Business Irish

Thursday 2 October 2014

There are 27 newbies on Ireland's top rich list

From cutting-edge technology to specialist engineering, Irish entrepreneurs are busy making new fortunes, writes Business Editor Nick Webb

Business Editor Nick Webb

Published 09/03/2014 | 02:30

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NO, NOT A BEARMAN: Former barman at the Baggot Inn Shane Smith has leaped straight on to the rich list

There are 27 new entries on the Sunday Independent Rich list 2014. This is down on the 38 new entries last year and the record haul of 44 in 2012. There are no new women on the list.

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London-based Irishman John Griffin, 70, was the highest new entry, with a fortune of €360m. Lee, a former accountant, set up taxi hire group Addison Lee almost 40 years ago as a nixer. He built it up into the UK's biggest taxi, car hire and fleet management group before selling it to private equity group Carlyle for €357m last April.

He was joined on the list by another highly successful expat. One who used to pour pints in the Baggot Inn in Dublin. Shane Smith is the brains behind fast-growing digital group Vice Media, which is now worth over €1bn following the sale of a stake to Rupert Murdoch.

But it's not just entrepreneurs who have made their fortunes in far-off lands. This year sees some good old-fashioned businesses making big money from their founders.

Mayo farm machinery tycoons Padraig and Martin McHale have seen their engineering company go from strength to strength. It had retained profits of nearly €70m a couple of years ago.

Another Mayo set of siblings, the Hughes brothers are also new entrants this year, with their workwear company making huge dough. It just goes to show that if you can own a niche, there are fortunes to be made.

The rich list is capitalism at its most basic. Huge risks are being taken and even bigger fortunes are being made. . . and lost. Next year will be no different.

Find out more and see the full list in today's Sunday Independent

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