Today, Tuesday 20th September, Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O'Connor spoke just before the winners were announced for this year's Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards.
Speaking at the Ploughing Championship in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Minister Mitchell O'Connor discussed her own roots, including the fact that she herself 'is a farmer's daughter'! Mary currently holds the position of Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and has held the title since May of this year.
Mary expressed her 'delight at being here at the Innovation Centre', and described the projects being undertaken by all of those involved as 'wonderful'. Mary met many of the Irish agri-tech and food industry members last night and also today at the Ploughing. In her speech, she praised Anna May McHugh who is involved with the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Awards at the Ploughing each year.
Mary explained how she herself is from a small village in North Galway: 'I came from a two teacher school, and by God I'm proud of it!'
"What I want to say to you really, is that we are absolutely targeting rural and regional Ireland for jobs. That's why this event is so important. We were in Limerick today announcing 300 jobs; we announced 675 jobs today and some of the really good farming engineering companies I met last night, Dairymaster, Keenan's, Cross Agri, and McHale's, [are really wonderful examples] of innovation.
"I want to say thank you to the agency Enterprise Ireland, whose tagline is 'Where Innovation means Business', and that's what we're all about," concluded Minister Mitchell O'Connor.
Shortly after, the International Gold Medal winner was announced: Gary Cross and Cross Agri!
To watch the Minister's speech, click here.