Ben Dunne

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Ben Dunne (1908–14 April 1983) was the founder and chairman of Dunnes Stores.

Early life[edit]

Dunne was born in the village of Rostrevor in County Down, Ireland in 1908 to Barney Dunne, a businessman who later became addicted to alcohol and spent 20 years up to his death in 1949 in the workhouse at Newry.

After leaving school at 14, Dunne worked as a boot boy and kept some sheep.


In 1926, after aborting a plan to emigrate to the United States, Dunne moved to Drogheda in the newly established Irish Free State and then worked as an apprentice in Cameron's Drapery store in Longford. In the mid 1930s he moved on to Cork where he worked as a buyer for Roches Stores. A bust-up in 1944 led to his leaving and setting up his own business Dunnes Stores.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Dunne met his wife, Nora Maloney, while working at Roches Stores. They were married for 44 years and had six children, including Ben Dunne who went on to work in the family business.


External links[edit]