The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has congratulated Harry Hughes, Chief Executive of Portwest, the Westport-based clothing company, on winning the highly prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Minister Ring said: “Portwest is a great example of what Irish companies can achieve from a rural base.  The company has its headquarters in Westport and designs and manufactures workwear and leisurewear. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

“The story of Portwest and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award given to Harry last night is a great example for entrepreneurs in Mayo and throughout rural Ireland. The company employs more than 2,000 people across the globe and is a major employer in Westport.

“I want to congratulate the CEO, Harry Hughes, and all of his staff for their achievement. In addition to being selected as the overall winner of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Harry also won the Best International Entrepreneur category.

“This is a great accolade for a company based in the West of Ireland.  It shows that with vision and commitment, a company based in any region of Ireland can be successful in national or international markets.

“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I consistently see the entrepreneurial culture which exists right throughout Ireland.  This is borne out by the fact that the Northern and Western region of Ireland recently won the award to be one of the EU’s European Entrepreneurial Regions for 2018.

“We have people with energy, creativity and talent to be world-leaders.  The Government is committed to supporting entrepreneurship, enterprise development and job creation through the Action Plan for Jobs process and the Action Plan for Rural Development.”

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