Late Irish-American entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons awarded the 2018 Kennedy-Lemass Medal
[DUNBOYNE, Ireland] – Alltech’s founder, the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, has been honored with the Kennedy-Lemass Medal by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.
During Fourth of July celebrations, Barry O'Sullivan, president of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, announced that Irish-American entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Lyons is this year’s recipient of the Kennedy-Lemass Medal. The award honors U.S. leaders of Irish heritage who have helped strengthen the Irish-U.S. relationship.
Speaking on Dr. Lyons’ achievements, O'Sullivan described him as someone who “truly lived the American dream.” He said that “we will continue to be inspired by the legacy of individuals such as Dr. Lyons, who had the courage and skills to turn a vision into a reality.”
In the late 1970s, Dundalk-born Dr. Lyons immigrated to Kentucky with his young family and established Alltech in his garage with an initial investment of $10,000. Today, Alltech has a global team of more than 6,000 people in over 120 countries. The company is focused on improving animal, crop and human health and performance, and stays true to Dr. Lyons’ distilling roots. In Ireland, Alltech has its European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, County Meath, the Pearse Lyons Distillery at St. James in the Liberties, County Dublin, and Station Works Brewery in Dr. Lyons’ hometown of Dundalk, County Louth. In the U.S., Kentucky is home to Alltech’s headquarters in Nicholasville, the Alltech Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition, and seven production facilities, including Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., which produces Town Branch® Bourbon and the Kentucky Ale® line of craft beers, and the newly opened Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery in Pikeville, which celebrates Eastern Kentucky’s connection to Ireland. In 2015, Pikeville and Dundalk signed a historic sister-city agreement at the suggestion of Dr. Lyons.
“My father was passionate about Ireland and the United States, and he spent his life promoting both countries around the world,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president of Alltech. “He had an extraordinary ability to bring people from all walks of life together to make a difference in the world. This was especially true when it came to cultivating and supporting scientific, ag-tech and agricultural endeavors between the U.S. and Ireland.”
During his lifetime, Dr. Lyons was awarded many honors, including the Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement and the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal in recognition of the creation of a global business based on scientific research. Dr. Lyons also received the RDS Gold Medal Award for Enterprise for his contribution to Irish business.
“Pearse was passionate about his heritage and making a difference in the world,” said Mrs. Deirdre Lyons, Alltech co-founder and director of corporate image and design. “He used his boundless philanthropic spirit to inspire those around him. For Pearse and me, making a difference in the world by empowering others has been an everyday reality of our personal and professional lives.”
Image download: https://photos.alltech.com/pf.tlx/P-6PQkP-1Xf4l
The late Irish-American entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons was this year’s recipient of the Kennedy-Lemass Medal. The award honors U.S. leaders of Irish heritage who have helped to strengthen the Irish-U.S. relationship. Pictured with the Kennedy-Lemass Medal are the wife and son of Dr. Pearse Lyons, Mrs. Deirdre Lyons and Dr. Mark Lyons. Photo credit: Conor McCabe Photography.