A Donegal-born entrepreneur who established one of Northern Ireland's leading shirt empires is set to be celebrated this week.

Killygordan native Bridget Desmond originated Shirt Stitching in Claudy and established the first of the famous Desmond’s shirt factories.

Born in 1862, Bridget settled in Claudy in Derry and married John Desmond.

Bridget Desmond

She began her business in 1885 by having shirts made up by out-workers, on behalf of Tillie & Henderson, one of the largest shirt manufacturers in Derry.

According to the Ulster History Circle, she would travel in her pony and trap delivering material to local women who sewed the garments and returned them.

She later converted several outbuildings at her home to centralise the work. This became the first Desmond factory, which paved the way for a thriving business.

Bridget died in 1911 at the age of 49 before she could see the growth of the empire. She had 13 children.

Her legacy will be remembered this Friday by the Ulster History Circle, more than 100 years after her death.

The historical group places plaques in towns and villages all over Ulster in honour of men and women who have contributed to the Province’s history.

A blue plaque will be unveiled in Bridget Desmond’s honour at 12noon at Claudy Rural Development on Friday 8th March, International Women’s Day 2019.