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Indian-born pensioner tops the Irish rich list

An unknown Indian-born pensioner worth €4.4 billion (£3.9bn) has topped Ireland's rich list.

Pallonji Mistry — who became an Irish citizen in 2003 through his Irish born wife — has interests in real estate, cars, heavy industry, tea and part owns the Taj Mahal Hotel.

The Sunday Independent reported the 79-year-old billionaire, who still lives in Mumbai, owns 18.4% of India's largest private conglomerate Tata.

Despite making it to the top ten, Co Fermanagh man Sean Quinn is estimated to have lost a staggering €2.5bn (£2.2bn) supporting the now nationalised Anglo Irish Bank.

Texas-based billionaire John P Grayken was second on the list with a fortune worth €3.9bn (£3.5bn) due to the success of shrewd investments including Lone Star Funds. Dubliner Hilary Weston, a former model who owns the Brown Thomas chain with her husband Galen, a Canadian retail tycoon, were placed third with an estimated €3.67bn (£3.3bn).

The Sunday Independent rich list showed that, despite the recession and Ireland's boom to bust, its top 300 richest people are worth close to €50bn (£45bn).

Nick Webb, deputy business editor, said: “Property aside, there is an unprecedented number of Irish billionaires and multi-millionaires who made their wealth in other countries.

“Significant fortunes have been amassed by smart entrepreneurs in technology, retail, high finance, aviation and renewable energy.”

Elsewhere U2 topped the poll for the richest celebrities with €595m (£535m) while Paddy McNally was named the richest sports star making €230m (£206) from F1 trackside advertising and corporate hospitality.

The Sunday Independent also published details of the 2009 losers who saw their fortunes plummet when Ireland's booming economy bottomed. Developers Bernard McNamara and Liam Carroll were hit hard when the property bubble burst, owing debts of €1.5bn (£1.35bn) and €1.3bn (£1.16bn) respectively.



Top 10 richest

Ireland's top 10 wealthiest people are:

  • Pallonji Mistry €4.4bn (£3.9bn).
  • John P Grayken, €3.9bn (£3.5bn).
  • Hilary Weston, €3.67bn (£3.3bn).
  • Telecoms and media tycoon Denis O'Brien, €2.55bn (£2.29bn).
  • John Dorrance, one of the heirs to the Heinz empire, €1.6bn (£1.43bn).
  • Dermot Desmond, an Irish entrepreneur who sold London City Airport, €1.45bn (£1.3bn).
  • Ellis Short, the Texan born Irish-American owner of |Sunderland Football Club |who took Irish citizenship |this year, €1.2bn (£1bn).
  • Meath ex-pat Eamonn Cleary, the third richest man in New Zealand, €1.02bn (£917m).
  • The O'Reilly family, headed by Sir Anthony, has global media business and interests, €1bn (£899m).
  • Cement and insurance tycoon Sean Quinn, from Co Fermanagh, €845m |(£760m).


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