Tuesday 22 October 2019

Planes, trains and supercars are the toys of the super-rich

A football team? A Lamborghini? A stable of racehorses? Who says that the rich are so very different from us, writes Roisin Burke

EVEN IF YOU PROMISE TO BE VERY VERY GOOD, IT’S A LOT TO EXPECT FROM SANTY: For a start he’d have big problems trying to get the Gulfstream g650 M-GSI down the chimney
EVEN IF YOU PROMISE TO BE VERY VERY GOOD, IT’S A LOT TO EXPECT FROM SANTY: For a start he’d have big problems trying to get the Gulfstream g650 M-GSI down the chimney
ACHING TO GET IN THE WATER: Eddie Jordan’s new Sunseeker 155 is manoeuvred through the Poole shipyards

Roisin Burke

What's the point in having all that loot if you can't flaunt it? Running around throwing cash in the air tends to be viewed as a bit vulgar – so splashing out on cars, jets and homes that tell the tale of how well you're doing is a more subtle way to go. But not too subtle.

Later in spring Formula One mogul Eddie Jordan takes delivery of a brand new floating toy. Famous yachtmaker Sunseeker has built the biggest vessel it has ever made for Jordan – in time for showing off at the Monaco Grand Prix, if he so desires.

With four decks, its own beach club area and a panoramic viewing deck, and sleek chocolate and cream decored interiors, the 155 footer is pegged at being worth around €32m. And then it costs €30,000 a time to refuel.

Fellow Formula One legend Eddie Irvine has several pleasurecraft, including the luxury Riva Aquarama speedboat once owned by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his $2m 85-footer, the subtly named Anaconda.

Enjoying luxe on the high seas on a rather bigger scale, Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton has an apartment aboard the €300m giant liner The World, a floating country club that docked in Ireland last summer. Well-heeled residents can avail of its six gourmet restaurants, tennis courts, swimming pools, putting greens, a cinema and a helipad.

Meat magnate Larry Goodman gets around by taking to the skies rather than the sea, in his private jet, a new Dassault Falcon 7X he upgraded to last year, worth €38m.

Media and telecoms tycoon Denis O'Brien also went for an upgrade, taking delivery of a Gulfstream 650 M-GSI, with a listing price of €47m. US-based businessman and craft beer fan Pearse Lyons favours the 18-seat xm Gulfstream 550 jet – yours for a mere €38m or so.

Sportscar loving "Dr Quirkey" fortune heir Wes Quirke regularly takes to Instagram to show off his white Lamborghini Gallardo – a two-door beast of a coupe, named after a famous breed of fighting bull and costing a cool €200,000.

Louis Ronan jnr is a Ferrari fan, and has owned the F430 and F350Z models, while Nama developer Michael Cotter prefers classic cars, with a specially built garage housing a collection including a vintage Ferrari and a Bentley.

The sometimes expensive pastime of owning your own sports team is as popular as ever.

Irish passport holding investor Ellis Short is intensely involved in running the English premier league side Sunderland that he owns and mustachioed billionaire Dermot Desmond is majority shareholder of Celtic football club.

Waste recycling magnate Mick Crossan is among a group of businessman who bought Aviva premiership rugby side London Irish recently, while Monaco-based Irishman Derek Richardson is a main shareholder at London club Wasps.

Not called the sport of kings for nothing, it is horseracing that till capitates many monied types including Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary and naturally, stud owner John Magnier.

Artlover Magnier's combines two passions with the finest collection of work by equine artist Alfred Cummings in the world. He is also understood own the e14m Joshua Reynolds masterpiece 'Omai'.

Music impresario Louis Walsh revealed recently he owns "a few Hockneys" and a purple Warhol screen print of Chairman Mao. He also has work by Damien Hirst.

Homes can be the ultimate statement. Britain based inventor David McMurty built his spaceship-like futuristic eco vision in the Cotswolds, which had a starring role in an episode of Sherlock Holmes as the lair of facelicking villain Charles Augustus Magnussen.

Limerick former bookie JP McManus has been putting the finishing touches on a huge new €40m Barbados mansion containing marble floors and hand blown chandeliers, just down the road from his Sandy Lane resort.

When golf sensation Rory McIlroy needs motivation he goes to his specially built trophy room in his stunning ultra modern €8m Palm Beach house. He has also added a games room (with a pool table that was a pressie from fiancee Caroline).

Down the coast from him is the Brown Thomas owning Weston's Vero Beach holiday home, in a multimillion dollar gated compound meticulously designed by Hilary Weston.

Music mogul Denis Desmond gets away from it all at a villa in Arona, Italy with an orchard and a sprawling 500sq metre lounge for the man behind MCD concerts.

Ireland's wealthiest man, low- profile Indian billionaire Palonii Mistry and his family have a sea-facing 'White House-style' mansion as well as a stud farm estate formerly owned by a maharaja and homes in London and Dubai.

Many of Ireland's technology multi-millionaires haven't really got the hang of ostentation.

Stripe's billion dollar company founder Patrick Collison claims the most expensive thing he owns is a bike. Apple accessories tycoon Liam Casey lives in hotels and owns almost nothing – no car, no house, no private jet. He'd like a Tesla if he ever got round to buying a set of wheels, he told us.

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch's hobby of choice is unflashy – he loves model trains, running steam trains at his €6m Georgian manor house in Suffolk. That and caring for his rare breed sheep are favourite pastimes.

Irish Independent

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