13 Irish make list of UK's richest property owners
Published 01/11/2015 | 02:30
Thirteen Irish names have made it on to the list of the world's 250 richest people with property investments in the UK.
The list - published annually by the respected property publication Estates Gazette - includes 60 billionaires this year, compared to the 10 who featured in the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009.
With an estimated fortune of Stg£45.76bn, Armando Ortega, the 79-year-old founder of fashion chain Zara, leads this year's survey with several prime investments on London's Oxford Street, including numbers 26 to 48, which house Primark's 149,000 square-foot flagship store in London's main shopping street.
Heading up the roll call of the Irish is billionaire businessman Dermot Desmond, whose wealth the magazine estimates at €2.075bn. Mr Desmond comes in at number 40 on the list by virtue of his joint ownership of Belfast's Titanic Quarter and a number of other property assets in London.
Galway-born brothers Luke and Brian Comer are the next Irish entrants - and are ranked in 71st place with their combined fortune assessed by Estates Gazette at €1.05bn. The publication noted that it could see just Stg£75m (€105m) in net assets in the UK in 14 companies.
With some €866m to his name, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary turns up at number 78 on the list. Included in the UK investments he has made through his property investment vehicle, Bradley Investments, are an office block on Mark Lane in the City of London and an industrial complex in Altrincham.
Coolmore Stud owner John Magnier and his longstanding associate and friend JP McManus are ranked at 83rd and 84th on the list, with estimated wealth of €823m and €821m respectively. The pair have numerous blue-chip investments in London via their property investment vehicle, Sloane Capital.
The family of the late Charles Gallagher are ranked at 118 on the list, with a fortune estimated at €518m amassed through their Dublin-based Abbey housebuilding group, Matthew Homes and Gallagher Holdings.
Ranked 132nd with a fortune of €445m are the family of the late and legendary Kerry-born builder, John Murphy. Even after his death at the age of 95 in 2009, the empire Murphy built up in Britain continues to deliver massive revenues.
Limerick businessman Aidan Brooks is ranked at 134, with an estimated €434m net worth arising from a series of investments in properties in London, Paris and New York via his company, Tribeca Holdings.
In London alone, Brooks has assembled more than 56,000 square feet of retail property around the exclusive Sloane Avenue, Brompton Road, Draycott Avenue and Walcott Street.
Green Property chairman Stephen Vernon's wealth is assessed at €371m, putting him in 147th place on the list.
With his company best known here as the owner of the Blanchardstown shopping centre, Green - the Bristol-born son of Irish parents - also serves as executive chairman of the Green REIT alongside Pat Gunne.
In 162nd place and with an estimated wealth of €305m is Clancourt Group founder, Charles Kenny and his family. A former insurance broker turned property developer, Kenny has a number of prime assets here, including the Harcourt Centre in Dublin and the Crescent shopping centre in Limerick.
Ranked in 166th position with a fortune of €293m are the family of Joseph Brennan of Brennan Bakeries. The family have significant interests in the Versace shop on London's New Bond Street and the Hamleys Building on Regent Street.
With property investments in London and Dublin, former AIB chairman Lochlann Quinn is ranked in 234th place on the list with an estimated fortune of €172m.
Galway-born builder Frank Burke is ranked at 242nd on the list, with his family's wealth assessed at €161m.