'Natasha was a dynamic force in Cork': Tributes paid to founder of Essential French 

'Natasha was a dynamic force in Cork': Tributes paid to founder of Essential French 

Tributes have been paid following the death of Natasha O'Donoghue (née Lynch), the founder of Essential French.

Tributes have been paid following the death of Natasha O'Donoghue (née Lynch), well known in Cork as the founder of Essential French.

Ms O’Donoghue passed away peacefully at home on Friday, surrounded by her family.

She was a well-known figure and successful businesswoman in Cork. In 1996, she established Essential French, the successful grind college that specialised in French and Irish tuition.

“It is very sad news,” Nora Callanan, former president of Alliance Francaise de Cork said. “I am very saddened.

“She was a very bright person. She ran a wonderful school that did intensive courses for pre-Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students.” 

The former Lord Mayor of Cork Mick Finn also paid tribute.

“Natasha was a dynamic force in Cork and a touchstone for women in business,” he said.

 “Her innovation was widely acclaimed and she will be a huge loss to the city and in particular the students she served.

“I wish to extend my condolences to her family and loved ones.” 

Ray Kelleher of the Montenotte Hotel, described her death as a ‘very sad day’ for Cork.

“I was shocked to hear the news,” he said. “It is so sad. I knew her through my various work roles and her business Essential French. She was just so personable. I built up a strong relationship with her.

“She was a hugely successful business person. She established a niche business. She was a bubbly, confident and outgoing person. She was a genuinely good person." 

Mr Kelleher described her as one of life's beautiful people and added: “She will be a huge loss.” 

Ms O’Donoghue is survived by her husband Wayne, sons Matthew and Ben, father Tony and extended family and friends. Her funeral will be livestreamed on Monday.

“Due to Covid restrictions, we ask you to light a candle for Natasha and remember her at this time,” her family said in a notice on Rip.ie. 

“No flowers please, donations, if desired, to Mercy Hospital Foundation, Cork University Hospital, Arc House and Marymount Hospice.”

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