The Longford Enterprise Awards took place on the 14th March at Viewmount House.

There were a number of winners on the day including Cathy Lynch who runs a technical precision engineering company – Vobe Nitro Coffee -that has created a nitrogenated cold coffee sold in cans or in a specially designed dispensing machine.

The First runner up prize went to Christopher Kelly – Cool Air Automotive – who has developed mobile service air conditioning for automobiles, while the Second runner up went to Brian Belton of Kaber Performance who manufactures specialised parts for racing cars.

The overall winner and the company that will represent Co Longford on the domestic stage at the National Enterprise Awards later this year was Lir Agri Ltd – a local company that creates and develops a wide-range of biosecurity products for the dairy, pig and poultry industries.

Speaking on the day, Michael Nevin CEO, Local Enterprise Office said that the event provided a wonderful opportunity to recognise the real achievements of the county’s entrepreneurs.

“It is great to highlight the achievements of our local businesses; every day great things are happening for Longford businesses and we would like to do a lot more in terms of highlighting that success,” he added.

“We are always going to lose some businesses – we have lost a few traditional shops on main street there recently, but that is always going to happen; businesses are going to close for different reasons and so therefore it is important to get the new blood of business to come in and replace them and create more jobs.

“We have a solid industrial base here in Longford, particularly for a county of its size.”Cathaoirleach, Cllr Martin Mulleady (FF) also spoke on the day.Cllr

Mulleady runs his own construction business and he told those gathered that while “it’s not easy out there” and these were challenging times, the important element was to persevere.

“Businesses come and businesses go – that’s the nature of it,” he continued. “Ye are here today and that means everything is going well for ye, and hopefully that will continue so that in 10 or 20 years time your business will be very strong.

“We have seen a big change here in Longford since Christmas – there has been some very, very positive news and while we know that the county got a lot of bad news in the past, we need to be positive from now on. “Positive news for Longford is what we need going forward.”

Meanwhile, Michael Savage, who owns and runs Lir Agri Ltd – a company that started out four years ago in Granard and subsequently moved to a large premises on the outskirts of Longford town due to growth and expansion, recently, said that while it took courage to start your own business, it also took a lot of naivety!

“It’s four years now since we set up and yes, business is tough,” he added. “It’s not always rosy, but we are delighted to be acknowledged.

“We have huge ambitions for growth over the next couple of years and I want to take this opportunity to thank Longford Enterprise Office for all the help and support that they have given to us – it is very much appreciated.”

Source: Longford Leader