President Mary McAleese has expressed her deep sadness at the death of Brendan O'Regan.

Dr O'Regan was a hugely influential figure in the mid-west, where he was instrumental in the development of Shannon Development, the Shannon College of Hotel Management, and the first ever duty-free shop and zone at Shannon Airport.

He established the all-Ireland organistion Cooperation Ireland in 1978, and the Irish Peace Institute at the University of Limerick in 1984.

He also served as chairman of Bord Fáilte.

'Dr Brendan O'Regan was a true visionary,' the President said. 

'[He] leaves a legacy that permeates throughout all levels of economic, social and cultural life in Ireland.

'His initiation of and involvement in far-sighted projects such as the Shannon Development Company, Co-operation Ireland and the Irish Peace Institute contributed immeasurably towards the confluence of peace, prosperity and partnership we are now witnessing on this island.'

Dr O'Regan was 90 and a native of Sixmilebridge in Co Clare.

He died in England. It is understood he became ill when he went there to visit members of his family at Christmas.