The McHughs' Donegal fishing business is the biggest player in the European frozen-food market. Their company, Atlantic Dawn, was founded by the late Kevin McHugh, who died suddenly in 2007, leaving an estate of 72m to his wife Rose and family. They sold the 50m Atlantic Dawn super-trawler to a Dutch company 10 years ago but kept the fishing asset which relate to tonnage, kilowatts and quota rights under EU rules.
It was recently estimated that the former owners will have gained 135m, much higher than previously thought, through a series of decisions by successive governments about the rules relating to the Irish fleet. Karl McHugh (43) owns a 25pc share in the firm. They are also backers of property development firm Kilaru.