Portwest is owned and operated by three brothers Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes. Harry is the representative in the EY Entrepreneur final. Cathal’s son Cathal J and Harry’s son Henry have recently joined the business.
Harry studied at St. Jarlath’s College Tuam and Hollings College Manchester where he completed a four-year degree in Garment Technology and Production. Following the completion of his degree he worked in the UK for seven years before returning to the family business in 1978. Harry is currently married with five children from the ages of 21-28 and continues to work alongside his brother’s Owen and Cathal in building the business from nearly €200K in 1979 to over €140 Million in 2016.
Harry’s career has included managing the garment factories in Westport, Castlerea and Barnsley UK, employing over 300 staff. After globalisation in the early 1990’s, the business model changed to sourcing in Asia and the local factories ceased production in early 2000. In the last five years, the business model has changed to taking control of production and Portwest now own and operate their own factory in Bangladesh with 1,600 workers, and plans are advanced to open two more factories in Bangladesh and Myanmar.