Skal International Galway to honour Mary Bennett with Black Tie Dinner

Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
Skal International Galway to honour leading Galway business woman and former Skal International World President, Mary Bennett with Celebratory Black Tie Dinner

Skal International Galway to honour leading Galway business woman and former Skal International World President, Mary Bennett with Celebratory Black Tie Dinner

Thursday 30th March at 6pm in the Ardilaun Hotel

Skal International Galway will honour Galway Business Woman and the first ever Female World President of Skal International, Mary Bennett at a special celebratory Black Tie Dinner in the Ardilaun Hotel Galway on Thursday 30th March 2023. Tickets for the Black Tie Dinner are €75 and can be booked on

Skal International is a professional association of tourism and hospitality leaders and business operators which has 308 clubs in  86 countries worldwide  and 12228 members collectively. Mary Bennett has been an enthusiastic and inspiring leader of Skal International locally in Galway and across the world for over five decades.

Mary Bennett has motivated business women and been a visionary and champion for tourism, travel and retail in Galway, the West and across Ireland and internationally since she first worked in the former Great Southern Hotel on Eyre Square, Galway in the sixties. Along with her late husband Eddie Bennett, they went on to open the beautiful fashion and gift retail outlet, the Treasure Chest at the heart of Galway City in 1966. An iconic shop with its stunning wedge wood styled exterior Mary Bennet and her team at the Treasure Chest  has welcomed and attracted an extraordinary number of domestic and international visitors to Galway City. All of which has had a hugely positive economic benefit to Galway City.

Vivacious, articulate, hard working but above all committed to developing and supporting tourism and business in the cultural capital of Ireland Mary Bennett has been a trail blazer for women in business in Galway and across Ireland. 

Serving as Galway and National President of Skal International, Mary Bennett’s infectious drive, energy and vision led her to the core of the organisation and to her election as the first Female World President of Skal, in October 2002 at Skal World Congress Australia. Such an accolade brought much distinction to Galway City and County and to the Irish Tourism Industry and ultimately led to a commendation from Galway City Council which also honoured Mary for her extraordinary commitment and support for the growth of tourism in Galway City and County.

Originally from Co Clare, Mary’s career started out at the Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square Galway. Her passion for the hotel and tourism industry led to a hunger and drive for the development of the sector in Galway and Salthill from her earliest career.  This led Mary Bennett to being elected the first female President of Galway Chamber of Commerce and later the President of Chambers Ireland. She’s served on the Board of Aer Lingus, Bord Fáilte, the former Ireland West Tourism, Galway City and County Enterprise Board now the Galway LEO and has also held Directors roles with the ISPCC, National Breast Cancer Institute, the Irish Goods Council and Eunalede. Her heart has always been close to Galway and it’s development and along with Galway Chamber, Mary Bennett  spent 21 years as  Secretary of Salthill Tourism Development Association  and has been at the heart of the Galway City Business Association since its foundation.  Also renowned for her charity fundraising Mary Bennett has been central to the organising of the annual Galway City Council’s Mayor’s Ball and many other events throughout her illustrious business career.

Skal International Galway are honouring Mary on the 30th of March for her tireless support and commitment to the valued tourism and travel organisation and its contribution to the sector in Galway, the West and of course nationally across Ireland and across the world where it has 12288 members

A large group of tourism and hotel industry leaders will come together on Thursday March 30th at 6pm in the Ardilaun Hotel to celebrate Mary Bennett’s career and life in tourism and Skal International. All members of the industry are welcome to attend, tickets for the Black Tie Dinner are €75 and can be booked on

Along with her business and tourism achievements, Mary and her late husband Eddie, have 3 children and 7 grandchildren and of course a wealth of friends.

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