The Northern Ireland Manufacturing Hall of Fame is a new initiative as part of Manufacturing Month, a month-long celebration of the local manufacturing and engineering sector and the talented and skilled people who make the sector one of the most important to the Northern Irish economy.

Hall of Fame 2022 Winners

Pat O’Neill

Pat O’Neill was born and lives in the village of Donaghmore County Tyrone with his wife Hilary. He started his professional life as a high school teacher in his local country school. At the same time, he worked part time in a local engineering company to help ends meet. This part time work developed and after a few years, Pat had left his teaching job and founded his own engineering company which manufactured screening and construction equipment designed by him. In the early 70’s Pat established the company’s first base in US – in Louisville Kentucky. Soon the distributor network grew to international status – throughout the United status and worldwide. Today, Powerscreen is one of the world leaders in screening and trommel equipment and remains one of the key manufacturers and employers in County Tyrone. He has written a book about his experience of setting and running Powerscreen in an attempt to pass on the valuable lessons he learned. This book is available for purchase through his office in Donaghmore, all proceeds to Donaghmore Historical Association.

Pat is no longer directly involved in Powerscreen but his business interest remains focused on the engineering and manufacturing sectors in which he and members of his family are still actively involved.

Pat is regarded as the inspiration for many of Mid-Ulster’s engineering entrepreneurs.  Many businesses and a whole, globally significant industry has been created due to him.  It’s regarded as the “Silicon Valley of heavy equipment”.

Dr Terry Cross

With business successes which stretch from food packaging, to winery and wedding venue and now a £15m distillery and visitor attraction Terry Cross is not only a manufacturing entrepreneur but rightly recently awarded as NI’s top philanthropist for his support for many causes.

Delta Print and Packaging was established in West Belfast providing work in some of the worst days in NI history.  Sold to Huthamaki in 2016, Terry rather than retiring to the chateau instead set about establishing a new manufacturing business establishing the already award winning Hinch Distillery.


Niall and Brian Irwin

The WD Irwin Bakery in Portadown was established in Portadown in 1912 moving to a purpose built factory on the edge of the town in 1995 and is world famous for their Nutty Krust loaf

Central its success is that the business remains family run.

Niall Irwin was a passionate and active supporter of the manufacturing community including being a long-term Board member and Treasurer of Manufacturing Northern Ireland.  He sadly passed away after illness in December 2018.

Where you had Niall, you always had Brian who shares his passion for NIs food and manufacturing industry including becoming Chairman of the NI Food and Drinks Association.


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