One More Thing: It’s a horsey family affair for Ryanair’s legal eagle Hayden

Ryanair is the new lead sponsor of Elizabeth Hayden, a talented young Irish eventer who is going all out to make the Olympics

Ryanair is the new lead sponsor of Elizabeth Hayden, a talented young Irish eventer who is going all out to make the Olympics

Fri, Feb 21, 2014, 01:05

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary is horse mad, so it was no major surprise to see the airline pop up recently as the new lead sponsor of Elizabeth Hayden, a talented young Irish eventer who is going all out to make the Olympics.

It turns out there is another connection. Her father is none other than top barrister Martin Hayden, who usually acts as Ryanair’s senior counsel on its frequent trips to the High Court. You can bet the airline’s new cuddly image doesn’t extend to its various legal battles.

Hayden is one of the most high-profile barristers in the State and, apart from Ryanair, he frequently acts for developers who find themselves in conflict with Nama and the banks.

He recently represented the Quinn family in a case against IBRC. He has also represented IRA hunger-striker-turned Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely, as well as the wife of McFeely’s former business partner Larry O’Mahony, when she was granted €9,000 a month in expenses from IBRC.

It’s expensive being rich, don’t you know?

According to Elizabeth’s website, Martin Hayden is horse mad too.

He brought her on her first hunt when she was four and, along with her mother, he has overseen her nascent (and so far successful) career: “Mum is the patient one whilst dad wants everything to happen immediately.”

She goes on to describe some of the Hayden family’s exotic horsey holidays, such as horseback safari in Botswana and trekking in Torres Del Paine, Chile. The holidays can be “mad”, she says, because her father is “a bit of a daredevil”.

Elizabeth was named Young Rider of the Year at the Irish Field awards this month, so it looks like Ryanair has backed itself a winner.

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