Anne Heraty, founder and chief executive of CPL Resources, has become the first woman to win the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

She was named as winner of the international category before receiving the coveted overall title last night.

Founded in 1989, CPL Resources is a provider of recruitment and human resource services. It operates through a network of 12 offices including Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Laois, the UK and Poland and has a workforce of 250.

Richard Barrett of Treasury Holdings was named Industry Entrepreneur of the Year and Alan Scroope of FreeFlow won the Emerging Entrepreneur award. A special award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Sean Kelly, former President of the GAA in recognition of his part in the development of GAA sports.

Last night's winners were chosen from a total of 24 finalists, shortlisted by a judging panel from over 150 entries. The panel was chaired by Denis O'Brien. The awards are now in their ninth year and are supported by the Irish Times, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and the Ryan Academy and are sponsored by Ulster Bank.

Longford-born Anne Heraty will now go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2007.