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Stephen Kelly, Top 100

Covid-19 has shone light on our makers

Stephen Kelly


Stephen Kelly is chief executive of Manufacturing NI

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O’Neills helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

O’Neills helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

�Lorcan Doherty

O’Neills helping in the fight against coronavirus by manufacturing medical scrubs at its Strabane factory

Even a cursory glance at the Top 100 tells you how important our manufacturing sector is to the economy Northern Ireland. Innovative, resilient, committed firms who make an incalculable contribution to our way of life and putting jobs in places where people want to call home and as a result building strong urban and rural communities.

Whilst some may have focused on the power of our cities to build our economy, our manufacturers have got on with business creating wealth through the dignity of work and making products which are enjoyed at home - critically bringing in a huge amount of external income to our small economy.

It is a great privilege of this job to be able to get past the factory gates and go see how and what our incredible manufacturing community make. None more so than when I was invited to the opening of the new Bloc Blinds factory in Magherafelt established to make face shields for the NHS.


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