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Irish women to the fore in retail, recruitment and Roads

The number of women on the Sunday Independent Rich List is astonishingly low.

Sandymount's Hilary Weston and Margaret Heffernan have made fortunes out of retail. Former model Weston and her husband Galen initially set up Penneys, and she made the first dress they sold there. With interests stretching from bread to department stores, the Westons are Canada's second-richest couple.

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Moya Doherty

Moya Doherty

Moya Doherty

Margaret Heffernan is a retailing maestro and has been one of the driving forces in making Dunnes Stores Ireland's biggest family-owned retailer. It was founded in Cork by her father Ben Dunne Sr. Heffernan's niece, Sharon McMahon, is the third generation of the family to reach the higher echelons of the business. She may run it all one day.

Sisters Bernie Gallagher, Eileen Monahan and Anne Roche inherited their father PV Doyle's hotel group. They were instrumental in a shrewd deal to buy the company off the other shareholders, sell off assets to clear debt and grow out the rest of the business. They have invested in lots of property, green energy, technology and even a vineyard.

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Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan

Caroline Downey

Caroline Downey

Anne Heraty

Anne Heraty

Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan

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Danielle Ryan

Freddie Linnett was once considered to be the second richest woman in Britain after the Queen. She inherited a stake in property group Charles Street from her uncles, who emigrated from Armagh in the 1950s.

Moya Doherty has helped make Riverdance Ireland's most successful ever theatrical production, selling close to 100m tickets around the world since its debut as the interval act in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. She's now chairman of RTE.

Caroline Downey is one half of the country's most successful music promoter and festival organisers, MCD. She also runs venues including the Gaiety. If that's not enough, she's out knocking on doors, managing Ireland's latest music superstar Hozier.

Danielle Ryan shared in a €250m inheritance when her father, the Ryanair heir Cathal Ryan, died. While much has been given to charity, Ryan is carving out a niche in business by trying to create Ireland's newest luxury brand - Roads. The former Tudors actor is also behind Ireland's own version of RADA - the Lir Theatre.

Anne Heraty built up her recruitment group CPL before floating it on the stock market. While shares took a dive last year, she's still worth €81m.

Rosaleen Blair started out in business by matching northside nannies with southside yummy mummies, before realising that she could make huge money from recruitment in London. Last year she sold her recruitment group Alexander Mann for €315m, although she retains a big stake.

Sunday Independent