Saturday 21 January 2017

How my life as a jetsetter with Tony Ryan crash landed

Published 20/06/2015 | 02:30

Founder of Guinness Peat Aviation Tony Ryan
Founder of Guinness Peat Aviation Tony Ryan

We were standing together at a reception in a posh hotel in Turin when Tony Ryan handed me a book, 'Cider with Rosie' by Laurie Lee, and said "you should read that sometime, it's very well written." I resisted the urge to tell him I had read it already and turned instead to the flyleaf which bore the inscription 'To Tony, love M.'

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The 'M' was Miranda Guinness, said to be the love of his life, although he had a wife, Mairead, before her and a string of well-known lovers after her.

Tony Ryan was one of only three well-known millionaires in Ireland of that era, the other two being Tony O'Reilly and Michael Smurfit. There were undoubtedly others, but they kept it to themselves.

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