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Businesses from Westmeath had the opportunity to meet buyers from all over the world this week as part of the Local Enterprise Showcase at Showcase 2023 in the RDS in Dublin.  There were over 100 Local Enterprise Office supported businesses from across the country present at the event with three in attendance from Westmeath


The businesses who were exhibiting from Westmeath this year are:


  • BamBrew, based in Milltownpass, who create fun, eco-friendly lifestyle products, providing alternatives to single use plastics
  • Dominic O’Brien, from Athlone, a talented artist and illustrator
  • Fox & Bell Goldsmiths, also based in Athlone, bespoke jewellery designers and handmade and hand finished, fairtrade Irish bench goldsmiths


These local businesses were all exhibiting at the Local Enterprise Showcase, part of Showcase 2023, that saw over 4,000 buyers from retailers across the globe attend the three-day event in Dublin looking to secure new sales and partners for the year ahead.  Upwards of €20 million in business was expected to have been transacted across the three-day event.


Dara Calleary, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment officially opened Showcase 2023 at the RDS, Dublin. The show, which marked its 47th edition this year and ran until Tuesday 24th January, is one of Ireland’s largest and most important international trade fairs. Showcase is presented on behalf of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally, and the Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.


Minister Calleary saidIt’s great to be here and see some of the incredible products on display. Ireland is globally renowned for its craft and design, and Showcase is the international launchpad for so many Irish makers to achieve this recognition. Craft plays an integral part in Ireland’s economy, and I wish each maker the best of luck during Showcase.”


The Westmeath companies were selected by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath to take part in this year’s Local Enterprise Showcase at Showcase 2023.  They have been working closely with them in recent months to ensure they are in the best possible position to maximise their appearance at the event including sales technique, marketing materials and stand production. 


Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise for Westmeath County Council believes this is an opportunity like no other for up-and-coming craft and design clients looking to make that break through. “To be exposed to this many high-quality buyers in one place is an incredible opportunity for any business starting out. If things go well at this event, a business could fill their book for the year and may well establish a partnership that could extend longer than that and help them grow. While that won’t happen for every business, just to be here, see other clients, get new ideas and develop their skills in marketing and sales will stand by them going forward.”


Rosemary Steen, CEO of Design and Crafts Council Ireland said “Showcase is now in its 48th year and we were delighted to welcome buyers from Ireland and all over the world who play a vital role in creating a stage for Irish craft and design. This year 380+ exhibitors joined us to highlight and grow their businesses. I want to thank the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office, and of course the RDS for supporting such an important event in the Irish Design and Craft calendar.”


It was another strong year for Local Enterprise Showcase exhibitors as part of the Showcase Awards with several Local Enterprise Office client companies securing awards and recognition through the Showcase awards programme including the top award for 2023 for Tom King of An Gobha, supported by Local Enterprise Office Meath. 


Winner of Overall Best Product Award – Iron St. Brigid’s Cross by Tom King of An Gobha Iron Works and Experience. An Gobha offers immersive and interactive experiences of traditional iron age metal forging delivered with theatre, stories, myths, and legends in Bohermeen, Co Meath. An Gobha also manufactures and sells handcrafted metal decorative objects based on ancient Celtic symbols and artefacts of the Boyne Valley, Ancient East. Tom has created the St. Brigid’s Cross as a work of art based around the traditional cross, with depth and with colour, to mark the new national holiday celebrating our female Patron Saint, St. Brigid.


Best Product Category Winners:

  • Showcase Best Product – FASHION: Linda Wilson, Linda Wilson Knitwear
  • Showcase Best Product – HOME: Kathleen Leadbetter, Jerpoint Glass Studio
  • Showcase Best Product – GIFT: Serena Grimes, Snugí Babóg Knitwear
  • Showcase Best Product – JEWELLERY: Garrett Mallon, Garrett Mallon Jewellery
  • Showcase Best Product – WELLNESS: Annarita Monaldi, Craft Around the Clock


Other Showcase Award Winners:

  • The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Design Ireland Award – Linda Wilson, Linda Wilson Knitwear 
  • Local Enterprise Showcase Award – Síne Dunne, Siest Sleep
  • Sustainability Award - Eoin Shanley, Copperfish Lighting Company

 Siobhan Gibbons Bambrew

For more information on Local Enterprise Showcase 2023 and supports available to those operating in the design and crafts sector, log on to www.LocalEnterprise.ie and for more information on Showcase 2023, log on to www.ShowcaseIreland.com

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 02/02/2023