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18/12/18 - Killybegs firm wins Donegal’s top Enterprise Award


Local Enterprise Awards 2018

Finalists in the 2018 Donegal Enterprise Awards pictured

with Cathaoirleach, Councillor Seamus O’Domhnaill;

Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely;

Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney; Brenda Hegarty,

Assistant Head of Enterprise; Eve Anne McCarron, Business

Advisor and Eileen Magnier of RTE was MC for the awards.



Killybegs firm wins Donegal’s top Enterprise Award



Killybegs Engineering firm MMG Welding Ltd was the toast of the Donegal business world at the weekend, when the firm scooped both the Best Established Business and Best Overall Business at the 2018 Donegal Enterprise Awards.



The Awards, held in the Radisson Blu Hotel and hosted by Local Enterprise Office, Donegal, also saw long-serving Buncrana business woman Rosaleen Hegarty of Crana Knits awarded a special ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award,’ while Ballybofey-based O’Reilly Sports took the award for Best Start-Up Business.



Four businesses battled it out in the start up category – Rhythm Nation, Ballybofey; O’Reilly Sports, Ballybofey; The Rusted Pixel Letterkenny, and Forester Products, Letterkenny, with The Rusted Pixel named as runner-up in the category.



In the Established Business section, there were 11 businesses in contention for the honours – Welditz, Carndonagh; Shine’s Seafood, Killybegs; Yes Chef Catering, Killygordon; Signworx, Convoy; BizzPrint, Letterkenny; Efficient Renewables, Muff; Consilium Education, Letterkenny; Bolt On, Ramelton; McMonagle Marble, Mountcharles; MMG Welding, Killybegs and Robert Beirne Engineering, Killybegs. 



In that category, Welditz, Carndonagh, was awarded the runner-up prize.  Speaking after the awards were announced, Martin McGuinness, owner of MMG Welding Limited, praised his work team, saying success like this simply would not be possible without them.



“I was surprised when I was announced as the winner and I wasn’t expecting it – we have done a lot of work over the past few years developing the company but to actually come first in any competition is a big achievement.



I am very lucky – the backroom team is the whole thing. I am on the floor all the time but you can do that when you have a good team – you can’t run a business without a good team. The only thing I will compliment myself on really – is on putting such a good team together,” he said.



Winner of the Best Start-Up Category, Martin O’Reilly said he was equally surprised and thrilled to have won.


MMG Welding Ltd - Local Ent Awards 2018 379x269

Martin McGuinness from MMG Welding Ltd receives his

winner’s award in the Best Established Business category

at the Enterprise Awards ceremony in Letterkenny on Friday

from Mayor Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill, Head of Enterprise

in Donegal, Michael Tunney and Chief Executive of Donegal

County Council, Seamus Neely



“I am absolutely speechless that we have won. This time last year I was teaching junior infants. I was in the classroom in Castleknock until June and since then it has really accelerated, it has been quite successful for us. Obviously we have a lot more work to do, but we are looking forward to it.”



Martin is joined in the business by his brother Stephen and the pair have ambitions to grow the business even further.



“Stephen is heavily involved in the business with me and we have decided that the next step is to try and bring some of the manufacturing into our own hands.



That would be a medium term plan, in the shorter term it would be to get the website up and running, the Facebook up and running and really tap into that and try to get as much custom out of that as we possibly can.”



Earlier Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney had congratulated all of the finalists and said they could all be proud of having come through a stringent process to get so far.



“Every business can look back to where they have been, but they should also be always looking ahead to where they want to go. Perhaps there is no better time to do that than now – as we come towards the end of one year and look towards the start of a new one.



With that in mind it is great to see we have so many businesses here in Donegal who are planning ahead to the future with confidence and the Local Enterprise Office will be delighted to help businesses planning for the future to reach their potential.”



Those sentiments were echoed by Cathaoirleach Seamus O’Domhnaill who urged businesses in Donegal to stick together, to work and collaborate together and to continue to be proud of what they are doing.



The Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely, also praised the resilience and determination of the businesses in the county.



“There are challenges you can plan for, but something like Brexit is hard to plan for when the decision making is in essence somewhere else. What is encouraging is that you are saying - it’s going to happen, we’ll meet the challenges,” he said.



Meanwhile, having scooped the overall Enterprise of the Year title for 2018, Martin McGuinness and MMG Welding Ltd can look forward to representing Donegal on the national stage at the National Enterprise Awards.



“One thing everyone can be assured of,” he said “we will do our very best for Donegal.”



Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020. To contact the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, log on to or phone 0749160735.


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