The Venue

The Galmont, formerly the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Galway

Join us to celebrate Hardware Association Ireland’s 80th anniversary in style, Tuesday 1st May 2018, spend the day hearing from top class speakers, meeting friends old and new and networking at the largest all-industry gathering in 2018.

This time it’s heading west, to the four-star Galmont, formerly the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa in Galway. With over 260 bedrooms available and located on the banks of Lough Atalia and overlooking Galway Bay, the hotel is just a three-minute walk from Eyre Square, five minutes from the popular and bustling shops, pubs and restaurants of Galway’s main Quay Street, and the main railway and bus stations. The hotel is situated two hours from Dublin and two and a half hours from Cork by car.

Facilities at the hotel include a fitness and leisure experience featuring a spa, Greco-Roman swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and outdoor hot tub, which has wonderful views across Lough Atalia; several dining options including a Grill, Bar and Lounge and Sushi in the Sky. The hotel recently featured in The Irish Times Best 100 places to stay.

The format is a one-day conference kicking off at 10am with speakers and lunch, and closing the day with a number of seminars on topical and useful subjects. The informal part of the day starts in the evening with pre-dinner drinks, dinner and entertainment. 300 members of the industry attended the inaugural Hardware Conference in Kilkenny in 2016 and gave a 100% recommendation that they would return to the next Conference so we’re looking forward to a large crowd.

Hotel Reservations

To book a hotel room, visit, Click “Book Now” on the top right of the home page, select your date and enter the following promo-code: Gal002, to avail of our special delegate accommodation rates of €135 for single occupancy or €145 for double occupancy including breakfast per night. These rates are available with the above promo-code on Monday the 30th of April and Tuesday the 1st of May.


Master of Ceremonies (MC) – Sarah McInerney

We are pleased to introduce Sarah McInerney as the MC for the day at The Hardware Conference 2018.

Sarah is presenter of ‘The Sunday Show’, a politics and current affairs programme on TV3. She regularly contributes political columns to The Sunday Times. Before moving to TV3, Sarah hosted Newstalk’s Drivetime Show with Chris Donoghue, which was named IMRO Current Affairs Show of the Year, 2017. She also won the IMRO News Broadcaster of the Year award 2017.

Before her move to broadcasting in 2016, Sarah worked as political correspondent with The Sunday Times for eight years, covering politics during the worst years of the economic crash. During that period she was also a regular stand-in presenter for Vincent Browne on his late night TV3 current affairs show.

Chanelle McCoy – Chanelle Pharmaceuticals

Chanelle, Lady McCoy co-founded Chanelle Medical, part of the multi-million pound global company Chanelle Pharmaceutical Group based in Galway (Ireland’s largest Pharmaceutical Company, being responsible for over 400 people and turning-over in excess of €100m). Chanelle was recently ranked no. 23 in the ‘50 incredible people shaping modern Ireland’ and is the newest dragon on the TV series Dragons’ Den here in Ireland.

Chanelle Medical & Chanelle Veterinary develop and manufacture generic (copycat) drugs, holding more than 3000 medical product licenses in over 93 countries. They have won many awards, including the Life Science Award at the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards 2017, Exporter of the Year 2016, Export Innovation of the Year 2016 and the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award 2015 amongst others.

Harry Hughes – Portwest

Harry Hughes is the CEO of Portwest, an Irish multinational workwear company based in Westport Co. Mayo that specialises in the design and production of protective clothing, safety footwear, work gloves and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Portwest was founded by Charles Hughes, Harry’s grand uncle in 1904. Revenues at Portwest have grown from close to €200,000 in 1979 to more than €165 million in 2017.

​Harry Hughes was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 and is recognised as a visionary leader who has built a world class business that continues to grow at over 30% per annum and now employees over 3000 people worldwide.

Prof. Alan Ahearne – NUI Galway

Alan Ahearne is Director of the Whitaker Institute and Professor of Economics at NUI Galway. He is a member of the Commission of the Central Bank of Ireland and Chair of the Joint ESRI/Department of Finance Research Programme on the Macro-economy and Taxation. He has served as adviser to the IMF, as research fellow at Bruegel, and as economic adviser to former Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.

Before joining NUI Galway, he was Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, where he worked for seven years. His areas of expertise are macroeconomics and international finance. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University.

More speakers to be announced.

All of the 2016 speakers and presentations are available to HAI members on The Hardware Education Hub. Both video recordings and slide decks of presentations are available here. For access please contact HAI on 01 298 0969 or


Headline Sponsor – Intact Software

Gold Sponsors

Thanks to the support of our Gold sponsors, Ames True Temper, Bostik, Glennon Brothers, Saint Gobain (Gyproc Isover), Irish Cement, KingspanTegral and Wavin

Highlights 2016

Just a quick note to congratulate you all on your hard work and the resulting excellent conference. Was both informative and enjoyable, and if anything, you’ll be victims of your success as I can see it becoming a major date on our industry’s calendar.

Jason O’Mahony

HPC Group

On a personal note I want to congratulate you on what I think was a very professional and worthwhile event with a high level of Quality in both attendees and content.

I have attended a lot of these events particularly in the UK and have to say that this event certainly ranks in the top end and is a great advertisement for the Trade in Ireland.

Fergal McKeown

Murdock Builders Merchants

I struggle to remember being at a better conference for agenda topics and subsequent delivery of same.  It’s clear the amount of work put into such an event was massive let alone the attention to details.  From arrival with a quick, easy receipt of name badge/pass and welcome pack through to the attentive and courteous hotel staff right through the day and a half.  Seriously enjoyable.

Ray Savage


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