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Presentation to Colm McLoughlin Executive Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free

Press Release

Presentation by Kildare County Council to Colm McLoughlin

Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free

The Cathaoirleach and members of Kildare County Council paid special tribute to Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free at an event held in Áras Chill Dara, Naas yesterday (26 June).  The event was to recognise Mr McLoughlin’s contribution to County Kildare through Dubai Duty Free sponsorship of the Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse.

Cathaoirleach of Kildare, Councillor Suzanne Doyle, welcomed Mr McLoughlin, his wife Breeda, Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President Marketing, Dubai Duty Free and her husband Jihad. She commended his work and spoke of his success both in his sporting prowess, and the many ‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards both personally and in business he had received.  The Cathaoirleach highlighted the successful partnership with brand Dubai and the duty free, its association with the Irish Derby and all the hardwork of Mr McLoughlin and his team.  The Cathaoirleach also paid tribute to Mr McLoughlin for his philanthropy and patronage, she noted his outstanding commitment to charitable work.  In her closing comments the Cathaoirleach thanked Mr McLoughlin, his wife Breeda, and all who attended, and looked forward to the partnership with Dubai Duty Free and the Irish Derby for many years to come.

Chief Executive of Kildare County Council, Mr Peter Carey, joined the Cathaoirleach in welcoming Mr McLoughlin and his wife Breeda to the council chamber, the seat of local democracy in Kildare, and spoke of his delight to honour him for his tremendous work.  Mr Carey in paying tribute to Mr McLoughlin, commended his spectacular career, his many sporting achievements and said that not only was Kildare proud but the whole of Ireland.  He acknowledged Mr McLoughlin’s long association with the Irish Derby and the various sporting sponsorships Dubai Duty Free is promoting from the Irish Open to Dubai Tennis Championships to the Irish Derby.  He acknowledged the 650 awards Dubai Duty Free and Colm have received over the past 35 years and particularly commented on Mr McLoughlin’s milestone of 50 years working in the duty free industry.  Mr Carey said that Kildare was not alone the home of horse racing in Ireland, has the best turf in the country, we now have a world class facility with the redevelopment of the Stand at the Curragh racecourse. 

Mr Carey wished Mr McLoughlin, his wife and family all the success and happiness into the future.

Councillor Suzanne Doyle presented Mr McLouglin with a specially commissioned bronze sculpture.  The piece is designed and created by local artist Noel Scullion and called ‘Breathe’. Noel explained that the main theme of the sculpture is “Horses Greeting” with a mare and foal blowing little puffs of air into each other’s nostrils. He highlighted that the surface texture of the work has an “Arabesque” pattern radiating outwards from the horses nostrils, wrapping around the column, using the beautiful and poetic Arabic word for “Breathe”.

Mr McLoughlin truly thanked the Cathaoirleach and Chief Executive for their kind words and said that he really felt emotional as it is not often you take time to reflect on 50 years.  He mentioned how he first came to be involved in the Irish Derby, a chance meeting at Gatwick Airport with the late Michael Osborne that led to a phone call several months later and in 2002 the relationship with Dubai Duty Free started.  When in 2008 Budweiser’s sponsorship deal ceased Dubai Duty Free was very happy to take over sponsorship of the Irish Derby and it has gone from strength to strength.  Mr McLoughlin said that while he was thrilled with all the very gracious comments, he would not have achieved what he did without the backing of his team.  He also mentioned the support from His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.  He commented on how the staff had grown in number from 100 in the beginning to 6,500 now across 45 different countries, and a turnover of 20m sales was now over 2bn. He put some of the success down to the people in the Curragh, their positivity, and reflected on how that makes this partnership work so well and looked forward to this continuing for many more years.  He spoke in high regard of working with Sinead El Sibai, who is one of Ireland top sporting influencers, and spoke glowingly about his “rock”, his wife Breeda, who through the years has been by his side.  Mr McLoughlin sincerely thanked the members and Chief Executive and staff for a lovely presentation, their courtesy and acknowledgement of his contribution to County Kildare.

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 L-R Lucina Russell (Arts Officer, Kildare County Council), Colm McLoughlin (Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Dubai Duty Free), Noel Scullion (Artist).


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Colm McLoughlin (Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Dubai Duty Free with Cathaoirleach Suzanne Doyle and Elected Members of Kildare County Council.     

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 Colm McLoughlin (Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Dubai Duty Free with Presentation Piece "Breathe".   

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Back L-R Padraig McManus (Chairman Curragh Racecourse Board), Derek McGrath (CEO Curragh Racecourse),

Evan Arkwright (Racing Manager Curragh Racecourse), Sinead El Sibai (Senior Vice President Marketing, Dubai Duty Free)

Front L-R Anne Fleming (Irish Turf Club), Colm McLoughlin (Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Dubai Duty Free),

Cathaoirleach Suzanne Doyle and Peter Carey (Chief Executive Kildare County Council.

Ends                                                                                                  27 June 2019

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