Retail 'legend' honoured at DIT ceremony
The secretive founder of the hugely successful Primark/ Penneys chain, Arthur Ryan, has been given an honorary doctorate by the Dublin Institute of Technology at its annual graduation ceremony held in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, yesterday.
Mr Ryan, who still maintains a "hands on" role at the company, accepted his first honorary Doctorate from DIT as "a business legend in his own lifetime".
The man who founded the retail chain 40 years ago in Dublin was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife, former singer Alma Carroll Ryan, members of their extended family and colleagues from Penneys.
DIT conferred the award on Mr Ryan in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to business and employment in Ireland and around the globe".
"Over the last 40 years Arthur Ryan has transformed a single store called Penneys on Dublin's Mary Street into a major international brand and a retail giant that today employs 40,000 people directly, boasts a branch network of some 226 stores across seven countries, and has an annual sales turnover of £3,043m," the citation read.
Professor Brian Norton, president of DIT, said: "Arthur Ryan is an inspiration to our newest business graduates here today -- our future innovators and leaders."
Mr Ryan was honoured along with 700 DIT students who were conferred having completed their studies across a range of disciplines.