Hugely successful businessman gave back generously

George Moore: Born May 13th, 1951; died May 22nd, 2013

George Moore was one of the most successful Irish-American entrepreneurs of his generation and a noted philanthropist. A board member of the Taoiseach's economic advisory board, he ran the Virginia-based marketing technology company TargusInfo, which he sold in 2011 for $650 million (€472 million).

Born in Dundalk, Co Louth, the son of a shoemaker, he had three brothers and three sisters. He left Ireland in 1972 with two degrees from University College Dublin to study for master's and doctorate business degrees at George Washington University. After college he worked for CACI International in Washington DC and National Decision Systems in San Diego before moving on to set up Targus Information in 1993.

Targus, which was based in the Tyson's Corner area of Virginia, helped clients to identify and verify customers and grew to process about 100 billion transactions a year. He bought into Belleek China and Galway Irish Crystal and invested in the Virginia Distillery Company.

He offered his business expertise to the Irish Technology Leadership Group and was a member of the board of the Northern Ireland Trade and Investment Council, and the Trustee of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund. He participated in the Global Irish Economic Forum.

Honorary CBE
He received the Outstanding Alumnus award from University College Dublin in 1991 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in sciences by the University of Ulster in 2006. The next year he received an honorary CBE from Queen Elizabeth in recognition of his contribution to Northern Ireland's economy. He donated $5 million to UCD in 2011 to fund the training of engineers and computer scientists.

Moore was a regular visitor to Ireland and he had a house in Carlingford, Co Louth.


Michael Collins, the Irish ambassador to the US, said he was "deeply saddened" by Moore's death. "He was one of the finest friends Ireland could ever have," said Collins.

“He was a hugely successful businessman who also gave back generously to so many in Ireland, not least through the American Ireland Fund,” he said. Moore was “a pillar of support to all our efforts to help and promote economic success in Ireland both North and South”.

Norman Houston, director of the Northern Irish Burean in Washington, said Moore often joked that he, a native of Dundalk, and his wife Angela, from Newry, were Ireland's first cross-Border institution."But most of all he was a man who cared about our small part of the globe," he said.

Kieran McLoughlin, chief executive of the philanthropic American Ireland Fund, said that Ireland had “lost a great champion and a great friend”.

“George was full of energy, determination and wisdom. His clarity and depth of thinking were extraordinary,” he said. “He was a patriot in the truest sense in using his philanthropy to create opportunity and promote reconciliation at home.”

Moore died of a heart attack at his home, Ravensdale, in Great Falls, Virginia, outside Washington DC. He is survived by his wife Angela, his children Kerla (34), Gareth (30) and Ashlyn (27), and his granddaughter Fiona (2).