O'Regan funeral told of 'visionary'
The funeral took place this morning of prominent publican and hotelier, Hugh O’Regan.
Mr O’Regan changed the face of Dublin’s bar scene from the 1990s, building the Thomas Read chain of super-pubs which included venues such as Pravda, The Bailey, Ron Black’s, Searson’s and the 40 Foot in Dun Laoghaire. He also owned the Morrison Hotel on Dublin’s North Quays.
The ceremony was attended Mr O’Regan’s wife Adrienne and his sons Stephen, Adam, Alex and Hugo and his brothers, Declan and Paul. Mr O’Regan is predeceased by his brother Jack.
Mourners packed into the Star of the Sea Church in Sandymout, where celebrant and family friend Fr Joe Kennedy said: “Hugh dreamt things that never were and said, why not?”
To the congregation which included John Rocha, who designed the O’Regan’s Morrison Hotel, music promoter John Reynolds, chef Dylan McGrath, hotelier Tom Moran and sports commentator Brent Pope, Fr Kennedy said: “There are many here who Hugh gave employment to, many who benefited from his business acumen and his work ethic”, but he said Mr O’Regan was also “a loving husband and a great father”.
He described the entrepreneur as “a perfectionist who loved to see things done well”. Quoting the playwright George Bernard Shaw, he said:
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it”.
Asked to speak by the family, Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said Mr O’Regan had “changed the face of this city, he changed the face of Temple Bar, he made the food and drinks industry a community, and all of this took place before the Celtic Tiger”.
Mr Flynn said: “I believe he is now in heaven, rearranging everything. Everybody is running around with a hard hat and he’s the one with the vision”.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, his sons spoke movingly of their father with Stephen saying: “He had loads of dreams, and loads of his dreams came true”.
His son Alex said: “His gift was in helping people to discover their potential. He wanted you to be you”. He said “We’ll miss you Dad and we love you”.
Music during the ceremony included God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, David Bowie’s Starman as well the U2 song, Kite, which was performed by Mr O’Regan’s son, Adam.
Mr O’Regan was found on the side of the M11 motorway near Newtownmountkennedy on Monday. It is understood that he suffered a heart attack while out walking.