Belfast Telegraph

Two new Irish billionaires enter super-rich list

By Staff Reporter

Ireland now has 11 billionaires, two more than last year, including one whose rise to riches began in Newry.

While Denis O'Brien, Dermot Desmond and the O'Reilly family have long been ranked billionaires, Coolmore's John Magnier and Glen Dimplex boss Martin Naughton have been elevated into the super-rich.

While the Irish economy has pancaked, some of the rich are still doing extraordinary well.

But others have lost fortunes. Sean Quinn is the biggest casualty of the year, falling right off the list of the top 300 due to his massive debts.

Ireland's best-known property developers are, by and large, excluded from the list because of major debts and a lack of accurate valuations of land and property assets.

But there are 40 new entries for 2011 and a new breed of young entrepreneur is replacing the business elite, shattered by the collapse of banks and property markets.

Keen philanthropist Martin Naughton, who is 651st on the Forbes rich list, has built a company that now employs 8,500 staff and has annual revenues in excess of €1.5bn.

The Dubliner established Glen Electric in Newry in 1973 with 10 employees at the height of the Troubles. Glen Dimplex was formed in 1977.