Obituary: Sean McCool
04 / 07 / 2023
Source: International Airline Marketing
Air Cargo News is saddened to report the passing of Sean McCool, the chairman of Ireland-based GSSA International Airline Marketing (IAM).
McCool died aged 92 and had a career that lasted more than 70 years.
His career started in the 1950s with senior positions in Seaboard & Western Airlines, Brinks (which he introduced to Ireland) and Aer Lingus commercial cargo, where he played a key role in setting up the successful cargo operation in Ireland and Europe.
He also played a vital role in the origins of the Shannon Trade Zone, linking key players in international media and government.
In the 1960s, he established a number of specialist companies in the Shannon Free Zone, including Shanex and South West Trading and was on the marketing committee of the Confederation of Irish Industries.
In the following decades, he joined the board of Havelet Holdings and was chairman of Ryanair Executive Jet Terminals.
He then went to South Africa as general manager of Hudson Offshore Holdings. Following his appointment as Honorary Trade Commissioner for the Republic of South Africa in Ireland, he established the Ireland South Africa Business Association in 1983.
In 1989, Sean set up IAM, which has grown to represent more than 25% of Ireland’s air cargo exports. He stayed on as chairman of the company after he retired from his executive role, passing the reigns to his son, Ian.
McCool was also a founder member and fellow of the Irish Air Cargo Institute; the Irish Institute of Freight Forwarders (IIFA).
He is a former council member of FIATA, the Irish Exporters Association and a past vice president of European forwarder group Clecat.
“Sean had an extraordinary life and career in business that lasted over 70 years,” IAM said. “Doing what he loved every day and entrepreneurial to his core, he was a great thinker and strategist, and way ahead of his time.
“Always up for a challenge, he loved finding and creating new opportunities, and bringing others along for the adventure.
“He will be remembered by all that met him for his great energy, can do and positive attitude and happy smile. Always thoughtful and interested in what people had to say, every encounter was a new friendship, a new opportunity.
“He will be sadly missed by his family, many many friends, colleagues, customers and by all the crew at IAM.”