Thursday 22 March 2018

Industrialist 'liked to stay in touch with his roots'

ONE of the most successful industrialists ever to have been brought up in County Louth continued to support educational and parish-based causes in his native area.

As politicians and captains of industry paid tribute to Edward Haughey, those to whom he'd shown generosity over the years also remembered the Norbrook founder.

Mr Haughey left Colaiste Ris as a teenager, but remembered his time with the then Christian Brothers' school in Dundalk in the mid-1950s and supported them in a major building project that continues to bear his name.

Colaiste Ris principle, Padraig Hamill, said the businessman's generous donation in 1999 helped make the school's dream of a major extension a reality.

'Most of the students here weren't even born when Mr Haughey opened this building, in April 1999,' said Mr. Hamill.

'But it is known as 'Haughey House' and it is the location for all our IT suite, graphic design and Home Ecomonics classes.

'When he became very wealthy, he also became a very good benefactor to this school. The building of this new wing seemed to interest him a lot and it was right up his alley as it was a contribution to the development of science and technology learning here'.

Former principal Frank Cooney, along with teacher Noel Lennon and Kilcurry native Eamon O Ullachain approached Mr Haughey about the idea and 'it developed into a very positive relationship for the school'.

He returned to the school many times over the past 15 years as a guest of honour at the annual Colaiste Ris prize-giving.

Mr Hamill said: 'He had a fabulous lifestyle and huge wealth, but he liked to be in touch with his roots and was also very generous to the parish of Kilcurry.

'He came from very humble beginnings and he did extraordinarily well. His death is a sad occasion for our school and on Friday, I asked all the staff and students to pause to remember him and his family at this sad time'.

Dundalk Chamber of Commerce PRO Paddy Malone also paid tribute to the late businessman.

'Dundalk was saddened on Friday with the news that we had lost one of our sons.

'Edward Haughey was one of a generation of international entrepreneurs who were from the town. He never forgot his roots and was generous to both Kilcurry and the former CBS school, Colaiste Rìs.

He gave great employment to the Newry-Dundalk area and his very first job was with R.Q. O'Neill's in Earl Street before emigrating to the USA'.

The Argus