Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Northern Ireland's richest - Rory McIlroy and Liam Neeson among wealthiest

By Jonathan Bell

The Ballyedmond family are the richest people in Northern Ireland it has been revealed.

The Sunday Times annual rich list estimates the family - which is behind the successful Norbrook Laboratories - have an estimated wealth of £1.628billion.

Norbrook is considered among the world’s leading veterinary pharmaceuticals firm. It was founded in 1969 by the late Eddie Haughey, later Lord Ballyedmond.

Lady Ballyedmond and her family were sixth overall in the top 300 for Ireland. The 70-year-old inherited the £1bn Norbrook Laboratories business, after her husband died in a helicopter accident in 2014.

Second spot for Northern Ireland went to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the successful television produces who were behind the Apprentice which featured Donald Trump, with a combined fortune of £387m.

Golfer Rory McIlroy is the wealthiest sportsman. Overall for all Ireland he ranked at 117th with, it's thought a £100m wealth. While Ballymena man and Hollywood A-lister Liam Neeson topped the actors' list with an estimated bank balance of just under £100m.

In all there are 76 millionaires on the list from Northern Ireland.

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.

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The Northern Ireland Rich List rankings include those who were born, are resident or who have significant business interests based in the country.

It was 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.

To qualify for the list a minimum of £45m was needed.

Also making the list were U2 - with a fortune estimated to be over €647m, along with Niall Horan, Graham Norton, Colin Farrell, Daniel O’Donnell, Chris de Burgh, and Enya.

Colm Murphy, compiler of the list, said: “You need more money than ever to be numbered among the richest 300 in the country, we have more Euro billionaires than ever and the wealth of the richest 300 stands at a record level. It all adds up to a bumper year for the Irish titans of technology and construction, and the stars from film, television and the sports and music industries, who bestride the world stage.

“This weekend’s Rich List provides insight and analysis of wealth across all sectors and provides a definitive picture of wealth across the island of Ireland. It’s a must read for anyone interested in where wealth in the country lies.”

The full list is available in The Sunday Times.

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