Rupert Murdoch dines in Dublin to mark launch of paper

The Shelbourne Hotel hosted the media mogul and a group of Irish luminaries

Rupert Murdoch flew into Dublin on Tuesday afternoon to have lunch with Denis O'Brien, JP McManus, Dermot Desmond and a group of other Irish luminaries.

The media mogul was accompanied by Rebekah Brooks and other executives from News UK, the British arm of his publishing operation, at an event to mark the recent launch of the Times Ireland edition.

The lunch, which took place in a private room in the Shelbourne Hotel, lasted for about two hours and was also attended by chief executive of Irish Distillers Louise Ryan, former politician and latter-day consultant Lucinda Creighton, director general of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce John McGrane and chief executive of Dawn Foods Larry Murrin.

Mr Desmond was among the first to leave. The financier, who is said to have a net worth of about €1.5 billion came out of the hotel unaccompanied before striding off in the direction of Leinster House.


Minutes later he was followed by Mr McManus – who is worth about €800 million. He too strolled out of the hotel alone and like Mr Desmond he left on foot but in the opposite direction to the financier.

Next up was Mr O’Brien, the largest shareholder of Independent News and Media and a man whose net worth is put at close to €5 billion. Mr O’Brien chatted briefly to a number of people in the hotel foyer before walking briskly to a waiting limousine. Then it was Mr Murdoch’s turn.

While passers-by would scarcely have noticed the departure of the two Irish billionaires – and Mr McManus – the departure of Mr Murdoch was hard to miss. He came out of the hotel flanked by a team of people with a burly security man with an English accent leading the charge.

Mr Murdoch’s security detail’s main aim appeared to be to stymie this newspaper’s best efforts to establish if he had enjoyed his lunch. After pausing briefly to look in our direction – with, it must be said, something approaching loathing in his eyes – the media baron was bustled into a waiting car and spirited away to a destination unknown.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor