U2 ARE THE RICHEST IN SHOWBIZ WORTH €647M
FOUR STARS OF SILVER SCREEN REAP GOLDEN REWARDS
DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: NIALL HORAN MOVES UP WEALTH CHARTS AS GELDOF SLIPS DOWN
THE SUNDAY TIMES IRISH RICH LIST –
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO WEALTH IN IRELAND – PUBLISHED THIS WEEKEND
Rock band U2 are the richest entertainers in Ireland according to the 2018 Sunday Times Irish Rich List which will be published this weekend (Sunday, March 25) in a dedicated 32-page supplement free with The Sunday Times. The band has a combined wealth of an estimated €647m and takes the top spot on the Irish Entertainment Rich List, weeks after they became the first band to top the US album charts in four consecutive decades. Also featuring on the list are Niall Horan, Graham Norton, Pierce Brosnan, Bob Geldof, Michael Flatley, and Liam Neeson.
This is the 22nd annual edition of The Sunday Times Irish Rich List and comes with extended coverage online of Ireland’s 300 richest people and how they gained their riches at
THE SUNDAY TIMES IRISH RICH LIST
THE TOP 20 ENTERTAINMENT MILLIONAIRES
|2||Mark Burnett and
|3||Michael Flatley||Dance||€230m||Down €5m|
|4||Denis Desmond and Caroline Downey||Entertainment||€202m||Up €3m|
|5||Paul McGuinness||Music||€143m||Up €1m|
|7||Liam Neeson||Film||€113m||No change|
|8||Paul Anderson and family||Cinema||€99m||No change|
|9||Moya Doherty and John McColgan||Entertainment||€92m||Up €5m|
|10||Paul and Mary Ward and family||Cinema||€91m||Up €3m|
|11||Jack Higgins||Books||€73m||No change|
|12||Pierce Brosnan||Film||€72m||No change|
|13||Sir Van Morrison||Music||€63m||Up €1m|
|14||Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and Rebecca Miller||Film||€56m||Up €1m|
|15||Niall Horan||Music||€52m||Up €8m|
|16||Bob Geldof||Music||€42m||Down €7m|
|17=||Chris de Burgh||Music||€41m||Up €1m|
|17=||Colin Farrell||Film||€41m||Up €1m|
|19||Graham Norton||Television||€38m||Up €2m|
|20||Daniel O’Donnell||Music||€31m||No change|
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.
U2 have become rich through extensive touring and €3m annual income from their back catalogue, merchandising and airplay. Their 14th studio album, Songs of Experience peaked at no 5 in the UK album charts as well as topping the Billboard chart in the US. The €2m increase in their overall wealth helped them finish ahead of husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey who have a combined fortune of €443m.
United States-based Burnett, 57, is president of MGM Television and is the king of reality television, devising ‘The Apprentice’ ‘Survivor’ and ‘The Voice’, while his wife, Derry-born Roma Downey, also 57, is chief content officer of the faith and family division of MGM Television. She co-produced the TV mini-series ‘The Bible’, seen by 100m people. The couple made their fortune from a successful production company, in which MGM took a 55% stake in 2015 for $364m, with the couple exchanging their remaining holding for 1.3m MGM shares, currently worth €107m.
The wealthiest Irish actor is Liam Neeson, who at 65 remains one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Most recently the star of The Commuter, which has grossed $108m to date worldwide, Neeson’s movies have earned more than $6.9bn at the box office overall. Valued by The Sunday Times at €113m this year, he has been lined up to co-star in ‘Widows’, directed by Steve McQueen and also starring Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall.
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.
Colm Murphy, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, says:
“Forty two years on from their formation, U2 continue to carry everything before them, chalking up new records in the past year as a result of both their sheer longevity and their sustained brilliance. The parents of many of their fans today were children themselves when the band started out.
“Equally long-lived and enduringly popular are the band of Irish actors, who feature once more in The Sunday Times Irish Entertainment Rich List. Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and Colin Farrell are among the most bankable stars in the industry, reflected by their combined worth of more than €280m.
“The spread of Irish acting talent is demonstrated with three-time Best Actor Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis recently missing out on a record fourth gong, while Neeson reflects on his latest nine-figure box office hit with The Commuter and Pierce Brosnan awaits the summer release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a reprise of his role in the 2008 Abba-inspired musical Mamma Mia!
“Of course, this weekend’s Rich List provides insight beyond just the fields of music, film, television and entertainment, where the Irish traditionally excel. With analysis of wealth across all sectors in Ireland, it provides a definitive picture of wealth across the island of Ireland. It’s a must read for anyone interested in where the wealth in our country lies.”
Lower down the Irish Entertainment Rich List, there is a musical changing of the guard as One Direction star Niall Horan – at 24 still the youngest person in this year’s Rich List – heads up the list with a €8m gain to stand at €52m, while Bob Geldof sees a €7m fall in his wealth to €42m. The pair swap places in this year’s wealth rankings.
Horan is the only person under 40 on the Entertainment Rich List. His second concert world tour ‘The Flicker World Tour’ kicked off a fortnight ago in Killarney’s INEC. Dun Laoghaire-born Geldof, 66, was the lead singer with The Boomtown Rats but is best known as the driving force behind Live Aid in 1985. His main company Bcraft showed a €5.2m drop in assets in the past year.
Harry Patterson, working under his pen name of Jack Higgins, is the most successful writer on the list, appearing at number 11. Higgins has written more than 70 novels including ‘The Eagle has Landed’, ‘A Prayer for the Dying’, and is most well-known as the prolific author of the Sean Dillon series.
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.