Who are the richest people and families in Ireland?

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary joins billionaire club for the first time

The Weston family have kept their title as the richest family in Ireland for another year, as a record number of Irish billionaires join the rich list.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary joined the billionaire club for the first time, with golfer Rory McIlroy topping the list as the wealthiest sportsman and singer Niall Horan becoming the youngest on the list. Liam Neeson was named the the richest Irish actor on the list.

The latest Irish rich list, published on Sunday, showed the combined wealth of 300 people and families reached €77 billion in 2016.

The Westons, who topped the list, run a transatlantic retail empire from Europe to Canada which includes businesses such as Penneys, Brown Thomas, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason.


The family's interest is valued at €12.353 billion. Galen Weston Snr stepped down last year and Galen Weston Jnr, who was born in Dublin, took over in September 2016.

The top 250 on this year's Sunday Times rich list have reached unprecedented levels of wealth, with a record breaking 15 billionaires on the list.

The minimum wealth needed to qualify for the 2017 list was €40 million.

Youngest billionaires

The youngest billionaires are two brothers from Co Limerick. John (26) and Patrick Collison (28), who own an online payment company Stripe, are worth €2.4 billion.

The wealthiest individual on the list is Denis O’Brien at €4.7 billion. The 58-year-old, who was born in Co Cork, made his fortune in telecoms and now has interests in media companies, property and golf resorts.

U2 topped the list of the richest entertainers in Ireland with a combined wealth of €645 million.

One Direction musician Niall Horan (23) is a new entry to the list and the youngest. Horan , born in Mullingar, has a fortune of €44 million.

The wealthiest Irish actor is Liam Neeson (64), worth €113 million.

Presenter Graham Norton, actor Colin Farrell, singer Daniel O'Donnell, entertainer Michael Flatley and singer Enya all feature on the entertainment rich list.

The richest person in Leinster is Martin Naughton, founder of the Glen Dimplex Group. His wealth grew by more than €100 million since last year and is valued at €1.4 billion.

Golfer Rory McIlroy, born in Co Down, has a fortune of €96 million and is the richest sportsperson.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the figures from the list showed the high levels of inequality in Ireland.

“These figures showing the enormous and dramatically increased wealth of Ireland’s multimillionaires and billionaires are truly scandalous and obscene.

“When you consider the extent of poverty, deprivation, homelessness and unnecessary hardship being suffered by so many in this country, it is utterly scandalous to learn that just 300 people have enough wealth to solve all those problems, 10 times over,” he said.

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty is an Irish Times journalist