Knight of St Gregory (5 March, 2005)
27 November 1936 – 24 April 2019, Freagal, who was an active member of the Association, was born in Dublin, into a family with its roots in Newry. Former Labour Party leader and cabinet minister Ruairi Quinn and businessman Lochlann Quinn were cousins. Feargal was educated in Newbridge College, as was Stan Cosgrove KCSG, and studied Commerce at University College Dublin. His father Eamonn established a grocery business Payantake, and later the Red Island holiday resort in Skerries, Co Dublin.
After working in France in his youth he founded the Superquinn chain. He set up Quinn’s Supermarket in Dundalk in 1960 at the age of just 23, changing the name to Superquinn in the early 1970s. By 1976, the Sutton, Dublin-headquartered chain had expanded to seven outlets.
Elected to the Senate on the National University of Ireland panel in 1993 he served as a senator until 2016, when he decided not to run again. Other public roles for 10 years in the 1980s as chairman of An Post. In recent years, he was known to television viewers as the presenter of RTÉ programme Retail Therapy, on which he offered advice to aspiring retailers.
His books included Crowning the Customer, Minding Your Own Business and his memoirs Quintessential Feargal.
He chaired a steering committee on the reform of a key element in Ireland’s education system. He was Chairman of St. Patrick’s Festival.
Among numerous awards Feargal was a fellow of the French Order of Merit, and the recipient of five honorary doctorates from education institutions. He was the organizer of the Knights of St Columbanus annual Christmas Day dinner, formerly held in the Mansion House and latterly in the RDS Ballsbridge. He received his 50 year gold medal as a Knight of St Columbanus in 2005.
He is survived by his wife Denise, children Eamonn, Stephen, Gilliane, Zoe and Donal. He is buried in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton, as are papal knights Comdt Brendan Houlihan, President Patrick Hillery and John McLoughlin.