Tributes to airport duty-free visionary
THE President yesterday led the tributes to the founder of the world's first airport duty-free shopping zone, who died at the weekend.
Dr Brendan O'Regan, who was 90 and from Sixmilebridge in Co Clare, passed away in England on Saturday after falling ill there at Christmas.
A hugely-influential figure in Ireland's Midwest region, Dr O'Regan was instrumental in creating Shannon Development, the Shannon College of Hotel Management, and the first ever duty-free shop and zone, at Shannon Airport.
He set up Co-operation Ireland in 1978, the Irish Peace Institute at the University of Limerick in 1984, and also served as chairman of Bord Failte.
"Dr Brendan O'Regan was a true visionary who leaves a legacy that permeates throughout all levels of economic, social and cultural life in Ireland," President Mary McAleese said. "His initiation of and involvement in far-sighted projects such as the Shannon Development Company, Co-operation Ireland and the Irish Peace Institute contributed immeasurably towards the confluence of peace, prosperity and partnership we are now witnessing on this island."
Dr O'Regan set up the duty-free zone at Shannon in 1950, less than a year before establishing the Shannon College of Hotel Management.