Riverdeep founder heads Ireland’s rich list


A former schoolteacher who quit to pursue his dream of using computers to educate children has become Ireland's top earner, it was revealed today.

Mr Pat McDonagh, from north Dublin, heads the Sunday Times Pay List 2001after raking in £107 million during the past year from his company Riverdeep.

He founded the company in 1995 and it has become the largest Internet trainer for schoolchildren in the US, making him a fortune when he sold 15 per cent of it on the American Nasdaq market in June.

Ryanair has created three of the tycoons in the top 10 earners, including its chief executive Mr Michael O'Leary in sixth place.

Despite earning £28.2 million in the past year - much of it from selling a small stake in the company in February - he refuses to wear suits or travel first class.

Mr Cathal Ryan and Mr Declan Ryan, whose father founded Ryanair, are in joint eighth place, having earned £17.7 million each from the sales of part of their stakes.

Taking second place in the Irish Pay List is Mr Allen McClay, founder of pharmaceutical giant Galen, followed closely by the company's chairman Mr John King in third position.

Mr McClay earned £65.2 million and King made £65 million£, largely from selling their shares.

Irish rockers U2, meanwhile, fall just short of the pay top 10, coming in at 13th place overall with £15 million each.