Prominent Sion Mills businessman, Kieran Kennedy, awarded MBE

Prominent Sion Mills businessman Kieran Kennedy is to receive an MBE in recognition of services to Business and the Economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 3:58 pm

Kieran is synonymous with the successful expansion of O’Neills Irish International Sports Co. Ltd over the last 42 years.

The outgoing Managing Director, retiring later this year, took the opportunity to thank everyone for their support.

He said: “Whilst I am obviously delighted to be awarded with an MBE I am very much aware that it’s not just about me. I am supported by a wonderful team and loving family without whose help and dedication, none of our achievements would have been possible.

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Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director O'Neills
Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director O'Neills

“Growing up in Sion Mills, which is synonymous with integrated education has allowed me to directly experience the benefits of working together. By accepting this MBE, I hope to send a clear message that by truly integrating as a society we can achieve more.”

Mr Kennedy also holds key roles as Chairman of 21 Training, Chairman of Strabane BID and board member with Invest Northern Ireland. Kieran is also the only Northern Ireland representative from manufacturing to the Department of Trade and Industry trade advisory group.

Alan Moore, Director of Strategic Capital Development for the Western Health & Social Care Trust offered warmest congratulations to Mr Kennedy on this significant National Honour.

He continued: “During the Covid crisis, Kieran and O’Neills worked tirelessly to support the health services in the North West through the production of critically needed Personal Protective Equipment.

“Kieran through these efforts also ensured the protection of employment within the local community and is very much seen as a relentless advocate for the North West. He is entirely worthy of this national recognition for which he is warmly congratulated.”

Paul Clancy, Chief Executive of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce praised Mr Kennedy for his tireless efforts in growing the local economy: “Kieran is a prominent figurehead for the North West business community. He has led several high-profile trade missions alongside local councils to help businesses in the region gain a stronger foothold in the US market. The Chamber warmly congratulates Kieran on receiving his MBE.”

Mr Kennedy has completed several business-focused qualifications throughout his career, including the Business Growth Programme run by Invest NI and the Critical Leadership Programme at Queen’s University Belfast. He also accomplished the Leadership 4 Growth programme supported by Invest NI and Enterprise Ireland with modules in New York and Barcelona. In 2019 the Co Tyrone man was awarded the Global Ireland Award at the Golden Bridges conference in Boston in recognition of his business leadership over the past three decades.

Kieran Kennedy will receive his MBE in early 2022.

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