Sunday 21 January 2018

Ballina-born Birrane (80) broke the Irish land-speed record in 1990, hitting 176mph on a then-unopened tract of the M50 motorway. He also got a podium finish in the Le Mans 24 hour race and won the GT class in 1985, driving a rare BMW M1.

He also owns London-based property investor Peer Group, which, he told the Sunday Independent last year, had a portfolio worth €234m. Values have risen sharply. There is about €97m in debt, with a big refinancing deal done last year. Birrane lost a bundle of money on the Lola motor racing business, which went wallop in 2013. He also owns Mondello race track.

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