Death of Paddy Power co-founder David Power announced

Veteran bookmaker (77), a key figure in Irish betting industry for decades, died peacefully in Dublin

David Power came from a line of bookmakers going back to 1895. Photograph: Healy Racing

David Power, one of the co-founders of bookmaker Paddy Power, who helped grow what was a small Irish business into one of the biggest betting companies in the world with a valuation in the tens of billions of euro, has died.

Mr Power died peacefully at the Beacon Hospital in Dublin on Monday, according to a notice published on He was 77 years old.

Mr Power, who came from a line of bookmakers going back to 1895, famously set up Paddy Power in 1988 when he merged his family’s Richard Power betting shop business with similar operations owned by Stewart Kenny and John Corcoran to take on the big UK firms in the Irish market at that time. The company in turn merged with Betfair in 2016 is now a key part of Flutter Entertainment, one of the world’s biggest gambling businesses, with a market capitalisation of more than €32 billion.

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“He was an influential voice in Paddy Power’s decision to embrace the power of the internet, kick-starting a prolonged period of growth that saw the company list on both the Irish and London stock exchanges in 2000; become the first bookmaker on the Apple App Store in 2010; and ultimately merge with Betfair in 2016, creating a true leader whose success would allow Flutter to acquire more great businesses and expand aggressively in the US and across the world,” Flutter said in a statement. “David was immensely proud that his plucky Irish business, with its 40 shops initially, paved the way for Flutter to become the global leader in online sports betting and iGaming it is today.”


Mr Power worked in the gambling business from 1970, when he joined the family firm after qualifying as a chartered accountant. While working to grow the Paddy Power business, he maintained Richard Power as an on-course bookmaker until he retired in 2018.

“As both a sharp bettor and an accomplished chartered accountant, David always had invaluable insights and challenging questions for successive management teams as a supportive shareholder, whether with regard to performance, product or, usually, our pricing,” the company said. “While he formally left the Paddy Power board in 2013, he always maintained a strong presence around the business,” it added.

His removal will take place on Thursday afternoon to the Church of St Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus, arriving for funeral mass at 1.30pm followed by burial at Mount Jerome Cemetery.

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan is an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times