Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland rich list: Our 10 wealthiest and what they're worth

Construction tycoon takes up residence on NI Rich List, but billionaires keep the top spots

Lady Ballyedmond
Lady Ballyedmond
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Construction tycoon Kevin Lagan is building more than houses - he's also putting together a huge nest egg for himself.

He's appeared for the first time in his own right on the Northern Ireland Rich List, boasting wealth of £440m, making him our third richest person.

Selling the cement, quarrying and aggregates arm of his Belfast-based Lagan Group to Breedon Group last year netted him £455m and he now intends to expand his housebuilding operations.

Rising profits keep Lady Ballyedmond in top spot, after her wealth increased by £10m this year to £1.638bn.

The 71-year-old solicitor by profession inherited her late husband's veterinary pharmaceutical fortune from his Newry-based firm Norbrook Laboratories after he died in a helicopter crash.

Northern Ireland's only other billionaire, Martin Naughton - the 80-year-old industrialist behind Dublin-based domestic appliances manufacturer Glen Dimplex - saw a £31m fall in wealth, but he's still got £1.232bn in the bank.

The noted philanthropist was last year presented with the prestigious Oslo Business for Peace award, recognising his 'exceptional contribution to peace-building' on both sides of the Irish border.

Also featuring in the upper echelons of the list is property and investment guru Danny Hill at number six; the Belfast-born businessman is the highest riser having made the biggest gains of £68m to boast a £326m fortune.

Northern Ireland's richest people are getting wealthier and they're now worth a whopping £5.239bn in total - up £163m in just a year, according to the 2019 Rich List.

In fourth place are non-movers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the television producers behind The Apprentice, which featured Donald Trump in the US, with a combined £390m.

Kevin Lagan
Roma Downey
Martin Naughton

Next up are Paul and Jeremy Easkin, the brothers behind a family-run medical firm in Co Down, which saw profits soar by £10m to hit £330m, according to the Sunday Times.

Food distribution and packaging giants from Belfast, Robert Barnett and family, Northern Ireland's biggest manufacturer of animal feeds, are seventh on this year's list, with £262m. Eoin McCann and his family, who own Magherafelt construction firm FP McCann, follow in eighth place with £212m, up £12m.

The upper reaches of the top 10 also feature luminaries like Co Antrim's Dr Peter FitzGerald, whose medical testing firm Randox has earned him and his family £205m - down £50m.

Property tycoon Paddy McKillen, who is originally from Belfast even though most of his assets are in the Republic and further afield, is at number 10 with £204m.

The 156-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain in its 31st annual edition, published on May 12.

The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as artworks and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies.

It excludes bank accounts, to which the newspaper has no access.

The magazine includes several interviews and features, focused on some of the leading players and personalities among the richest 1,000, as well as a full ranking by order of wealth.

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