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John and Peter Queally

Waterford moguls Peter (75) and John Queally (77) set up Dawn Meats with partner Dan Browne in 1980. It is now one of the largest privately owned agri-business groups in Europe. Shares are split among family members.

It is unlimited which means it does not have to file accounts; majority ownership resides in a British Virgin Islands company IMMOL Ltd. Most recent figures indicate that Dawn Meats had sales of €912m in 2006; it will have grown significantly since then.

The Queally’s Arrow Food Group saw sales drop 8pc to €408m with profits slumping to €2.7m, as costs rose and the horse meat scandal impacted on the industry. Arrow estimated that the ‘mislabelling’ issue cost it about €4.5m.

Other family assets include a sewage treatment firm, the Glenpatrick Spring Water firm, five-a-side football pitches, pet foods and property developments. The Queallys owned a stake in the Lily O’Brien chocolate company but sold out last year.

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