For the ninth year in a row, the Weston family retain their title as the richest family in Ireland, according to the 2017 Sunday Times Irish Rich List published in a dedicated 32-page supplement, free with The Sunday Times.
The Weston’s trans-Atlantic retail empire keeps them well ahead of all-comers. The business is now headed by Dublin-born Galen Jr and includes household names such as Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Heal’s, Primark, which trades as Penneys in the Republic, the giant American food and retail chain George Weston – founded by Galen Jr’s great-grandfather in 1882 – and the Loblaw supermarket chain in Canada.
The Sunday Times Irish Rich List surveys the wealth of the 300 richest individuals and families on the island of Ireland in a variety of areas including entertainment, sport, business, technology and construction.
The minimum wealth needed to qualify for this year’s 300 richest people in Ireland is €40m – and there are more billionaires than ever before.
This is the 21st edition of The Sunday Times Irish Rich List, detailed in a special 32 page supplement, with extended coverage on these affluent individuals and how they gained their riches available online from today at www.thesundaytimes.ie/irishrichlist
The Sunday Times Irish Rich List has been compiled by journalists Colm Murphy and Robert Watts using a wide range of accounts, annual reports, shareholder filings and other sources as well as usually private information shared by those who feature on the list. This definitive guide highlights our commitment to providing in–depth high quality journalism to readers of The Sunday Times.
Martin Naughton, founder of the Glen Dimplex Group and renowned philanthropist, is the richest person in Leinster. Naughton’s wealth has increased by over €100m since last year’s Rich List and he is now valued at €1.4billion.
Irish rock band U2 are the richest entertainers in Ireland. The band has a combined wealth of an estimated €645m and take the top spot on the Irish Entertainers’ Rich List four decades after they first formed the group. Also featuring on the list are Niall Horan, Graham Norton, Colin Farrell, Daniel O’Donnell, Michael Flatley, and Enya.
The wealthiest Irish actor is Liam Neeson, who at 64 remains one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. He is worth €113m today, and is thought to have earned €65m between 2012 and 2015. His films have earned more than €2.7bn at the box office. He will appear in a 10-minute sequel to the romcom Love Actually as part of the Red Nose Day television fundraiser on March 24.
Other entertainers who feature include musician Enya, who has sold over 80 million albums worldwide, the fourth wealthiest in Ulster, and TV producer husband and wife, Moya Doherty and John McColgan who make the Ulster top five this year with a combined worth of €87m. Their fortune is based on the global success of Riverdance, which they produced and directed respectively, first aired as a seven-minute interval act in the Eurovision song contest 23 years ago.
Tech-wise, the Collison brothers, Patrick and John rank fourth overall on this year’s Irish Rich List with a €2.4billion fortune. John Collison, 26, became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire last year when the online payments company Stripe, which he founded with brother Patrick, 28, was valued at €8.5bn, almost double what it had been two years previously, in a fund-raising exercise.
The brothers, who now live in San Francisco, own about 28% of the company, which they set up in 2010 after being frustrated by how long it took to make payments online. Stripe processes payments for clients including Deliveroo and Kickstarter and it is used also by Facebook, Twitter and Apple for some operations. Patrick took his first computer course at Limerick university aged 8, and as teens at Casletroy College in Limerick the brothers sold their first company, Auctomatic, which helped eBay sellers track their inventories, for €4m.
Rory McIlroy, with a fortune of €96m, is the wealthiest current sportman in this year’s Rich List, ranked 142= overall, more than enough to ensure his wedding next month to Erica Stoll, an America former PGA employee, passes off in some style. McIlroy earned $17.5m on the greens last year, around $5m more than any other player. When off-course earnings of $32.5m are added in, McIlroy was for the first time comfortably the top-earner in world golf last year.
Robert Watts, Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, says: “With a record number of billionaires, titans of technology and construction, and stars from film, television and the sports and music industries, the new Irish Rich List presents a fascinating snapshot of Ireland on the global stage.
“This weekend’s Rich List provides insight and analysis of wealth across all sectors and provides a definitive picture of wealth across the island of Ireland. It’s a must read for anyone interested in where wealth in the country lies.”
For the complete Sunday Times Irish Rich List, detailing all 300 entries from all over Ireland, pick up a copy of the Sunday Times this weekend.