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Donegal delight as two progress to IBYE National Finals

Donegal finalists in the Regional Final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Competition were from left Deidre Ward, Unlock; Thomas McLaughlin, Tadáias and Ciara McGlynn of Niche Specialist Systems.

Donegal will have two businesses in the National Finals of the competition for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) in March after Thomas McLaughlin of Tadáias and Ciara McGlynn from Niche Specialist Staffing Partners scooped their respective regional titles this week.
County winners from Longford, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal competed in three sections – Best Business Idea, Best Start Up and Best Established – with the Donegal winners taking the honours in two of the three categories.
The Regional Finals were hosted by Local Enterprise Office, Donegal this year and Thursday night’s awards ceremony was held in Solis Lough Eske Hotel after the businesses had spent the day pitching to the judging panel.
Thomas McLaughlin of Tadáias Premium Cycling Apparel was the Donegal winner of the Best Established Business in December and he said he was thrilled to take the regional Title in the face of some strong competition.
“It is really great to win another award and to go on now to Google for the national final. It is more validation for the company and reward for all the hard work put in. It is great to have that from your peers.”
Ciara McGlynn of Niche Specialist Staffing Partners, made it a night of double success for the county when she took the award for Best Start Up Business.
“I just can’t believe it. It is the national final now and I just can’t believe it.”
A former player with the Republic of Ireland Soccer team, Ciara is no stranger to the big stage.
“I was asked that, how did playing for the Republic of Ireland prepare you for business on a global scale? What I told the judges was that anything I put my name to I am going to make sure it works and make it at the highest level possible. Whether that was for Republic of Ireland in soccer or Niche in international business.”
While Donegal won two of the three categories on the night, the winner of the Best Idea category was won by Sligo’s Noel Dykes, who pipped Donegal’s Deirdre Ward of Unlock, Longford’s Warren Belton of Magma Clava and Leitrim’s Raymond McBdie of Nowee for the title.
All three Regional winners now progress to the National Finals to be held in the Google Headquarters in Dublin on Sunday March 4.
Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020

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