Tipperary based social entrepreneur awarded €40,000 in funding and support to change Ireland for the better

James O’Neill wins place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards programme





Tipperary based social entrepreneur awarded €40,000 in funding and support to change Ireland for the better

Pictured (l-r) are Darren Ryan, CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland; James O’Neill, founder of Property Marking Ireland and SEI Awardee 2019; and Donal Murphy, Chief Executive of DCC plc – flagship sp

Social entrepreneur, James O’Neill based in Drangan, Co Tipperary has been announced as one of the winners of the 2019 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Awards, supported by DCC plc. Mr O’Neill of Property Marking Ireland is one of six social entrepreneurs addressing social problems through innovative solutions to have won a place on this year’s SEI Awards programme. The announcement was made Wednesday, October 9 at the SEI Awards Celebration at the Mansion House in Dublin.

The SEI Awards programme identifies high-potential social entrepreneurs and supports them through significant funding and mentoring, as well as providing access to a network of support. Since its foundation in 2004, SEI has supported more than 300 social entrepreneurs, who in turn have impacted the lives of more than 1.7 million people across Ireland. The 2019 Awards programme attracted 120 applications from across Ireland, with 40 applicants making it through to a bootcamp in Croke Park in May. Twelve of those made it to the finalist stage in June and the opportunity to pitch for one of six places on the programme.

Property Marking Ireland is a community-led crime prevention initiative. It uses a combined strategy to deter crime through a mixture of marking goods and property with a specially designed machine and large signage. Mr O’Neill is from Westmeath and is based in Tipperary.

Commenting, Mr O’Neill said: “Without organisations like SEI, organisations like Property Marking Ireland and other social enterprises might never be able to provide innovative responses to real-life problems. SEI provides vital funding and practical supports to help us achieve our mission. This recognition and validation means a huge amount, and will allow us to grow our work in communities all around Ireland.”

CEO of SEI, Darren Ryan said: “Over the past 15 years, SEI has led the way in identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs in Ireland. The calibre of the 120 applicants to the Awards programme this year is testament to fact that there are social entrepreneurs in every community across the country. What is most inspiring is people aren’t just coming up with new ideas, they are working tirelessly to put them into action.

“The courage, ambition, energy and commitment demonstrated by the 2019 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardees to solving the social problems they have identified is truly inspiring and this year’s Awardees are already starting to change Ireland for the better. I would like to congratulate James and I look forward to seeing the Property Marking Ireland project evolve into highly impactful, effective, scalable, and sustainable organisation.”

This year’s Social Entrepreneurs Ireland 2019 Awardees also include: Alma Jordan of AgriKids: a farm safety education programme that aims to engage, educate, and empower children to be farm safety ambassadors through classroom resources, interactive workshops, storybooks, and a child-friendly game app; Tracy Keogh of Grow Remote: an organisation that works to end the rural emigration that is depleting the Irish countryside; David Neville and Pádraic Hogan of jumpAGrade, an innovative online model for the provision of secondary school grinds; Boris Hunka of The Ease Project, a programme aimed at recognising, normalising and treating anxiety in students, and Dr Maria Garvey of Helping Hands, an anti-bullying programme that provides schools with the tools and training to enable teachers to identify and prevent bullying before it can start.

DCC plc, the international sales, marketing and support services group founded and headquartered in Dublin, is the flagship supporter of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards programme.

For more information on this year’s Awardees and the work of SEI, visit