Travel retail highlights

Young talent takes centre stage

Two dynamic young entrepreneurs have had their products listed at Shannon Duty Free as part of the fantastic Shannon Airport Young Entrepreneur competition.

Richie Lillis (13, above left) from Mitchelstown, Co. Cork and Kate McMahon (16) from Lahinch, Co. Clare were the winners in the competition, which is designed to support young entrepreneurs and give them a platform to launch their businesses. They follow in the footsteps of Evan Quaid (above centre), a 14-year-old student from Castlemahon in Limerick, who had his candle products listed at Shannon Duty Free earlier this year.

“We are blown away by the ideas, the enthusiasm and the potential of these second-level students,” said Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy. “Entrepreneurship is alive and well based on what we’ve seen in our very first year of the competition.”

Richie, a student at Mitchelstown CBS, won the award for ‘Mo Phinn’, meaning ‘my pens’. The talented woodturner designed and produced handcrafted wooden pens from Irish hardwoods. Now that’s what we call craft spirit.

Kate’s ‘SeaSea Exfoliators’ concept is also locally inspired. She capitalises on the natural environment of West Clare by packaging and selling handpicked lavender and fresh seaweed from Lahinch Beach.

(Left to right) Shannon Airport Retail Manager Alan Reynolds; SeaSea Exfoliators creator Kate McMahon and Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy [Picture: Arthur Ellis]

Mo Phinn creator Richie Lillis with Reynolds and Murphy. Richie’s grandad supplied Shannon Duty Free over 30 years ago with some Irish-made wooden souvenirs. [Picture: Arthur Ellis]

The idea arose when she needed to create and develop a product for a mini business as part of her Transition Year project at school. “I wanted to create a beauty product that was natural and wouldn’t impact the environment,” Kat said.

The brilliant competition is in keeping with Shannon Airport’s proud heritage of championing local business and of course airport retail. Shannon Airport has been the starting point for many illustrious travel retail careers, including, of course, duty free industry founder Dr Brendan O’Regan and the sector’s great 21st century statesman, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin. And one gets the unmistakable feeling that it may also have just lit the career touchpaper of two young, dynamic and inspirational entrepreneurs who are wholly in tune with the consumer needs, trends and concerns of our time.

The Moodie Davitt Report is delighted to run an advert in this publication as a tribute to the young entrepreneurs and to Shannon Airport and Shannon Duty Free for championing young talent.

Partner's message


The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 274 | 31 December 2019

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 20 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).

© All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher.

To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail