Lifetime Achievement for Business Commitment Award Winner


Award sponsored by Fermanagh Herald

Award sponsored by Fermanagh Herald

Lifetime achievement award for the Fisher king

EVERY year the Fermanagh Herald honours an individual who displays a special commitment to the county over many years.

This year’s winner of the Lifetime Achievement award was no different. As put by UTV’s Paul Clark on Friday night, over his career Ernie Fisher, formerly of Fisher Engineering, has displayed “dedication, vision and hard work” he is well known and respected by all here in the county.


Testament to that hard work and dedication was, for example, was the fact that following the tragic death of this brother, Bertie, and his niece and nephew in a helicopter crash in 2001, Fisher Engineering, with Ernie at the helm, not only delivered the Belfast Waterfront Hall on time, but ahead of schedule.

“I think if you have good employees in any company and a good management team everybody works together and they can deliver the goods when they have to,” said Mr Fisher, when asked how the company, which at its peak employed almost 300 people locally and has built steelworks for many famous buildings such as the Odyssey Arena and Dundrum Shopping Centre, ensured it delivered time after time.

“That’s what stands to Fermanagh people, they all work for the good of the business and the good of family businesses in general. I think that’s what gives you the delivery.”

Revealing the secret to the company’s success, he added: “You’ve got to deliver things when you say you’re going to deliver them and you’ve got to deliver them at the price you said you were going to deliver them at. That’s what’s important.”

Mr Fisher, who has two children with his wife Joan, said he was surprised, excited and honoured to have been chosen for this year’s Lifetime Achievement award, particularly since he has been out of the job and enjoying his retirement for the past eight years. He added he was very nostalgic, seeing a run down of his career on the big screen on Friday night.

When asked about the moments that stood out most for him over that illustrious career, Mr Fisher once again recalled his dear brother.

“I think taking the company through the Celtic Tiger years after the death of my brother and his two children was a big moment,” said the Portora and University of Ulster graduate.

Referring to the sale of the company in late 2007 to Severfield, Mr Fisher had the following advice for budding and established business leaders: “Starting off, when you grow a business from the ground up like our business was built by my father in 1950, it’s all very personal. But there always comes a time when you have to think of how that business is going to continue to grow.

“The time comes when you do have to consider if you have to move the business to a higher level. That came for us in 2007. It’s knowing when to do it. It’s so difficult to get everything lined up to do that but you can’t be sentimental about a business. What’s important for a business is that it continues to grow.”