Sunday 18 November 2018

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

The remains of Gillian Bowler at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Gillian Bowler at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

Mourners at the funeral of renowned business woman Gillian Bowler were told that she was a woman of "indomitable spirit", as well-known faces gathered to remember her life.

Professor Dermot Hegarty who gave the eulogy told mourners at the Victorian Chapel, Mount Jerome, Dublin that the service was “a celebration of a beautiful life”.

The remains of Gillian Bowler arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Gillian Bowler arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Gillian Bowler at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Diarmuid Gavin arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Justine McCarthy and husband Denis Murnaghan at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Madeleine Keane (left) at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Gillian Bowler's husband Harry Sydner (centre) and grandson Sean (right) arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of her life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Pat Kenny at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Vincent Browne at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sr. Stan Kennedy at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Mary Harney and husband Brian Geoghegan at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The remains of Gillian Bowler arriving at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross. Photo: Steve Humphreys
David Went Former CEO of Irish Life & Permanent at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Anton Savage at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome Crematorium in Harold's Cross for the celebration of Gillian Bowler's life. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Bowler, he said, was an iconic business woman, ahead of her time and an inspiration to others, particularly in pioneering foreign travel in Ireland in the late 1970s and 1980s.

“She was a woman of indomitable spirit” who had first ran away from home at the age of six, and he told stories of her life and adventures with Harry, who she first met in Dublin but cemented their relationship later after tracking him down to a bar he was running on the Greek island of Corfu.

“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.”

Ms Bowler, who had suffered from kidney ailments all her life, died last Wednesday at the age of 64. She is survived by her mother Josephine, husband Harry Sydner and stepdaughter Rachel.

Gillian Bowler in 2004. Photo: Tony Gavin
Gillian Bowler in 2004. Photo: Tony Gavin

Among the large attendance were Progressive Democrat leader Mary Harney, broadcasters Pat Kenny and Vincent Browne.

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

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