RTE Nationwide devote entire programme to the legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan

Sunday 24th September 2017: The astounding life and legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan, who among his many accomplishments is credited with developing the world’s first duty free shop at Shannon Airport, is being recognised by RTE Nationwide this week in a half hour special devoted to him. 

Presented by Mary Kennedy, the programme includes interviews with Dr O’Regan’s daughter Carmel and staff from Shannon Group companies who helped to bring Brendan’s story to life for viewers. Among those interviewed were; Andrew Murphy from Shannon Airport, Ray O’Driscoll from Shannon Commercial Properties, John Ruddle and Pauline Lenihan from Shannon Heritage and retired Shannon Heritage CEO, Cian

O’Carroll and Rose Hynes from Shannon Group.

Speaking ahead of the airing of the programme, Rose Hynes, Chairman, Shannon Group plc said: “Dr Brendan O’Regan was one of the most fascinating and influential people of our time. A renaissance man, a pioneer of regional development, charismatic and charming – who brought a passion and determination to every task he undertook.

“Shannon Group which comprises – Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties including Shannon Free Zone and Shannon Heritage – are direct descendants of Brendan’s business legacy.  He was a visionary and ahead of his time, much of the ground-breaking initiatives he began in the 1960’s are still flourishing today. 

“We take pride in honouring him his life, his work and his tremendous legacy, particularly in this special year. We commemorated the man and the legend with the unveiling of a bronze sculpture at Shannon Airport on May 15th, the 100th anniversary of his birth in Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.”


Tune into RTE One television at 7.00pm on Wednesday 27th September or catch-up on the RTE player.

Note to Editor:

Among the initiatives spearheaded by one of Ireland’s most visionary public servants are:

  • Developing the world’s first duty free shop at Shannon Airport, a concept way ahead of its time in the aviation world, and quickly replicated in airports across the globe.
  • Developing the Shannon Free Zone, the world’s first Free Trade Zone, which today is Ireland’s biggest multi-sectoral business park , employing over 7,000 people in over 130 companies and housing the country’s largest cluster of FDI investment outside of Dublin.  Shannon Free Zone was used as the model for the world’s first Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China and the world over. Today there are approximately 2,600 Free Zones globally employing upwards of 60 million people.
  • Developing the now world renowned Shannon College of Hotel Management – graduates of the internationally acclaimed college include some of the world’s top hoteliers.
  • Transforming Bunratty Castle into one of the country’s leading tourist attractions. This was followed by similar initiatives at Knappogue and Dunguaire castles, ultimately giving rise to Shannon Heritage – Ireland’s largest operator of tourist attractions with sites in Clare, Galway, Limerick and Dublin.
  • Creating regional development agency Shannon Development, to advance the economic development of the Mid-West.
  • His later involvement with the Peace Institute.
  • Being one of the driving forces in the early 1960’sbehind the development of Ireland’s newest town, Shannon Town, which today has a population just short of 10,000.