Passenger Transport Operators honoured at Fleet Bus and Coach Awards 2018 

Twelve bus & coach operators from across Ireland were honoured at the seventh running of the Fleet Bus & Coach Awards 2018 Gala Dinner held at the Killashee Hotel, Naas on Thursday 16 November. The successful event attended by 300 delegators from the passenger transport industry acknowledged another busy tourism and commuter season and celebrated with the award winners in honouring best practice in the sector.

All of the finalists in the bus and coach operator awards section eagerly awaited the announcements from event compere Bob Conway (Today FM) and were collectively anxious to step on to the winners’ podium. Dovetailing the operator awards, ongoing developments by coachbuilders and manufacturers were acknowledged with national titles for Mini, Midi and full-size Coaches up for grabs.

“The adjudication process undertaken by a panel of expert stakeholders within the passenger transport industry initially assessed the applications and from that, selected a list of finalists to go forward for interview, then the hard task of deciding the overall winners in each category has to be completed,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, Managing Editor, Fleet Bus & Coach magazine on behalf of event organisers.

For the bus and coach awards, a two-day test drive appraisal programme helped to elect the first prize winners in each of the three categories.

In complimenting the victorious companies and the success of the awards event in general, Jarlath commented; “Congratulations to all of the award winners and best wishes to their business on the road ahead. We are delighted with the success of the staging of an evening awards event as it moved from our traditional lunchtime presentation.”

While the occasion looked to the future, we also acknowledged a number of long established companies associated with the bus and coach industry such as marking 70 years of manufacturing at VanHool (Belgium) with the inaugural Hall of Fame award. Other recipients of the Laurel themed stained glass picture were Butlers Bus Tours (Cork) and Donoghues of Galway both celebrating 50 years in business with Cronin Coaches (Cork) and Kerry Coaches both passing the 60-year milestone.

Also on the night, Mrs. Denise Harris, wife of the late Pino Harris, President and CEO of the Harris Group was presented with a floral tribute for his life long contribution to the commercial industry.


The list of winners are as follows:


Coach Operator of the Year 2018 – Commuter

Sponsored by The Plaza Group

Swords Express (Dublin)


Coach Operator of the Year 2018 – Inter City

Sponsored by Volvo Bus

Aircoach (Dublin)


Coach Operator of the Year 2018 – Tours

Sponsored by Van Hool

Paddywagon Tours/Elegant Irish Tours (Dublin)


Coach Operator of the Year 2018 – Airport Services

Sponsored by Corrib Oil

Airport Hopper (Dublin)


Bus Operator of the Year 2018 – Less than 10 Vehicles

Sponsored by Lir Bus & Coach Sales Ltd

Fitzpatrick Coaches (Monaghan)


Bus Operator of the Year 2018 – More than 10 vehicles

Sponsored by Carlyle Bus & Coach

Tony Doyle Coaches Ltd (Wicklow)


School Bus Operator of the Year 2018

Sponsored by AIB Finance & Leasing

Donoghues of Galway (Galway)


Best Safety Practice Award 2018

Sponsored by Bridgestone

Wexford Bus (Wexford)


Best Livery & Corporate Identity 2018

Sponsored by Brian Noone Ltd

Anchor Tours (Louth)


Care for the Environment Award 2018

Sponsored by Clarke Autowash

Matthews Coach Hire Ltd (Monaghan)


Investment in Innovation Award 2018

Sponsored by Coach Tourism & Transport Council

Cronins Coaches (Cork)


Services to the Passenger Transport Industry/Hall of Fame

Sponsored by Harris Auto

  • Butler Bus Tours (Cork)
  • Donoghues of Galway (Galway)
  • Kerry Coaches (Kerry)
  • Cronins of Cork (Cork


Fleet Bus & Coach Irish Coach of the Year 2018 Awards 2018

Sponsored by Close Brothers Commercial Finance


Irish Mini Coach of the Year 2018

  • UNVI Vega EX-Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516


Irish Midi Coach of the Year 2018

  • Noone Turas 600S


Irish Coach of the Year 2018

  • Mercedes-Benz Tourismo