Launching the 2014 UTV Business Eye Awards at UTV Studios in Belfast are (l-r) Orla McKibbin, Communications Director at UTV Media; Paul Simmons, Chief Commercial Officer, Flybe and Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye. Paul Simmons, Chief Commercial Officer Flybe (second left) presents Business Personality of the Year to Eamonn Donaghy, KPMG (centre). Also pictured is Brenda Buckley, Commercial Director Business Eye (second right) with Flybe cabin crew members Ken Boyd and Natalie McSorley.

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TAX CAMPAIGN LEADER TAKES TOP BUSINESS AWARD

WITH expectations high that David Cameron will soon announce the devolution of corporation tax powers to the Northern Ireland Executive, the leader of the business campaign for lower corporatioj tax here has been honoured at a major awards ceremony.

Eamonn Donaghy, a partner at KPMG in Belfast, took the Business Personality of the Year title at the 2014 UTV Business Eye Awards with Flybe.

The awards, now in their eighth year, were presented at a gala event held at the Culloden Estate & Spa last night (Thursday 23rd October).

Decora Blind Systems, a fast-growing Lisburn-based company employing 500 people and manufacturing blinds for sale all over the UK, took the coveted Company of the Year title.

Other key winners on the night included SME of the Year The Rug House, a company selling rugs to customers in 30 countries worldwide from a 60,000 sq.ft. Warehouse in Newry, Co. Down. A second Newry company, Norbrook Laboratories, took the International Award for its continued achievement in export markets.

It was a poignant achievement for one of Northern Ireland's leading companies in the year that it lost its Chairman and Chief Executive, Edward Haughey, in a tragic helicopter accident.

Joseph Doherty, the driving force behind a third Newry company, ReGen Waste, was the winner of the hotly-contested Young Business Personality of the Year category, while innovative Belfast IT company Novosco took the Employer of the Year Award.

Flybe's General Manager for Market Development, Andrea Hayes, a member of the judging panel, commented that the entries for the 2014 awards were of a higher quality than ever before.

"We were delighted with the all-round quality of the entries, and the Awards once again produced some excellent winners, both individuals and organisations."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Television, said:

"This year’s awards have once again showcased the strengths and successes of the business sector in Northern Ireland. Businesses here have continued to look for opportunities of expansion and investment and UTV is delighted to be part of recognising and celebrating these top achievers and organisations in such a positive way.

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