When Mary Bennett was awarded the Freedom of Galway City, then-Mayor Michael Crowe paid tribute to her “boundless energy and indefatigable spirit” in promoting the city as a world-class tourism destination, and it’s a tribute that’s hard to beat.
It perfectly describes a woman always at the heart of Galway City, and with Galway City in her heart.
As historian William Henry puts it in the pages of our special feature celebrating The Treasure Chest’s 50th anniversary, ‘Outside of her business interests Mary has Galway, its values and traditions at heart. Mary has worked hard to promote Galway in areas such as social and economic development and tourism since 1961.’
Former Chairperson of Galway City and County Enterprise Board, first female President of Galway Chamber of Commerce, and later national president of the organisation, first female President of Skål International… the list of Mrs Bennett’s achievements are lengthy, and all reflect her lifelong dedication to promoting Galway.
As TD Hildegarde Naughton points out in our feature, Mrs Bennett began her career in the ‘days when women entrepreneurs were not the norm’. ‘For Mary, the glass ceiling did not exist. She let nothing stand in her way.’ She is truly an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere.
Her dedication is evident every day in Galway City centre, where The Treasure Chest gleams, standing proudly in the heart of the city. A beautiful storefront filled with character, that harkens back to times past, when neon signs and chrome were not the norm, and quality, customer service, and tradition were all-important. Qualities that have seen The Treasure Chest thrive here for 50 years.
As Taoiseach Enda Kenny puts it in our feature, ‘Her premises are aptly named – but she herself is the real treasure!’