National Enterprise Town Awards: Nenagh

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

Nenagh is gateway to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Its strategic location off the M7 Motorway in close proximity to Lough Derg, Limerick City, Shannon Airport and the Foynes Port area gives it a competitive advantage.  

With a population of 8,968 in the 2016 Census, Nenagh is a town with strong agricultural roots that developed as a market town. It is now home to a multitude of nationalities and embraces different cultures and traditions.  

The town has an existing base of large-scale indigenous industry but has also benefited from foreign direct investment with global fintech company First Data developing a R&D centre in the town.

The Silvermines mountain range lies to the south of the town and historic attractions include Nenagh Castle, the Heritage Centre and the ruined Franciscan Abbey.

The Fair of Ormond

Historically a market town serving the agriculture hinterland with industries including brewing, tailoring, printing, monument sculpting and an iron works, prominent local businesses that have grown to scale include Abbey Machinery, makers of farm equipment, Carey Glass International and Mackey Plant Construction.

The town is also the original home place of John and Patrick Collison, founders of the Silicon Valley unicorn and payments giant Stripe which is valued at close to $23bn.

Nenagh boasts a strong heritage and cultural tradition including Nenagh Castle & Garden, Gaol complex, Arts Centre, Genealogy & Heritage Centre and other distinct heritage features.

The town has a myriad of cultural, sporting, community and business organisations demonstrating the strong prevailing community spirit. 

This includes a strong retail sector that consistently returns commercial vacancy rates below average for Tipperary and Munster as well as a wide range of food and drink offerings suiting all tastes, pockets and daytime/evening requirements.

The town has a strong festival culture delivering a wide programme of events.

On the business front, it boasts a strong history of enterprise creation; from sole traders to long-standing family businesses, now trading at national and international level.

This is underlined by a true co-operative spirit with collaboration between businesses, the local authority and Nenagh’s community.

Local initiatives include the development of facilities such as the Community Wellness Garden, the Community Allotments, Nenagh Lawn Tennis Club, the Nenagh Restorative Justice Programme, the Castle Garden, the Stereame Partnership, the Lough Derg Marketing Group and the Retail Excellence and Nenagh and District Chamber of Commerce Town Revival Initiative.

Nenagh’s enterprise tradition as a market town, historically known as the Fair of Ormond, to the success of local manufacturers and local entrepreneurs doing well on the global stage will set it apart as a vibrant business centre for a long time to come.

Nenagh image: Wikimedia Commons

Published by John Kennedy (

Published: 6 September, 2019