Offaly based entrepreneur to compete for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year title

Donnacha Hurley, Motor Mania Ltd is among the 24 shortlisted Finalists who will compete for the coveted title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 on Thursday 21 November in Dublin. Collectively, the 24 finalists employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of €1.2bn.

Offaly based entrepreneur to compete for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year title

Donnacha Hurley Motor Mania Limited photo by Richie Stokes-13

2019 marks the twenty-second anniversary of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in Ireland. The prestigious business awards programme is divided into three categories – Emerging, Industry and International – with eight finalists chosen per category. The 24 finalists have been selected by an independent panel of judges made up of former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winners including Anne Heraty, CEO of Cpl Resources plc and Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Judging Panel.


A winner will be selected from each of the three categories and from these three winners, an overall winner will be announced and crowned as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019.  The overall winner will then go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monaco in June 2020, competing against over 60 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe. This year, Ireland was represented by Cork men, Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger from Teamwork.


As an Electrical Engineer Donnacha  Hurley has had an almost thirty-year career in industry spanning Ireland, the UK and the US in Electrical Construction, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Aer Lingus as CEO of TEAM Aer Lingus. Since 2001 Donnacha has focused on developing Motor Mania Limited through its shareholdings in companies in the specialist sectors of Vehicle Conversions through Wilker & AJES and in the distribution of water/waste water pipes, valves and fittings via M+G which has been serving Irish Water, Merchants & Contractors for over 60 years from its base in Tallaght. Company sales are both public sector as well as commercial customers throughout Ireland, the UK and markets further afield including Abu Dhabi, Cyprus, Trinidad, Tasmania, Channel Islands, Falklands, etc. Specialist vehicle convertors Wilker & AJES hold a leading market position in Ireland & UK primarily serving the Emergency Services of Ambulance, Police, Fire & Military as well as undertaking general vehicle conversion work for industrial and commercial use. Its Ambulance Conversions can be seen on the streets of Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester, London and Abu Dhabi. Wilker employs 200 people in its factories with headquarters in Clara, Co. Offaly and has UK factories in Cheshire and Manchester.


Chaired by Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources plc. The panel includes previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (overall and category) winners Brendan Mooney, Michael Carey, Mark Roden, Evelyn O’Toole, Dr. Edmond Harty, Joe Hogan, Jerry Kennelly, Harry Hughes and Denis O’Brien as well as Jenny Melia from Enterprise Ireland and Jeremy Fitch from Invest Northern Ireland.


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The 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ finalists are:

Emerging Category

  • Mark Dowds, Trov, Antrim
  • John Mullins, Amarenco Solar, Cork
  • Tom Cronin, Rye River Brewing Company, Kildare
  • Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray, Provision Vehicle Cameras, Dublin
  • Sonia Deasy, Pestle & Mortar, Kildare
  • Ian Nolan and Alex Kelly, Brightflag, Dublin
  • Triona Mullane, mAdMe Technologies, Dublin
  • James and Timothy McElroy, HouseMyDog, Dublin

Industry Category

  • Matt Ryan, Press Up Entertainment Group, Dublin
  • Pat McDonagh, Supermac’s Holdings, Galway
  • Mark Whitaker, Johnson & Perrott Motor Group, Cork
  • Patrick  Derry, DRT (NI) LTD, Armagh
  • Peter and Una Kearns, The Institute of Education, Dublin
  • Ashley McCulla, McCulla (Ireland) Ltd., Antrim
  • Laurence O’Kane, IMED Healthcare, Derry
  • Donnacha Hurley, Motor Mania Limited., Offaly

International Category

  • Richard Kennedy, Devenish, Antrim
  • Andrew              Day, Keywords Studios, Dublin
  • Lily Holmes, PB Machine Tech, Carlow
  • Paul McKenna, mac-group, Armagh
  • Philip Noone, Aalto Bio, Dublin
  • Shane Evans, Scrapinghub, Cork
  • Brian Leslie, Seaquest Systems, Donegal
  • Lulu O’Sullivan,, Dublin



The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme is a global recognition programme run in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Currently in its 22nd year, the programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland’s high-growth entrepreneurs and is considered one of the strongest programmes globally.

Over a 10-month period, the 24 selected finalists will engage in a strategic programme of activities geared towards accelerating their professional growth and development. This year’s programme includes the CEO Retreat, executive education, tailored business consultations, networking events and extensive media profiling. The winner will be announced at the prestigious awards Gala held in Dublin in November 2019.

The country winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of the Year™ programme from around the globe will go on to compete for the coveted title of EY World Entrepreneur Of the Year™ at the global awards ceremony held in June 2019. The 2018 winners of the Irish EY Entrepreneur Of the Year™ programme, Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger of Teamwork will represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in June 2019.




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