Young Meath businesswomen honoured by Horse Racing Ireland and Leopardstown Racecourse

Meath, Research and Innovation, Summerhill

Madden_Damien Leopardstown_July 2015

It was great to make a brief visit to Leopardstown Racecourse this evening Thursday 9th July 2015 to congratulate Meath young businesswomen Annie (13) and Kate Madden (14) on their continued business success which was honoured by Horse Racing Ireland at the South Dublin racecourse.

Katie and Annie were asked to judge the best turned out horse in each race at the recent evening meeting in Leopardstown, a great honour for them personally, and great publicity for their company Fenuhealth.

The Madden sisters, who hail from Summerhill are the force behind Fenuhealth, an additive for horse meal company which took the BT Young Scientist Competition by storm earlier this year, and who the Irish Independent have named as one of Ireland’s 30 hottest new start up companies.

The girls’ research showed that 70% of horses preferred horse feed flavoured with their product, compared to unflavoured feed, leading to an immediate market for their product. The girls have a delivery of 2,000 units due to them this week, of which 1,000 are already presold, mostly to the export market. Their product has been tested to Olympic Council, Turf Club, Jockey Club and FEI standards meaning it is safe for competitive horses to use.

Michael Connolly of Connolly’s Red Mills has been a big supporter of the increasingly well stocked and distributed product and he accompanied the two girls to the German equine fair, Equitana, two weeks ago.

Statement on Facebook investment in Clonee, Co. Meath

Meath, Research and Innovation

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Facebook’s decision today to place its second major European data centre in Clonee, Co. Meath, further confirms Ireland’s international reputation as a prime data centre location of choice, and firmly puts Meath on the map as a hub for future Foreign Direct Investment, and as a location that combines excellent quality of life with ease of access to Dublin, to the European Union and the wider world.

Facebook joins the long list of international companies who have faith and confidence in the enduring sustainable nature of the recovery underway in Ireland, and who see Ireland as an important bridge head between the USA, the UK and the European Union.

Locally in Meath, our flexible well educated labour force, who enjoy an excellent quality of life in the County, as well as easy access to city life, are also important attractions and factors for Foreign Direct Investment.

I want to congratulate the Council’s Chief Executive Jackie Maguire, recently retired Council Cathaoirleach Cllr. Jim Holloway and the Council’s Economic Director Kevin Stewart and their team of staff. They have landed the first big catch of their recently launched Economic Development Strategy for the County. They have started as they mean to go on. This news will now serve as a magnet and example to others.

This announcement not only brings vital Foreign Direct Investment into Meath, it also brings jobs in construction, in overall running and maintenance and in spin off and related services.

It will be a magnet for similar Foreign Direct Investment as well as an inspiration for local Meath entrepreneurs, who we are keen to support locally through the Local Enterprise Office of Meath County Council and nationally in Government as well.

Launch of new Meath Economic Development Plan today

Jobs, Meath
Delighted to b joined by fellow Meath TD's Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty at the Meath Economic Development Plan launch today

Delighted to be joined by fellow Meath TD’s Helen McEntee and Regina Doherty at the Meath Economic Development Plan launch

I want to commend Meath County Council, its Cathaoirleach Cllr. Jim Holloway, Chief Executive Jackie Maguire, Economic Director Kevin Stewart and all their hard working staff for the launch of the new Meath Economic Strategy 2014-2022.

Those who contributed their practical experience and expertise to this strategy as part of the Meath Economic Forum under former Taoiseach John Bruton must also be thanked.

As I told the launch event today, only a positive, unified, consistent and evidence based approach will win new jobs, new business and new investment for Co. Meath.

Through the Strategy Launch, and the work feeding into it, Meath is announcing proudly to Ireland and the World that it has the people, skills, location infrastructure and native business ‘know how’ and success to greatly enhance and expand any outside enterprise that wants to make its home here.

The New Stone Age monuments of Newgrane, Knowth, Dowth and Loughcrew are often cited from a tourism point of view, and rightly so. But they also represent Meath’s proud history of innovation and invention established over 5000 years ago right up until the present day. That is the spirit and the energy we must channel into in the years ahead.

Meath County Council’s approach in putting itself front and centre at the heart of enterprise promotion in the County is one of the most progressive in the country. It represents a true embracing of the potential of last year’s Local Government reforms.

County Councils are about improving the quality of life of a County’s citizens. Good quality sustainable jobs are the best guarantee of quality of life. New sustainable locally based jobs are also the best guarantee that Meath County Council has the resources it needs to keep Meath at the forefront in enterprise, in tourism and in overall quality of life indicators.

The boom years were symbolised by excess and wasted opportunities. Whilst Meath got a legacy of excellent motorways it missed out on FDI and became a dormitory County for Dublin. Now as recovery takes hold, Meath must be aggressive and unapologetic in promoting its own interests to the country, and to the World.

All of us, no matter our political loyalties or personal ambitions, must go out and sell a message of positivity and hope about Meath’s future and potential. It is time for us all to don the  Royal jersey and work together.

This issue transcends politics. It is about parish and place. It’s about jobs to keep people at home, and jobs to bring people back home. The massively successful Tayto Park adorns the Meath jersey, and its ‘can do’ and ‘never say never’ approach and achievements should inspire us as Meath people in both sport and in business.

Launching Meath's new 2020 Economic Plan

Launching Meath’s new 2020 Economic Plan