Business Irish

Friday 23 March 2018

Des McEvaddy


High-flyer Des McEvaddy likes to stay well off the radar. Lucrative military contracts and getting a major property development in Berlin off the ground are key focuses.

From a Mayo farming family, he and big brother Ulick were airplane mad from an early age, spending any free time they had fixing and flying aircraft at Castlebar Flying Club. Though he qualified as a barrister, Des would never practise; his future was always going to be about aviation.

Bank of Ireland had backed the McEvaddy brothers in opening Dublin's first ice rink, so there was goodwill to lend them IR£250,000 to buy an ex-Pan Am 707 that was languishing at Dublin Airport after a liquidation. They scrapped it and got into the aircraft spare parts business.

Out of this came aircraft sales and leasing company Omega, a huge name in Boeing 707s.

In the late 1990s, Omega began stripping down 707s and converting them into the jet refuelling tankers that are critical to military manoeuvres. It has multi-million contracts with the US military and the British RAF.

Along the way, McEvaddy made money from the €30m sale of radio station FM104 to UTV in 2004.

He and Ulick fought for years to build a terminal on a 140-acre land bank at Dublin Airport to no avail. He has a stake in Airportpark, a planned 160-acre mixed development next to Berlin's new international airport.

He co-owns the €25m Vista Primary Care in Naas, Co Kildare, and is closely involved with Omega's US operations, with a residential address in Texas -- though he also owns a salubrious pad on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin.

He celebrated his 58th birthday on Wednesday.

Sunday Indo Business

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