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Cushendale flies the Kilkenny flag

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

A LOCAL craft manufacturing business from Graignamanagh will represent County Kilkenny at the National Enterprise Awards. 

Philip and Mary Cushen along with their daughter Miriam from Cushendale Woollen Mills have been nominated to represent Kilkenny at the National Enterprise Awards in the Mansion House, Dublin on June 2.

Cushendale Woollen Mills is the sixth generation of the family business and one of last remaining mills in Ireland that continues to operate as a vertical mill, working with the sheep’s fleece and processing it, all under the one roof.  

Cushendale has distinguishing characteristics by way of its rich and authentic heritage, using a distinctive process including traceability and sustainability and its ability to position itself in the bespoke luxury market.  

It also offers an authentic mill retail experience where visitors can view a range of exceptional textiles showcased against the backdrop of the historic mill. 

Cushendale has a strong Irish customer base and also export to Japan, whilst the US and Canadian markets have been growing significantly in recent times.  


Since the inception of the Local Enterprise Office and formerly the County Enterprise Boards, Cushendale Woollen Mills has been supported with grant assistance towards salary costs and capital investment. 

In recent times, it has also availed of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme to enhance its online presence and ecommerce website.  

The Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant has supported the business to attend international trade fairs and developing marketing material specifically for their targeted export markets. 

“Cushendale Woollen Mills will compete against 30 finalists from each Local Authority for a share of the €35,000 winner’s prize fund as national judging gets underway in May,” Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office old Kilkenny Press  

“Categories include Best Export Business, Best Start-Up and Innovation, in addition to eight regional awards.  

“There are also two new National Enterprise Awards with a One to Watch award and a Sustainability/Green award. 

Run every year by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network, the National Enterprise Awards were set-up to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector. 

Previous national winners from Kilkenny include Mileeven, Mechanical Modular Solutions and MyBio. Further details about the supports available to local start-ups and small businesses at www.localenterprise.ie/kilkenny.

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