Business Irish

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Riverdance's McColgan and Doherty pocket €75m since 2000

Gordon Deegan

Published 24/05/2014 | 02:30

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Riverdance

The creative forces behind Riverdance have shared a pay bonanza of €75m since the turn of the century, new figures show.

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The show – spawned from a seven-minute long interval performance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest – is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014 and has been seen by over 23 million people in the past two decades.

New accounts just filed by John McColgan's and Moya Doherty's Abhann Productions Ltd with the Companies Office show that pay to directors, including pension contributions, in 2012 totalled €1.33m.

Abhann is the management firm for the Riverdance show and the firm's directors' pay contributed to the firm sustaining a pre-tax loss of €294,201 in the 12 months to the end of June 30th 2012.

An examination of Abhann Productions Ltd's accounts between 2000 and 2012 shows that married couple, McColgan and Doherty shared directors' pay, including pension contributions, totalling €75m, with €73.76m paid in the years between 2000 and 2011.

Three other people served as directors of Abhann with McColgan and Doherty over the period, however, the vast proportion of the directors' pay would have been received by McColgan and Doherty. Each own a 50pc share in the business.

In February 1995, the two put up their home to help finance the first show.

In 2014, Riverdance is marking its 20th year by playing Copenhagen in Denmark this weekend before tour dates later this year in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK.

Irish Independent

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