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Primark’s heir drowns, his son feared to be dead in tragic accident

People

Primark’s heir drowns, his son feared to be dead in tragic accident

By Vivian Hendriksz

3 Jul 2015

The heir to value retail chain Primark, Barry Ryan, drowned after he tried to save his son’s girlfriend and his son following a tragic accident at sea.

Earlier this week Barry Snr, his son Barry Davis Ryan leaped into the water in an attempt to reduce Barry Jnr girlfriend Niamh O’Connor, who had been swept away by a large wave by the coast of west Cork. At the time Barry Snr younger daughter Charlotte rushed off to in search of aid but by the time the rescue boat arrived it was too late to save Barry Snr and Niamh.

Both were pronounced dead in spite of rescuers attempts, whilst the remains of Barry Jnr have yet to be found. There is an ongoing search occurring at the moment, which includes naval divers, coastguards, Civil Defence Cork West and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The Ryan family is well-know within the retail industry. Barry Snr father, Arthur Ryan, is the founder, chairman and former chief executive of Penneys, more commonly known as Primark outside of Ireland. Barry Snr, Barry Jnr and Niamh all worked for the value retail chain, which opened its first store in Dublin in 1969. The retailer released a statement on Thursday confirming the two deaths and the ongoing search for Barry Jnr.

“We can confirm that two members of Penneys staff lost their lives in an accident off the coast of west Cork on Tuesday 30 June and that a third person is still missing, also a member of Penneys staff,” read the statement. “All were much loved and respected colleagues and our thoughts are with their families at this very difficult time.“