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In Pictures: Excellent selection of images from Laois Chamber awards as Midland Steel claim top accolade

Laois Chamber Awards

Nearly 300 people were in attendance at the Laois Business Awards 2022 on Friday night, which were hosted by Laois Chamber Alliance.

Midland Steel were named the overall winners, Laois business of the year, while there were 11 category winners in total.

The black tie event took place in The Heritage Killenard, event partners for the event, with a drink’s reception and magician welcoming attendees.

Midland Steel has been a local employer in Laois since 1998, now employing 85 staff.

Establishing their business in Mountmellick, they have strived to generate local employment, be sustainable and support the local economy. They have carried out extensive high profile projects in both the UK and Ireland.

Midland Steel have shown consistent innovation, sustainability, and growth in their field.

Their recent achievements include the delivery of 26,000 tonnes of steel to Ireland’s largest private investment project, Intel.

They have also received two Rosette levels in their industry standard certifications on sustainability, as well as installing the Western World’s first Robotic Cell in their Mountmellick depot. This was a substantial achievement to move their business forward.

Laois Business of the Year Award sponsored by Laois Chamber is presented to Tony Woods with management and staff from Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies by Caroline Hofman at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Developing their new innovative Faster Fix Principle has brought them onto the international stage, delivering future jobs for Laois and allowing Midland Steel to grow internationally

They have also expanded internationally to Scandinavia and the USA, among other markets.

Guests were also treated to a spectacular performance by talented musicians from Laois School of Music and Music Generation Laois Chamber Group, directed by Carl Rochford, who performed the Game of Thrones theme, Kashmir, and Palladio on the main stage.

Excellence in Innovation award sponsored by Mulhall’s SuperValu is presented to Tony Woods with management and staff from Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies by Ger Mulhall at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The main sponsors for the event were Gas Networks Ireland, Laois County Council, and Local Enterprise Office Laois, with the night celebrating Laois business, recognising the innovation, talent, quality, and entrepreneurial spirit of businesses and people in Laois. Ronan Berry was master of ceremonies of the event, with the 11 award winners announced.

Nearly 800 nominations were received across the 11 categories.

Laois Business of the Year Award sponsored by Laois Chamber winner, Tony Woods from Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies pictured with Minister Sean Fleming, Cllr Thomasina Connell, cathaoirleach of Laois County Council; Yvonne McKeon, president of Laois Chamber and Caroline Hofman, CEO Laois Chamber at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The independent judging panel was lead by Vincent Cleary, Managing Director of Glenisk, who was joined by Mary Rose Burke, Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber, Paddy Dunican, Managing Director of Kilbeggan Racecourse, and Kieran Comerford, Head of Economic Development and Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Carlow.

Speaking following the event, Caroline Hofman, CEO Laois Chamber Alliance said:

“On behalf of Laois Chamber Alliance, we would like to congratulate all of the finalists and award winners.

Excellence in Retail award sponsored by Gerry Browne Jewellers is celebrated by Darren Strong, Mark Jackson and Shauna Blake from DS Sports at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

“We would also like to thank everyone who took the time to submit their nominations, and with nearly 800 nominations received, our judging panel had a tough task to whittle this down to the final shortlist.

“The standard of nominations received was so high, and I would like to thank our judging panel, our main sponsors, all of our category sponsors, and everyone who attended on the night and supported the event.

“We have so many amazing businesses across all four corners of Laois, and the Laois Business Awards 2022 were an opportunity to celebrate these fantastic businesses and the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and talent across the county.”

Outstanding SME of the Year Award (1-50 employees) sponsored by The Heritage is presented to Mouad Mentak from TekEir by David Mulligan FBD at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Outstanding SME of the Year Award (1-50 employees) – Sponsored by The Heritage

Finalists:

  • Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery
  • Cummins Motor Group
  • Hummingbird Interiors
  • SOLAS Eco Garden Shop
  • McElwee TotalHealth Pharmacies
  • TekEir

Winner: TekEir

Outstanding Large Business of the Year Award (Over 50 employees) sponsored by South East Technological University presented to Enva, from left: Erin Hooban, Richard Kennedy, Anne Fitzpatrick, Roger McDermott and Sheila Carroll at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Outstanding Large Business of the Year (Over 50 employees) – Sponsored by South East Technological University

Finalists:

  • Enva
  • Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies
  • Midlands Park Hotel
  • The Portlaoise Plaza
  • Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Winner: Enva

Start Up/Emerging New Business of the Year award sponsored by Local Enterprise Office Laois is presented to David Maher and John Carey from SOLAS Eco Garden Shop by Evelyn Reddin at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Start Up/Emerging New Business of the Year Award – Sponsored by Local Enterprise Office Laois

Finalists:

  • Pippa’s Parlour
  • Sásta Skin Health
  • Salutem Insights
  • SOLAS Eco Garden Shop
  • Temptation Pâtisserie

Winner: SOLAS Eco Garden Centre

Business Supporting Community Award, sposnsored by Permanent TSB is presented to Bloom HQ by Grace Callaghan, Branch Lead with Permanent TSB at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. From left: Jade Dunne, Alan Phelan, Ed Dunne, Grace Callaghan, Cllr James Kelly, Emma Cahill, David Phelan and Anita Phelan. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Business Supporting Community Award – Sponsored by Permanent TSB

Finalists:

  • Bloom HQ
  • Coco’s Quik Pick
  • McElwee TotalHealth Pharmacies
  • People First Credit Union
  • Solas Eco Garden Shop

Winner: Bloom HQ

Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality award sponsored by Fáilte Ireland is presented to Barry and Kyra Fingleton from Glamping Under the Stars by Justine Carey at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality – Sponsored by Fáilte Ireland

Finalists:

  • Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery
  • Glamping Under the Stars
  • Maldron Hotel Portlaoise
  • Midland Escape
  • Midlands Park Hotel
  • Square Coffee

Winner: Glamping Under the Stars

Excellence in Retail award sponsored by Gerry Browne Jewellers is presented to Darren Strong from DS Sports by Gerry Browne at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Excellence in Retail – Sponsored by Gerry Browne Jewellers

Finalists:

  • Adora & Co. Portlaoise
  • Coco’s Quik Pick
  • DS Sports
  • Fruit N’ Nut Health Store
  • Mueller & O’Connell Bakery
  • Winner: DS Sports
Excellence in Innovation award sponsored by Mulhall’s SuperValu is presented to Tony Woods from Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies by Ger Mulhall at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Excellence in Innovation – Sponsored by Mulhall’s SuperValu, Portlaoise

Finalists:

  • Enva
  • Laois Sports Partnership
  • Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies
  • Sásta Skin Health
  • Solas Eco Garden Shop

Winner: Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies

Best Online Presence and Social Media Award sponsored by McKeon Stone is presented to Kelly Lou Ging from Kelly Lou Cakes by Yvonne McKeon at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Best Online Presence and Social Media Award – Sponsored by McKeon Stone

Finalists:

  • Gló Design
  • Hummingbird Interiors
  • Kelly Lou Cakes
  • LaoisToday
  • Leaving Cert Guidance

Winner: Kelly Lou Cakes


Excellence in Sustainability & Climate Action award sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland is presented to David and Lisa Walsh-Kemmis from Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery by Lar Burke at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Excellence in Sustainability & Climate Action – Sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland

Finalists:

  • Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery
  • Enva
  • Glamping Under the Stars
  • Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies
  • Solas Eco Garden Shop

Winner: Ballykilcavan Farm & Brewery


Spirit of Laois Award – In Memory of Albert FitzGerald

Finalists:

  • Gerry Browne
  • Karen McHugh
  • Mountmellick Neighbourhood Watch
  • Portlaoise Family Resource Centre

Laois Business of the Year Award sponsored by Laois Chamber is presented to Tony Woods from Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies by Caroline Hofman at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois Business of the Year Award – Sponsored by Laois Chamber Alliance

Finalists:

  • Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery
  • DS Sports
  • Enva
  • Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies
  • Solas Eco Garden Shop
  • TekEir

Winner: Midland Steel Reinforcement Supplies

Bloom HQ, from left: Cllr James Kelly, Jade and Ed Dunne; David Phelan, Anita and Alan Phelan; Emma Cahill, Ashleigh Doyle and Michael Delaney at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Anna O’Connor, Emer Concannon, Alice Harrington, Rasa McMahon and Shauna Dempsey from the Maldron Hotel Portlaoise at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Darragh Nolan, Helen Flynn, Katie Kindlon and Conor Nolan from Nolan Locksmiths at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Rebecca Lawrence, Denise Keegan, Ronan Treacy, Sarah O’Keeffe, Noreen McCormack and Grainne McEvoy from Hummingbird Interiors at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Excellence in Retail award sponsored by Gerry Browne Jewellers is celebrated by Darren Strong with Angela Strong and June Strong from DS Sports at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Stephen Fitzgerald from Midlands 103 with the Spirit of Laois Award in Memory of Albert Fitzgerald and won by Karen McHugh at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Anna O’Connor, Emer Concannon, Alice Harrington, Rasa McMahon and Shauna Dempsey from the Maldron Hotel Portlaoise at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Bloom HQ, from left: Cllr James Kelly, Jade and Ed Dunne; David Phelan, Anita and Alan Phelan; Emma Cahill, Ashleigh Doyle and Michael Delaney at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
James McKeon and Orla Calt from McKeon Stone at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Powerpoint, from left: Tom Delaney, Mary McGarry, Deirdre O’Gorman, Johan Erasmus, Des Cassidy, Sean Conlon, Conor McGarry, Mai Lawlor, David Phelan and Denise Grattan at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Jim and Maria McElwee from McElwee TotalHealth Pharmacies at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Amy Delaney, Conor Mulhall and Emma Phelan from Coco’s Quik Pick at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Ann Fitzpatrick from McElwee TotalHealth Pharmacies (centre) with Bernie Poole and Mary Jo Rafferty from Fruit N’Nut Health Store at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The HHeritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Paulina and Audrius Kundrotas from TekEir at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Laois Chamber Alliance president Yvonne McKeon with Alec Silke at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Barry and Kyra Fingleton from Glamping Under the Stars; Mary Berry and MC for the evening Ronan Berry at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Tom and Miriam Dillon and Willie and Eimear Hyland from Midland Escape at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Alec Silke, Yvonne McKeon, Laois Chamber Alliance president and Alison and Gerry Browne from Gerry Browne Jewellers at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Alan Stafford, Pam Moore, Grace Hunter and Ross McAvinney from Square at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Suzanne Browne from SIB Consultancy and Anthony Egan from Gas Networks Ireland at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Geraldine Griffin, Ciaran and Darina O’Mahony and Finola Kehoe from O’Mahony Safety Solutions at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
JP Kehoe, Ger Slevin from Salutem Insights and Eoin Fitzpatrick from Finline Furniture at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Kamila Ratajczak, Chloe Breen, Ellie Doyle, Agatha Mazik and Callie Hanlon from McElwee TotalHealth Pharmacies at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Stephen Fitzgerald and Eimear Egan from Midlands 103 at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Kelly Lou, Helen and Heather Ging from Kelly Lou Cakes at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Kieran Finane from Finline Furniture; Andy Fitzpatrick from Fitzpatrick Garages and Willie Kinsella from Chapters Book Store at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Lauren and Shauna Strong from DS Sports at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Romina and Alastair Roe from VIMAR at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Bernadette Cass and Mary Jo Rafferty from Fruit N’ Nut Health Store at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Joanna Bar and Romina Roe at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Music Generation Laois at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. Picture: Alf Harvey.
Excellence in Retail award sponsored by Gerry Browne Jewellers is presented to Darren Strong from DS Sports by Gerry Browne at the Laois Business Awards 2022 at The Heritage Killenard. From left: Ray Fitzpatrick, Shauna Blake, Mark Jackson, Darren Strong, Gerry Browne, Brian Fletcher and Angela Strong. Picture: Alf Harvey.

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories