The annual Digital DNA Awards returned at the end of April, with 700 people packing into the ICC Belfast for the energetic and lively in-person show. It was the first in person show for 3 years that saw 15 awards presented, recognising the very best talent amongst individuals, projects and companies. The event also presented the coveted Global Recognition Award, an award that was first presented back in 2018 to the Late Brian Conlon.
The award is a true celebration that recognises the achievements of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the growth of the tech sector in Northern Ireland and who has achieved significant success on a global scale.
The Global Recognition Award at this year’s Digital DNA Awards was presented by Jeremy Fitch from Invest NI to FinTrU’s CEO and Founder, Darragh McCarthy and was followed by a lively fireside chat live on stage at the ICC Belfast with host Holly Hamilton. During the interview, Darragh commented that Northern Ireland needs to be more ambitious and to believe in our local talent to grow the next generation of unicorn companies. His interview was well received by the capacity crowd from right across the tech community, with two standing ovations and many of the crowd agreeing with his sentiment that “the age of the FDI is over.”
Darragh started his career at Morgan Stanley in 1994 and remained there until late 2012. During his time at Morgan Stanley, Darragh was based in London, Frankfurt and New York and held various responsibilities including Global COO for Institutional Securities, COO for EMEA, Head of Fixed Income Sales North America and Head of Fixed Income Sales EMEA. In 2013, he founded FinTrU, recognising the increased demand from Global Investment Banks for high-quality resources to navigate the ever-increasing regulatory landscape. Whilst managed as a profit-driven organisation, Darragh also considers FinTrU as having a social purpose to create high-quality professional employment.
FinTrU is a multi-award winning technologically enabled Regulatory Solutions company employing over 1,000 people across offices in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, London, Dublin, Maastricht and New York. Darragh has been a Board Member of the Belfast Chamber since June 2020 and the Innovation and Growth Advisory Board for the City of London since June 2021.
He also has a First Class Honours BComm International from University College of Dublin, Ireland. Originally from County Cork, Darragh now lives in Belfast. He is married with 3 children and speaks fluent German and Dutch.
Commenting on receiving the award Darragh said:
“I am greatly honoured to be accepting this award on behalf of the fantastic team we have at FinTrU. Without the hard work, commitment, energy and leadership from the FinTrU employees across our global offices, I would not be collecting this Global Recognition Award today.
“I am very proud to be accepting this accolade given the high calibre of recipients in recent years. Thank you very much to Digital DNA for hosting such a fantastic event, and for celebrating the very best that the Northern Irish Technology industry has to offer on the global stage.“
Digital DNA’s CEO, Simon Bailie said:
“The global recognition award is a major highlight of our annual awards and is an important reminder of the significant contributions that people like Darragh have made to the Northern Ireland tech sector.
It is only the fifth time we have presented the award and I am delighted that Darragh is this year’s recipient. Darragh is a giant in the local tech industry and his contribution alone has transformed the local NI tech sector. I cannot think of a more worthy recipient this year and I am sure there will be a lot of people in the Northern Ireland tech sector raising a glass to Darragh’s achievements.”