Penneys director honoured in style by France
Published 22/03/2016 | 02:30
The French Ambassador, HE Jean-Pierre Thébault, held a ceremony last night in honour of Penneys/Primark director Breege O'Donoghue, on the occasion of the presentation as Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
The Legion of Honour is a French order that was established by Napoleon in 1802 and is the highest honour in France.
Penneys is an Irish success story in France and Ms O'Donoghue was a key force in Primark opening in Marseilles in 2013. The fashion chain now has seven stores in France.
The order recognised Ms O'Donoghue's "exceptional care and constant friendly support you have personally provided for the further development of friendly ties between France and Ireland".
The ceremony at the French Ambassador's residence in Dublin yesterday evening was attended by family from her home place in Boston in north Clare and from Galway, as well as friends, relatives of her late husband, James Saint Lawrence O'Dea, and her fellow Primark directors.
Ms O'Donoghue said: "Even if my own contribution to Franco-Irish relations seems to me quite modest, this honour is not only a reflection of the warm and easy relations that our countries have always enjoyed, but gives much-appreciated recognition of the commitment shown by those who work with me in Primark, both in France and here in Ireland."
Earlier in the day, Penneys unveiled its newly refurbished store on Dublin's O'Connell Street, 100 years after the building was severely damaged during the 1916 Rising.