Advocate staff report
Brendan O’Connor, a native Dubliner who transformed the maritime
services firm he started here in 1985 into a diverse family of companies
that included local film studios under The Celtic Group banner, died
He was 64.
Visitation will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Resthaven Funeral Home and
11:30 a.m. Monday until the funeral service at 12:30 p.m. at St. George
Roman Catholic Church.
Bob Bayham, who worked for O’Connor for 15 years, on Friday praised
O’Connor’s vitality, energy and positive outlook on life.
“He imparted that to everyone he came into contact with,” Bayham said.
O’Connor left Ireland when he was 8 years old and got into the shipping
business in New York by answering an ad seeking a “young man, willing to
He later used the G.I. Bill to attend Manhattan Community College at
night and study international business and marketing.
“I don’t think he ever forgot he came from humble beginnings, and he let
that show,” Bayham said.
O’Connor came to Baton Rouge in 1985 after he decided he wanted to
create his own company. Using business relationships he cultivated in
New York, Celtic Marine soon flourished, adding a truck and rail
Over the years, O’Connor created other businesses, including Celtic
International Shipping Agency, Celtic Commercial Services, Celtic
Financial Services, Celtic & Stone Liquid Consulting and Celtic Media
Centre, a film and television production studio near Bluebonnet
Boulevard and Airline Highway.
Today, the Celtic Group has about 70 employees and had more than $130
million in revenue in 2008.
Bayham said that no matter where someone ranked in the corporate
hierarchy within O’Connor’s companies, “he always had time to speak with
you and offer words of wisdom.”
Bayham said O’Connor was a fearless entrepreneur, but also one who left
behind a legacy of sound business practices.
“He was more than an employer, he was a mentor and a friend, as he was
to many of us,” he said.