Air cargo pioneer Sean McCool died
peacefully Friday June 16 in Dalkey, Dublin Ireland at age 92.
At the end surrounded by his family,
beloved husband of the late Phyllis, loving father of Jean, Gilly, Suzy
and Ian; Sadly missed by his children, sons-in-law Rory and Pat, daughters-in-law
Lorraine and Suzanne, grandchildren Sam, Leah, Rebecca, Ben, Conor, Hannah,
Jack, Ali and Evan, great-grandchildren Alfie and Nina all mourned loss
of a most dear patriarch.
“Too Cool” was how we
described this great man and that thought reverberated with an extended
family and wide circle of friends in air cargo that included legions of
transportation people around the world.
With his passing, a never-to-be forgotten
era in the history of European, and especially Irish aviation and air
cargo is gone.
“My poor Dad slipped away this
morning (June 16) after a tough few weeks with various ailments,”
“It was a lovely peaceful release
for him and had the most beautiful of passings, surrounded by his family.”
McCools yesterday and today have been
a constant of the Irish air cargo scene for more than 65 years.
Established by Sean in 1989, International
Airlines Marketing Ltd. (IAM) is Ireland’s largest Air Cargo General
Sales and Service Agent (GSSA), responsible for over 20 percent of all
airfreight traffic from Ireland.
father and son team for the past years, with Ian at the helm today serves
American Airlines, Etihad, Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, and South African
Sean's career began in the 1950s at Seaboard
World Airlines (his first airline job). He later moved on to Brinks (which
he introduced to Ireland) and Aer Lingus commercial cargo, where he was
responsible for the establishment of the highly successful cargo operation
in Ireland and Europe.
Between 1960 and 1964 Sean participated
as an Aer Lingus Executive on the Marketing Committee of the Confederation
of Irish Industries.
Sean was a founding member of the Irish
Air Cargo Institute and the Irish Institute of Freight Forwarders (IIFA),
where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for service to industry.
He was a former Council member of FIATA,
the Irish Exporters Association, and a past VP of the European Confederation
of National Freight Forwarders’ Associations (C.L.E.C.A.T), a consultative
body to the EU Commissioner of Transport.
“My first airline job was at
Seaboard World Airways, the pioneering all cargo airline that served Ireland
from New York,” Sean recalled.
“I was responsible for both
sales and operations and on call around the clock,” he said.
“I’d call the cargo terminal
from home every morning before the night shift left to make sure the transfers
had been made.
“Sometimes, after the flight
came in, I’d get a call in the middle of the night and go out to
the airport to help sort the shipments.
“It was all-hands-on-deck back
in those days,” Sean remembered.
“On the sales side, I spent
a lot of time contacting forwarding agents here in Ireland.
“There weren’t too many
of them back in those days,” Sean said.
“I would also spend several
days a month out on the road converting surface to air.
“That was tough work and could
take months, maybe even a year before a shipper would even pay the slightest
“It was the toughest kind of
selling,” Sean McCool recalled.
Sean never quit, even as a retired
“non-voting” CEO of International Airline Marketing Limited,
(IAM) the company he created.
The story is remarkable in the history
of transportation in Ireland, but also of the world.
Sean was especially close with his
good friend, the late Richard Malkin, and others making the case for the
formation of Shannon Airport itself.
Sean McCool was the true meaning of
the heart and soul of the air cargo community
Sean is rightfully honored universally
as one of the true pioneers, thinkers and achievers in the history of
Irish air transportation.
He was the godfather of Irish air cargo.
Reposing Sunday (June 18th) in Quinn’s
of Glasthule from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.
Monday (June 19th) to the Church of the
Assumption, Dalkey arriving for 10am Funeral Mass which can be viewed
followed by a private cremation.
No flowers please.
Donations in the name of Sean McCool, to
the Blackrock Hospice.