Last weekend, the Sunday Times published its annual rich lists for the UK and Ireland. The Sunday Times regards Ireland as the island, Republic and Northern Ireland, and it compiles a separate list of the Top 250 richest in Ireland. Given the world-class collapse in the Irish property sector at the end of the last decade, you might be surprised to see any wealth remaining in property, and indeed there are practically no NAMA developers apparent on the list, but there is a sizable number whose wealth remains in property.
It should be said upfront, that the Sunday Times survey is based on estimation and may contain inaccuracies. It is supposed to encompass Irish-born wealthy. I was surprised to see that businessman and developer Paddy McKillen didn’t make it onto the Rich List at all, whilst his rivals for the Maybourne group of hotels, the Barclay brothers are on the UK Rich List and are said to be worth nearly €3bn, or GBP 2.35bn to be precise. Paddy did appear in some previous editions of the Rich List and in 2009 was said to have been worth about €75m.
Also it should be said that many of Ireland’s richest people have property holdings but are not primarily known for their property investments. For example Digicel’s Denis O’Brien is Ireland’s 2nd richest person with wealth estimated at €4bn and Denis has a portfolio of Irish property including here, but that is not his main source of wealth. Larry Goodman is said to be worth €613m and his wealth is attributed to meat but we know that he has considerable property interests as well. So,perhaps it is better to treat this list as a bit of fun; this is the list of those the Sunday Times believe are in the Irish Top 250 whose primary source of wealth is, or includes, property.
Michael Smurfit (€468m), owns the K Club, homes in Ireland, Monaco and Spain
Stephen Vernon (€334m) this is his stake in Green Property which owns the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre
Bert and Maurice Allen (€315m) They sold the Bewley hotel chain in 2007 for €225m and have a property and investment portfolio worth about €300m today.
George, Henry and John Sisk (€310m) This is construction wealth but they are involved in developments, including the NAMA development of Greystones Harbour.
Joseph and Jean Brennan (€235m), the bakers but are also said to have a €150m investment property portfolio
Neil Taylor (€235m) owns 2,000 German apartments#
Charles and Margaret Kenny (€229m) own the Clancourt group which has office developments on Harcourt Street off St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.
Sam Morrison (€229m) This Antrim developer (yes, it is an all-Ireland list) owns Corbo which in turn owns the Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena and retail parks off Boucher Road in Belfast
Kevin and Michael Lagan (€176m) Antrim developers who have recently been engaged to develop the Dundonald site into which NAMA is pouring €11m.
Gerard O’Hare (€176m), another Nordie, owns Newry’s Quays shopping complex, Fairgreen shopping centre in Carlow. Bertie Ahern was on the board of his company, Parker Green International.
Bernadette and John Gallagher (€173m) behind Doyle hotels.
Ken Rohan (€141m) owns Airspace Investments with property in Ireland, UK and Barbados
Charles Gallagher (€129m) stake in Abbey homes and Matthew Homes in England
Aidan Brooks (€94m) retail properties in London, Paris and New York
Eileen Monahan (€92m) stake in Doyles hotels and Johnston Court shopping centre in Sligo
Michael and Lesley Herbert (€88m) Nordies who own a string of KFC franchises but also own properties in Northern Ireland and Scotland
Thomas and Tom McDonogh (€86m), father and son Galway own the Brackenwood investment company
Lord Rana (€85m), Nordie, own Andras House property and hotel group
John, Ciara and John Patrick Byrne (€83m) own Dublin property through a Cayman Islands trust
Owen O’Callaghan (€82m) Moyglen Holdings and Blackwater Property
Angela and Michael Cotter (€80m) Park Developments, was previously involved in the Greystones Harbour development, NAMAed
Frank Fahy (€80m) Shannon Homes
James Egan (€79m) Broomford Holdings, a London-based property operation
Mark and Kathleen Kavanagh (€71m) Hardwicke group, parent of Kopian Investments.
Edward Lonergan (€71m) Nordie controls the Deramore group
John Miskelly (€71m) Belfast’s Ten Square Hotel
Noel and Miriam O’Callaghan (€64m) own hotels in Dublin, Gibraltar and Maryland, USA. Property in Kildare and Tipperary
Robert Harris (€56m) 20 companies in UK and New Zealand
Damian Heron (€56m) Derry-based builder and developer
Michael Holland (€56m) owns Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin
Patrick O’Leary (€56m) British Virgin Islands-based Arpal Investments
Ciaran Murdock (€53m) Newry-based Murdock group
Billy Hastings (€47m) Hastings Hotels chain including Belfast’s Europa and half of Dublin’s Merrion Hotel
Joseph Layden (€45m) Layden Properties Georges Street
Kevin and Mary Flannery (€41m) Flannery’s and the Imperial hotels in Galway and Foxfield Inns
Gerry Houlihan (€41m) owns half of Tifco which has several Crowne Plaza in Dublin, and Clontarf Castle