Brendan O’Regan was born
15 May, 1917, in Sixmilebridge, County Clare. The son of James
O’Regan and Nora Ryan, he attended Sixmilebridge National
School before going on to Blackrock College for his secondary
James O’Regan was a former
Chairman of Clare County Council and a successful businessman.
He was forward thinking, and instilled in his son the belief
that the most important thing a person can do is create work
for others – a sense of practical patriotism.
When his father purchased the
Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, he encouraged his son to follow
hotel management as a career. After studying abroad Brendan
returned in 1938 to manage The Falls Hotel in Ennistymon.
It was here that the caterer’s energy and verve caught
the attention of senior civil servants, and when asked to
manage the ailing St Stephen’s Green Club in Dublin
he successfully turned it into a profitable operation.
In 1943, the Government appointed
O’Regan as Catering Comptroller at Foynes flying boat
base, a refuelling point for transatlantic seaplanes between
Britain and the US. In 1945, he was transferred to the airbase
at Rineanna (now Shannon) where he continued as Catering Comptroller.
A visit to the United States under the Marshall Aid Plan in
1950 had a major impact on him, and during his return journey
he helped put together a report that would become the blueprint
of a vision for Shannon.
was also in 1950 that he married Rita Barrow. His wife came
from England and contributed greatly to his work. They had two
sons, Andrew and Declan, and three daughters, Geraldine, Margaret
Main Picture: Brendan on
his wedding day with his bride, Rita, 1950.
1 Brendan with his brothers Fr. Paddy and Seamus and sisters Peggy,
Patricia, Moira and Jennie.
2 Brendan and Rita with children Margaret, Carmel, Declan, Andrew and
3 Nora O’Regan (nee Ryan), Brendan’s mother.
4 James O’Regan, Brendan’s father.
5 O’Regan’s Garage. James O’Regan purchased the Old
Ground Hotel in order to acquire the garage also on the property.
6 O’Regan’s Pub in Sixmilebridge.
7 The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, in the 1940’s, where Brendan O’Regan
first came to the attention of Civil Servants.
8 Sixmilebridge National School. Brendan is on the extreme left in the
first row and is aged about 8 years old. His brother Seamus is front