Saturday 22 July 2017

Elaine Byrne: Volumes of convoluted detail, but its essence was straightforward

The Moriarty tribunal slayed the myth that unethical political exploits were the preserve of FF, writes Elaine Byrne in this extract from her new book

Denis O'Brien was in his mid-30s when he attained the reputation as a businessman of international repute.

The son of a veterinary supplier founded Esat Telecommunications Limited in 1991 to provide competitive telecommunications services both in Ireland and worldwide. The ambitious UCD history and politics graduate was already successful with 98FM, the Dublin commercial radio station.

His triumphant bid for the State's second mobile phone licence in 1996 dramatically propelled his business career and financial resources. In 2001 he established and became chair of the privately- owned Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing cellular companies in the world. Forbes listed him as Ireland's second-richest billionaire in 2011 and he was ranked at 254th internationally.

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