Jim Mansfield: Fall of empire another cautionary tale of Celtic Tiger
WHILE the Mansfield family has been rebuilding its businesses more recently, the fall of patriarch Jim’s empire is another cautionary tale of the Celtic Tiger.
Although compared with some other Celtic Tigers, he was not all that ostentatious despite his love of antiques.
He grew up in Brittas and left school to become a lorry driver.
He made his fortune selling machinery left over from the Falklands war and it was from this that his empire ranging from hotels to property began.
During the boom, his wealth was estimated in the hundreds of millions, and his assets included the Weston Aerodrome and Citywest Hotel and conference centre as well as numerous other properties mainly around Dublin.
Throughout the years he was involved in a number of planning disputes.
He built the Citywest conference centre and only then applied for planning permission – he was eventually granted it by South Dublin County Council.
Fast forward a few years later, and the fall in the Irish economy had taken its toll and Mr Mansfield’s health was also deteriorating although he still lived with his wife Anne in their luxurious Georgian mansion outside Dublin.
The main part of his empire – Citywest – was placed into receivership in 2010.
Separately, Weston Aerodrome was seized by NAMA.
The businessman is survived by his wife Anne and three sons Tony, Jimmy and PJ.