Glenveagh Properties co-founder Justin Bickle dies aged 51

Self-made businessman excelled in the worlds of law, private equity and property development

Glenveagh Properties co-founder Justin Bickle who has died at the age of 51. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The co-founder and former CEO of Glenveagh Properties, Justin Bickle (51), has died suddenly. He had been holidaying in Dubai at the time with his wife Celeste and their young daughter.

Mr Bickle joined forces with developer Stephen Garvey and former Jones Lang LaSalle chief executive and chairman John Mulcahy in 2017 to establish Dublin-listed housebuilder, Glenveagh Properties after more than a decade working with US private equity giant Oaktree to establish its European private equity and distressed debt investing team in London.

In 2019, he returned to the UK to pursue his interests in private investing, education and the arts.

Having founded the European real estate investment and asset management firm, Eagle Street Partners in late 2020 with former Bennetts and Glenveagh executive Shane Scully, Mr Bickle was back investing in Dublin’s thriving build-to-rent market within months.


In August 2021, Eagle Street paid Glenveagh €78.5 million for a 4.6-acre site with planning permission for 702 homes and a hotel at Castleforbes in Dublin’s north docklands, while earlier this year the company paid a further €63 million for an adjacent 5.2-acre site with permission for 554 homes at 1 – 4 East Road.

Originally trained as a lawyer, he specialised in the areas of commercial litigation and insolvency before being joining the London office of leading Wall Street law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in 2001. Four years later, he made his first move into property investment and development with Oaktree.

In a statement issued to The Irish Times on Thursday, a spokesman for Eagle Street Partners said: “It is with deep regret we announce that our esteemed chairman, co-founder and chief investment officer, Justin Bickle, recently passed away.

“Our deepest sympathies are with his wife, Celeste, and his family. Providing comfort and support to Justin’s family is our main priority at this time. A trusted colleague and close friend to all at Eagle Street, Justin brought immense energy to the table and will be sorely missed.”

On behalf of Glenveagh Properties, chairman John Mulcahy and chief executive Stephen Garvey said their thoughts and deepest sympathy were with Mr Bickle’s family. They described him as “a close colleague and friend for many years”, recalling how the three men had established the company in 2016 and “travelled the world’s capital markets together to drum up support for our vision of creating a best-in-class construction firm for the Irish residential market”.

“We know that he took great satisfaction from the progress which Glenveagh has made on the journey which the three of us mapped all those years ago. We are deeply saddened that he will not be here to see his dreams realised.  We will remember him in our thoughts and prayers,” they added.

Quite apart his involvement in property markets in Ireland and Britain, Mr Bickle was founder and managing partner of Postbridge Capital LLP, a private investment and capital advisory firm, and vice-chairman of Nordic Aviation Capital, the world’s largest regional jets and turboprop aircraft lessor.

Outside of his professional interests, he served for the 10 years up to 2018 as chairman of English National Ballet. Keenly aware of the value of education and the opportunities it provides to all, but particularly to those less fortunate, Mr Bickle, who grew up on a council estate in Plymouth, had over recent years returned to his local grammar school in Devonport to award bursaries to students progressing to higher education.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times