Sunday 19 November 2017

Ben Dunne offloads his €1m luxury yacht as austerity finally hits home

Ben Dunne
Ben Dunne

Tom Lyons

Gyms tycoon Ben Dunne took a €1m hit when he dumped his costly Mediterranean yacht to batten down the hatches for what he fears could be 15 years more of economic austerity.

"During the boom you could afford these types of things," he said. "But you have to change your lifestyle to fit the new circumstances," he added.

Mr Dunne said he had enjoyed using his 92' Cheoy Lee yacht but now his focus was on holding on to his cash to reinvest in his Ben Dunne Gyms chain. "The biggest thing was the cost of keeping it and maintaining it," he said. "I sold it as I did my helicopter. These days I get around like everybody else in a car.

"Having money tied up in a boat is not for me," he added, "If you have money you should use it to make more money."

Mr Dunne said he had no plans to buy any luxuries as he feared Ireland could be "another Japan".

"I think we're in for 15 years of this [economic stagnancy] because we haven't tacked the whole mortgage situation."

He said he was stunned at how much some people were still being paid despite Ireland's economic collapse.

"Any banker saying he is worth €1m a year should be sacked," he said.

"Banks are taking no risks and there are plenty of people who would do their jobs for €400,000. We should just let the bankers go. We still haven't hit reality in this country."

Mr Dunne said 50,000 people attended his gyms every week and he was set on expanding, with new locations in Manchester and Cherrywood, Co Dublin.

Irish Independent

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