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Sunday 4 December 2016

Tycoon killed in helicopter crash left €480m fortune in will

Joanne Sweeney

Published 30/11/2015 | 13:00

Edward Haughey
Edward Haughey
The wife of Lord Ballyedmond, also known as Dr Edward Haughey, Mary (left) speaks with Canon Francis Brown outside Newry Cathedral, Co. Down, following his requiem mass.

Lord Ballyedmond, who died in a helicopter crash in England last year at the age of 70, left £339m in his will, according to recently filed probate records in Belfast.

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All four of the people in the helicopter were killed instantly when it crashed at Gillingham Hall on the Norfolk border.

The dead included Lord Ballyedmond's 42-year-old foreman, Declan Small, from Mayobridge, Co Down.

An inquest later revealed that weather conditions were so poor for flying that the helicopter would not have been cleared for take-off from a licensed aerodrome.

Probate records of the businessman and peer known as Eddie Haughey were recently filed in Belfast, according to yesterday's Sunday Times.

The main beneficiary in the will is Lord Ballyedmond's wife Mary (nee Young), who he married in 1972.

The couple went on to have three children - Caroline, Edward and James.

He made his first will in 1984, when the children were young.

While he was already well on the road to success as a major exporter with Norbrook, his wealth continued to grow steadily until his death.

His will stated that his wife Mary should receive all his fortune and that his mother Rose and stepfather James should be allowed to live at their Rostrevor home for the rest of their lives.

The peer also provided in the 1984 will that his mother - who died in 1992 - should be looked after financially for the rest of her life, also leaving her £20,000, which is about £56,000 in today's money.

Three years later, he added a codicil to his will, doubling the money left to his mother.

He also wished that the family home, Carpenham, should not be sold, but retained for the benefit of the three children.

However, his children could not receive their share until they reached 25 years.

Initially, Lord Ballyedmond had directed in his 1984 will that in the event of his death, a person competent and experienced in the pharmaceutical industry should be appointed to run the company.

However, he changed that to say that one of his employees, Alan Patterson, should be appointed managing director.

That wish was complied with after his death nearly two years ago. But Mr Patterson has since left the position.

Lady Ballyedmond is now deputy chair of Norbrook and her sons James and Edward are directors of the firm.

She worked as a solicitor in the Newry area for many years, successfully building her own law practice.

The family mainly lived in the Newry/Rostrevor area, firstly in Carpenham in Rostrevor and then in Ballyedmond Castle, which he bought in the mid-80s.

Mr Haughey built up his multi-million pound business Norbrook Laboratories in Newry - which specialised in veterinary, animal and farm animals medicines - from a humble position.

It is reputed that he first began to sell veterinary medicines out of a suitcase as he travelled around south Down and south Armagh farms.

The family also own other companies, homes and properties and Lord Ballyedmond's sons run Cumberland Breweries in Carlisle.

Belfast Telegraph

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