilleries and now consults to distilleries in Ireland and Scotland, whilst overseeing the production of Tipperary’s unique blend. Liam Aherne farms the land in Ballindoney producing the finest barley for production. Tipperary already have three IWSC award winning whiskeys on the market; Rising, Knockmealdowns and Watershed, with another new whiskey beginning its three-year aging process.