A prestigious business leadership award has been presented to Breege O’Donoghue, a former senior executive of leading fast fashion retailer Primark/Penneys.
Ms O’Donoghue, who grew up on a farm in Boston in The Burren in North Clare, received The Irish Times Top 1,000 Distinguished Leader in Business Award at a gala event in Dublin’s Mansion House.
Ms O’Donoghue, joined the Irish-founded company in 1979, a decade after it opened its first outlet in Mary Street in Dublin. During 37 years with the company she oversaw the establishment of its HR operation and its expansion into several international markets, including the United States. It now has 370 stores in 11 countries and employs over 70,000 people.
In her speech Ms O’Donoghue outlined an idyllic but challenging childhood on the family farm and at boarding school in Gort, County Galway. She then went onto describe her early years in the hotel industry and her long career with Penneys. During the evening she received not one but two standing ovations from the assembled guests.
John and Patrick Collison, founders of online payments company Stripe, won The Irish Times Business Person of the Year Award 2019 while Ireland’s largest hotel group Dalata won the Company of the Year Award.
Liam Kavanagh, managing director of The Irish Times, paid tribute to all the nominees who he said would act as role models for aspiring business leaders. Seamus Hand, Managing Partner, KPMG in Ireland, said the company was delighted to support the awards which recognise outstanding leadership and achievement.
For more information go to http://www.irishtimes.com/businessawards