Soap opera life of Celtic Tiger dynasty
Published 21/04/2011 | 05:00
THE wealth built up by their parents was a launch pad for sons Jim Jnr and PJ in a boom-time era world of beautiful women, powerful cars and fashionable parties.
In true soap opera style the family has seen more than its share of strife and tragedy.
All three of Jim Mansfield's sons were brought into the family businesses, but personal rather than business dealings catapulted two of the boys into the media limelight.
Youngest son PJ married model and former Miss Ireland Andrea Roche in a high-profile wedding ceremony in 2006.
The event was a magnet for Ireland's fashionistas.
Leggy models and household names were packed into a marquee in the grounds of nearby Palmerstown House for the reception.
Nearby, the village of Saggart was choked to capacity by the fleet of Mercedes, Bentleys and Chryslers -- as well as the Mansfield's family Rolls-Royce -- which had been left parked on the narrow streets during the big event.
His brother Jim Jnr had dated the fashion model Katy French, who died of a drugs overdose some time after the couple split up.
Last year Jim Jnr hit the headlines again with a conviction for drink driving in the family Rolls Royce and was in the papers again for business reasons after AIB took him to court for a €6.3m debt.
AIB registered a legal judgment against Jim Jnr and four business partners last July for an unpaid debt of €6.3m over a land deal, but the case caught the public attention when Jim Jnr claimed in his defence that he suffered from a reading disability.
That defence got short-shrift from Justice Peter Kelly, the head of the commercial division of the High Court.
Mr Justice Kelly noted that Jim Jnr was a director of 25 companies and qualified to fly a helicopter.
Third son Tony keeps a low-profile, but it was he who faced up to creditors when the company behind Citywest was put into liquidation earlier this year.
It was Tony who read lenders and suppliers the directors' statement and faced the hostile reaction of business partners left out of pocket by the firm's insolvency.