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 education.

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.

It 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 and Carmel.

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 Geraldine.
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 and centre.