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Saturday 18 November 2017

Bowler was 'a woman of indomitable spirit'

The remains of Gillian Bowler arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Gillian Bowler arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Gillian Bowler was remembered as a confident, kind and compassionate "trailblazer" at her funeral.

The businesswoman, who had suffered with kidney ailments throughout her life, passed away last Wednesday aged 64.

Former Tánaiste Mary Harney and her husband Brian Geoghegan at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Former Tánaiste Mary Harney and her husband Brian Geoghegan at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A celebration of her life took place at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome, Dublin, on Saturday.

Broadcasters Pat Kenny and Vincent Browne, former Tánaiste Mary Harney, and Sr Stanislaus Kennedy were all in attendance.

Professor Dermot Hegarty, who gave the eulogy, said she was "a woman of indomitable spirit".

"She was a woman of style and substance, self-reliant and determined to be the best, a woman who always pushed out the boundaries," he said, "intelligent and bright, glamorous and tough when it was needed."

Broadcaster Pat Kenny pictured at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Broadcaster Pat Kenny pictured at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harolds Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Born in London in 1952, Gillian moved to the Isle of Wight with her parents and elder sister at the age of 10.

Read more: 'She was a woman of indomitable spirit' - Well-known faces pay tribute to renowned business woman Gillian Bowler

She left school at 14, and worked briefly as a PA before moving back to London and joining Greek Island Holidays.

She came to Dublin when she was 19 to open the company's Irish office.

Gillian Bowler. Photo: Frank McGrath
Gillian Bowler. Photo: Frank McGrath

Here, she met Harry Sydner, the man who became her husband.

The two set up Budget Travel in 1975.

She is survived by her mother Josephine, husband Harry and her stepdaughter Rachel.

Irish Independent

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