The death has been announced of Eileen O’Mara Walsh, she has been a leading figure in Irish tourism for the past 50 years, she was aged 79. She died at her home in Carrickmines in Dublin.
In her early years she worked in the hospitality industry in London and Paris. She returned to Dublin and opened her own travel agency, O’Mara Travel. In 2006 she sold this company to another Irish tour operator.
Eileen was the first woman to chair the board of a commercial state company, Great Southern Hotels, from 1984 to 1999. She also was the chairperson of Forbairt from 1993 to 1998, served as a director of Aer Lingus, as the chair of Opera Ireland, and as a trustee of Dublinia .
She was the founder of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC) and is survived by her son, Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, who is the Chief Executive of ITIC.
On her retirement Eileen wrote a retrospective, entitled ‘The Third Daughter’, which was published by the Liliput Press.
May she rest in peace.