Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s has been named the EY Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year for 2019. The gala awards last weekend was attended by more than 1,500 people including the island of Ireland’s most prominent business leaders and the Minister of Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, who gathered to celebrate the achievements of the 24 finalists. Collectively the finalists employ more than 13,000 people and have revenues of €1.2bn.
Pat McDonagh founded Supermac’s in 1978 in Ballinasloe. It now has 116 outlets throughout the country. The group employs over 4,000 people across the island and has helped to establish up to 60 self-employed franchisees in their own successful businesses. Pat is also the owner of the Só Hotel Group, which includes six hotels, and the Plaza Group, comprising six motorway and national route service stations across the country.
Triona Mullane received the award for EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year. Her company, mAdme Technologies, allows some of the world’s largest mobile operators to better engage with their customers and is active on over 200 million mobile phones globally. Richard Kennedy, who leads the agri-technology company Devenish was named Overall and EY International Entrepreneur Of The Year™. Belfast headquartered Devenish is a supplier of animal nutrition and is active in over 40 countries.
Commenting on Pat McDonagh’s award win, Jeremy Fitch of Invest Northern Ireland said that as sponsors of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, Invest Northern Ireland warmly congratulates Pat McDonagh on his success in winning the Industry Category.
“Pat is a true entrepreneur and his achievements are outstanding.
“Through Pat’s different businesses over 4,000 people across Ireland are benefiting from employment opportunities. Pat has a great story to tell of his business journey and hopefully he can be an inspiration to many other potential entrepreneurs.”
Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland said that the diversity in terms of industries is a great sign of the health of the entrepreneurial environment on the island, which EY is so proud to play a role in supporting.
“Pat McDonagh has been at the forefront of Irish business for many years. He has created one of the island’s most recognisable brands in Supermac’s and has since moved into the hotel and motorway services industries.
“His ability to recognise a business opportunity and his attention to detail have been central to his success. His businesses employ many thousands of people across the island, making a huge contribution to the economy,” he said.
Chaired by the 2006 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Anne Heraty, the judging panel includes previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (overall and category ) winners Michael Carey, Mark Roden, Evelyn O’Toole, Dr. Edmond Harty, Joe Hogan, Jerry Kennelly, Brendan Mooney, Harry Hughes and Denis O’Brien, as well as Jennifer Melia 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.
Each year EY presents a Special Award to individuals who have made a significant contribution to life on the island of Ireland through their vision, innovation and commitment to excellence.
This year, the prestigious honour was awarded to Joe Schmidt. During his tenure as Ireland rugby coach, Joe has led his players to success on the field, which has driven higher standards in the game at all levels, improved financial health for the organisation, which will support its development into the future and his heavy involvement with multiple charities, most notably Epilepsy Ireland.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland programme is supported by Premium Corporate Sponsor: Julius Baer International; Government Agency Partners: Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI; and Media Supporters: Newstalk and The Irish Times. The Gala Awards ceremony is available on RTE Player. The 2020 programme will be open for nominations from January 2019. For further information, please visit www.eoy.ie