Budget Travel founder Gillian Bowler dies aged 64

One of the country's best-known business figures, she also chaired IL&P

15th December, 2016
Gillian Bowler in 2006

Gillian Bowler, one of the country’s best-known business figures, has died.

She founded Budget Travel in 1975, and together with her husband Harry Snyder, built it into one of Ireland’s biggest travel agents.

She later sold a 90 per cent stake in the company to British company Granada, but continued to manage the business. Budget Travel was later sold to Thomson Holidays in 1996.

In 2004, Bowler became chairman of Irish Life & Permanent, the first woman to chair an Irish public limited company. She chaired the bank through the financial crisis until 2011.

At the time of her resignation, IL&P chief executive Kevin Murphy paid tribute to Bowler, saying she had helped it “navigate the crisis”.

She was a non-executive director of several leading companies including Grafton Group and the VHI.

She also served as chairman of tourism body Failte Ireland.

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