Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy's £38m wealth eclipsed by tycoons in Northern Ireland rich list with Mary Haughey sitting on £1.4bn and Randox boss making his debut with £103m

By Joanne Sweeney

He may have started his business off in his parent's chicken shed but now Dr Peter Fitzgerald has joined the ranks of the UK's super wealthy.

The boss of Crumlin-based medical testing firm Randox Laboratories was Northern Ireland's only new entry into the Sunday Times Rich List 2015 published yesterday.

The 64-year-old is estimated to have a fortune of £103m, having benefited from a £40m surge in the value of his firm.

The polo-playing self-made millionaire is now planning to buy a hotel and golf course near the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim.

Also included with a £103m fortune is Brian Conlon (49), who founded and still runs the Newry-based financial technology firm First Derivatives.

However, their wealth is dwarfed by two women from Northern Ireland, Lady Ballyedmond and US-based actress and producer Roma Downey from Londonderry. According to the Sunday Times, Lady Mary Haughey, the widow of the enigmatic Eddie Haughey, the founder of the animal pharmaceutical company Norbook Laboratories in Newry, is the richest person in Northern Ireland.

She was listed in 68th position along with her family with an estimated worth of £1.4bn.

Roma Downey was the second highest ranked woman with a shared £375m fortune with her husband Mark Burnett.

Their joint wealth increased by £35m on last year, mostly for the development and sale of their highly successful television drama series.

However, the real movement in the wealth stakes was recorded in the 250 Richest in Ireland, which covers the Republic and Northern Ireland, with 13 new entries from Northern Ireland.

The new entrants' personal wealth ranged from £40m up to £80m.

Just £10m behind Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson is Damian Heron (38) from Londonderry, with an £80m fortune with Heron Construction.

Belfast car dealer David Agnew (69) and family have a £75m pot after selling the business for £110m in 2012.

Two hoteliers, Lord Rana and Billy Hastings of the Hastings Group, were listed with respective fortunes of £69m and £47m.

Winemark owner Patrick Hunt (42), whose family own 89% of the off-licence chain, is another new entry with £40m.

World number one golfer Rory McElroy from Holywood was ranked 17th in the Top 50 Young Rich with his £38m.

Belfast Telegraph