Business Irish

Sunday 26 May 2019

Business and media leaders pay tribute to 'a giant of Irish retail'

Senator Feargal Quinn in 2008.Pic Tom Burke
Senator Feargal Quinn in 2008.Pic Tom Burke
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The world of business and media has begun to pay tribute to Feargal Quinn, who passed away following a short illness.

Among the first to comment on Mr Quinn’s passing was Fairtrade Ireland, who twitted that without him fair trade in Ireland would not exist.

The organisation said: “There aren't many people or companies of whom you can say - something important wouldn't have happened without them, without Feargal Quinn and Superquinn fair trade wouldn’t have happened in Ireland – Thanks Feargal!”

The Musgrave Group called Mr Quinn “a visionary in Irish food and a retail pioneer".

Chris Martin, CEO of the Musgrave Group, said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Feargal Quinn.

“As the founder of Superquinn, Feargal was a visionary in Irish food and a retail pioneer. Beyond the world of retail, Feargal made a significant and lasting contribution to Irish society and to political life as a member of Seanad Eireann.

“He was a leader who will be deeply missed. Feargal was also a good friend to Musgrave and on behalf of everyone here, I would like to share our condolences with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”

Patrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore, tweeted that Mr Quinn was “a giant of the Irish retail and food industries, while also giving so much back to society. It was a privilege to know him. I hope his family are very proud!”

Elsewhere and Fionnán Sheahan, editor of the Irish Independent, described Mr Quinn as “a true advocate for the consumer.”

“Feargal Quinn's legacy will be his emphasis on putting the needs of the customer front and centre in business decisions. He was a true advocate for the consumer,” Mr Sheahan said.

“His personal approach raised the bar which other retailers followed. He also ensured the voice of family and small businesses was heard clearly within the political system.”

Mr Quinn was the first Chairman of An Post and the organisation reflected on his legacy.

An Post Chairman Dermot Divilly said: “He worked tirelessly over a decade from 1979 to set the postal service and post office network on a sound, forward-looking, modern footing.

“He showed exemplary dedication and vision during these formative years and he remained a loyal supporter of An Post throughout his life.

“He is remembered with the greatest respect and fondness.”

Also reacting to the news of Mr Quinn’s passing was CEO of business lobby group Ibec Danny McCoy, who said Mr Quinn would be remembered as a “pioneer of Irish retail, a dedicated Senator and strong advocate of Irish business at home and internationally.”

“He left a very significant and positive mark on Irish life. In his role as President of EuroCommerce he was the voice of European retail, commanding the respect and support of the sector right across Europe.  His tenacity and skill in business was matched by a sense of duty and dedication in his public roles,” Mr McCoy said.

Meanwhile, Retail Excellence said the country had lost “a giant of the world of retail.”

“Feargal’s family can be justly proud of his achievements and his lasting legacy," David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence, said.

State broadcaster Rte described Mr Quinn as “a popular contributor.”

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