Rich List: Wealthiest 250 in Ireland worth €75bn all told

Sunday Times Rich List claims Ireland is home to 13 billionaires, worth €38bn in total

The richest 250 people in Ireland are worth a combined €75.03 billion and have seen their wealth increase by 15.9 per cent in the last year, according to figures published on Sunday.

The Sunday Times Rich List claims that Ireland is currently home to 13 billionaires, who have a combined fortune of €37.89 billion, and that the net worth of the country's wealthy elite is now significantly ahead of that recorded at the end of the so-called Celtic Tiger era in 2008.

At the top of the Irish list are Hilary and Alannah Weston, the Dublin-born mother and daughter from the family which controls Brown Thomas and Penneys in Ireland and Selfridges and Primark in the UK, as well as a huge Canadian operation. The family is valued at some €15 billion.

Denis O’Brien, who has significant interests in the communications sector through his Digicel business, is in second place with an estimated fortune of €5.34 billion.


Largest shareholders

Mr O'Brien (57) is the largest shareholder in Independent News & Media and is involved in enterprises such as the Topaz filling station chain, radio stations Today FM and Newstalk, and Siteserv, the sale of which is at the centre of an ongoing political controversy.

Investor John Dorrance (€2.38 billion) is third on the Irish list, ahead of Glen-Dimplex owner Martin Naughton (€2.19 billion - No 4) and financier Dermot Desmond (€2.01 billion - No 5).

Others in the list's top 10 are Lady Ballyedmond of Newry-based Norbrook Laboratories (€1.91 billion - No 6); retailers the Dunne family (€1.78 billion No 7); Pearse Lyons of animal nutrition firm Alltech, and family (€1.37 billion - No 8); brothers John and Patrick Collison who established online payments platform Stripe (€1.37 billion - No 9); and Paul Coulson, a shareholder in the Ardagh Group (€1.21 billion - No 10).

New entrants to the Irish section of the list include Sir Daniel and Lady Day-Lewis (€62 million), who have a home in Co Wicklow; and international rugby referee Simon McDowell, (€73 million) whose fortune relates to a Co Antrim mineral-processing firm linked to his family.

Collective wealth

The British version of the list shows that the collective wealth of its richest people has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

The list includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.131 billion.

London-based Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik, whose empire includes the Warner Music Group, was at the summit this year, with an estimated fortune of £13.17 billion.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Chelsea Football Club chairman Roman Abramovich saw their fortunes fall by £1.05 billion and £1.23 billion respectively, the list claimed.

However, neither are likely to be sweating too much over it. Mr Mittal and family are still worth an estimated £9.20 billion, while researchers put Mr Abramovich's fortune at £7.29 billion.

Sir Paul McCartney was at the summit of the top 40 musical millionaires on the list, with the former Beatle's personal fortune at £730 million - a good way ahead of his nearest rival Andrew Lloyd Webber, worth an estimated £650 million.

Adele, who is reckoned to be worth £50 million, was named the richest young musician in the UK and Ireland. Second place in the chart, made up of acts aged 30 or under, goes to the four members of One Direction (including Irishman Niall Horan) and former bandmate Zayn Malik, who are said to be worth £25 million each.

Additional reporting: PA