Ned Harty, director of Dairymaster was presented with the ‘Business Leader of the Year 2022’ award at the Business Leaders’ Gala Dinner and Awards held at the Rose Hotel in Tralee, Co. Kerry last night (Thursday, May 12).

The event honours the entrepreneurial spirit and achievements of Kerry-based business leaders.

It brings together established and emerging business entrepreneurs from across the county with the purpose of celebrating inspiring Kerry business owners. 

Ned Harty said: “I am delighted to accept this prestigious award. Our aim is to build better products for dairy farmers around the world and I’m delighted to see the company continue to grow.

“Many of the team that are here with me have worked with me for 40 years; collectively we have over 300 years’ experience, it’s amazing.”

During his acceptance speech, Ned thanked his wife Maureen, family, staff and customers along with the organisers of the event.


Ned founded Dairymaster in 1968 from humble beginnings and now Dairymaster is one of the world’s leading dairy and agri-tech companies with customers in over 40 countries worldwide.

Ned has dedicated his life to the dairy industry and has seen many changes in his lifetime, technology has significantly advanced, and he has been to the forefront of new ideas.

The organisers of the awards said that Ned is a modest man who has great rapport with farmers globally.

He was recognised for his genuine interest in making farmers’ life better and easier through his innovations. He reportedly gets great satisfaction from customer feedback and how it has made a difference to their lives.

Fergus O’ Meara, international business development manager, who is with the company over 30 years commented: “Respectful, leader, innovator, talented, are some of the words that come to mind when one speaks of Ned.

“He created a culture of innovation and development which continues to inspire us every day.

“Many is the time we have been told to “use your own judgement”; he believes in his customers, his people, his company, his product and his service.”

Kerry awards 

Commenting on the event, Brid McElligott, chair of the Kerry Innovation Centre said: “Kerry Innovation Centre is a not-for-profit organisation with a remit to support and advance enterprise activities across Kerry.

“We are delighted to be able to recognise the achievements of our award recipients and thank them in person for their role in creating meaningful employment and opportunities for the people of the county.

“Each of these leaders has demonstrated incredible entrepreneurial drive, determination, and ability, as they spearheaded the growth of a global business from Kerry.”

The awards are supported and sponsored by Kerry Innovation Centre, Kerry County Council and EY.

Special guest on the night was Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny who congratulated the winners as he delivered the after-dinner speech.