Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to former senator Feargal Quinn

Feargal Quinn, who was married with five children and 19 grandchildren, died at home in Howth, Co Dublin, on Thursday.

Feargal Quinn founded Superquinn (Niall Carson/PA)
Feargal Quinn founded Superquinn (Niall Carson/PA)

Tributes have been paid to Superquinn founder and former senator Feargal Quinn, who has died aged 82.

Mr Quinn, who was married with five children and 19 grandchildren, died at home in Howth, Co Dublin, on Thursday.

Best known for founding supermarket chain Superquinn, which was bought by SuperValu in 2005, Mr Quinn pioneered a new era of customer service in Ireland.

Mr Quinn was elected as a senator in 1993 from the National University of Ireland constituency and was re-elected every term until 2016.

At the beginning of his political career, he donated his Seanad salary to charity, and later refused to take any payment whatsoever.

Mr Quinn also served as the first chairman of An Post from 1979.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted: “Very sorry to hear of the death of Feargal Quinn, someone whose entire life was dedicated to serving others.

“Whether as an entrepreneur, a Senator, or the chair of An Post, our country benefited from his vision and energy. RIP.”

Current An Post chairman Dermot Divilly paid tribute to Mr Quinn, who he said worked tirelessly for the organisation.

“We are very saddened by the death of Feargal Quinn, the first chairman of An Post,” he said.

“He worked tirelessly over a decade from 1979 to set the postal service and post office network on a sound, forward-looking, modern footing.

“He showed exemplary dedication and vision during these formative years and he remained a loyal supporter of An Post throughout his life.”

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, said it was with great sadness that he heard of the businessman’s death.

“Feargal was a gifted entrepreneur, whose vision of customer service and innovation transformed the landscape of the retail trade in Ireland over many decades,” he said.

“As a lifelong supporter of small businesses and start-up companies, countless numbers of people benefited from his wise counsel, which was based on a highly successful career at the coalface of Irish business.

“He will be deeply missed not just by his family and wide circle of friends, but also by those who served in the Seanad with him, where he will be remembered as a force for change, as a passionate advocate on business and related matters, and as an eloquent debater.

“He was renowned for his courteous contributions and responses to both supporters and opponents.

“Sabina and I would like to extend my condolences to his wife Denise, to his children and grandchildren, and to his many friends.”

Labour’s Seanad Leader Ivana Bacik expressed her sympathy to the Quinn family.

“Feargal Quinn was always a well regarded and courteous colleague to all of his fellow senators,” Ms Bacik said.

“As a senator for the NUI panel, he represented his constituents in exemplary fashion, and as a fellow University senator, it was a pleasure to work alongside him as I did from 2007 until his retirement in 2016.

“I am sure that Feargal’s legacy as a successful businessperson and diligent politician will be a source of great pride for his family for years to come.”

Opposition leader Micheal Martin said he was sad to learn of Mr Quinn’s death.

“His achievements in business and in the Seanad were significant and are well known, but what set him apart was his personal warmth and great integrity,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We have lost a true gentleman with his passing.”

Mr Quinn was trending on Twitter for most of Thursday as thousands of people paid tribute to him and shared their memories of working for and with him throughout his long career.

PA

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