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The Sunday Times Publishes Its Irish Rich List 2017

Published on Mar 7 2017 10:59 AM

The Sunday Times Publishes Its Irish Rich List 2017

The Sunday Times has published its analysis of the richest 300 individuals and families in Ireland for the year 2017, which it calls the ‘definitive guide to wealth’.

The list, which has been compiled annually since 2007, estimates the fortunes of the richest people in the country, while acknowledging that ‘the actual size of [those indexed] may be much larger than our figure’. The list was compiled by Colm Murphy and Robert Watts.

Among the entries are a number of important figures in the retail and food and drinks industry, such as:

The Musgrave Family. The Sunday Times estimates the Corkonian couple Peter and Mary Musgrave at €69 million, ranking them 213th in the list. The couple own 15% of the Musgrave Group, as well as other assets of approximately €28 million. They are a new entry to the list.

Tony Barry. Running Barry’s Tea Unlimited, which was founded by Tony’s great-grandfather in 1901, Barry is estimated to own €87 million, placing him at 161st. He is believed to hold half the company but exact ownership is unclear. Last year, his fortune stood at €82 million, and was ranked 163rd.

Eddie Kilty. With €96 million, and ranked 142nd in the rich list, 68 year old Kilty has a 3.4% share in packaging giant Ardagh, and dividend earnings worth approximately €4 million. Last year he stood at €82 million, in 163rd.

Caroline, Joe & David Keeling. A new entry to the list, and valued at €98 million, in 138th place, the Keeling family run the biggest fruit and veg supplier to Irish supermarkets. Caroline is Chief Executive of the company, while father Joe and brother David are directors. The Sunday Times notes that €98 million may be a ‘conservative estimate’.

Jack and Jim Dobson. The Dobson brothers share €105 million, ranked 129th, through their meat processing company Dunbia. Processing mainly lamb and beef, the company employs 4,000 staff. Last year the brothers’ wealth was estimated at €90 million, and they ranked 146th.

Feargal Quinn. With €120 million, placed 118th in the list, Fearful Quinn has had a long career in politics as well as retail. He founded Superquinn at 23 and sold it in 2005 for €400m. Last year the Sunday Times estimated he owned €154 million and ranked him 83rd.

Joe Sloan and family. Along with the late Geoff Salters (see below), Joe Sloan founded marketing and distribution company SHS Group in 1975. Sloan’s fortune is valued at €153 million, tied at 87th. Sloan remains at the helm of the Belfast-based firm. Last year he was valued at €135 million, ranked 100th.

Brenda Salters and family. Widow of Geoff Salters (see above), Brenda is still on the board of SHS, which boasts Cobra beer and WKF among its clientele. The family fortune is estimated at €153 million, tied at 87th, and last year was ranked 100th at €135 million.

David and Carl McCann. With a fortune valued at €180 million, the McCann brothers place 70th on the Sunday Times list. They sold their 12% share in Fyffes last year to Japanese firm Sumitomo for €88 million. The family has been in the fruit business since the brother’s grandfather began importing bananas in Dundalk in 1902. The Sumitomo sale has boosted the McCann’s standing, from 94th last year, with €141 million.

Joseph and Jean Brennan. Running Dublin-based Brennans Bakeries, Joseph and wife Jean are estimated to be worth €259 million, standing in 48th place. The bakery is worth approximately €88 million but the couple have a broad property portfolio also. Their seven children, Colm, Deborah, Declan, David, Joseph Edward, Michelle, Suzanne, sit on the Brennans board. last year they were in 41st position with €269 million.

Niall Wall. The chief executive of packaging group Ardagh, Niall Wall is placed 42nd with €290 million. Wall owns 9.5% of the €2.8 billion company, and made €6.4 million in special dividends in 2014. Last year his wealth was valued at €246 million, ranked 45th.

Bert and Maurice Allen. Bert, aged 78, and Maurice, aged 74, arranged 36 with €344 million. The brothers recently sold Slaney Foods, a Wexford-based meat processor, despite opposition from farmers. They also have a number of property interests. Last year they were placed 36th with an estimated €346 million.

Sir Michael and Dermot Smurfit and family. Ranked 29th and with €422 million, the Smurfit family made its fortune in packaging. Sir Michael admits to having lost a huge personal fortune in the 2008 crash but helped turn Smurfit Kappa into a global giant. Also recently Sir Michael and his brother Dermot sold a 27.5% share in paper group Powerflute, and they have an array of property and business investments. Ranked 29th last year, with €422 million.

The Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family. Crossing the billion barrier, the Guinness Family wealth is estimated at €1,047 billion, in 13th place. Ned Guinness, the Earl of Iveagh, is a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness. He inherited his title and about €73 million of Guinness shares in 1991. The family stake in Diageo is estimated at €270 million and the earl is thought to grow 10% of all onions eaten in the UK through his company Elveden Farms in Suffolk. Last year the Guinness family was placed 10th, with €1.095 billion.

Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan and the Dunne Family. Frank Dunne, 73, alongside his sister Margaret Heffernan, 74, run and control half of the €1.6 billion Dunnes Stores chain. Their fortune is estimated at €1.761 billion alongside other family members, placing them 7th in the list. Past dividends and salaries add to the family’s wealth. Last year they were estimated to own €1.769 billion, when they stood also at 7th.

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