Brothers Luke (62) and Brian (58) Comer, from Glenamaddy, Co Galway, initially made their money trading development sites and then getting into the building game in Britain in the 1980s. More recently, they hoovered up property at the bottom of the market here in Ireland, including key development sites, commercial property and unfinished developments, some from Nama, some from other banks. Values have risen, making the brothers very wealthy as a result.
Among its recent moneyspinners are apartments and office blocks in Ballsbridge and Dublin's Docklands - with Facebook and a Chinese aviation leasing firm among the anchor office tenants. There are also development sites in the capital and its commuter belt as well as large housing developments in Kildare. One estimate suggests the brothers could bank a profit of €1bn alone on their projects in Dublin and its commuter belt counties as they are built out, but we conservatively add €200m to their wealth.
There were plans to spend at least another €200m to the end of this year, some of which has likely been invested by now. The brothers estimated in 2015 that their assets, which include stud farms and racehorses, are worth about €3bn (excluding debt). Their portfolio in Germany and the UK is also very substantial, made up of commercial and residential property and development sites in London, Berlin and elsewhere. A project to build up to 10,000 homes in Uganda has failed to get off the ground, according to recent reports.
Luke Comer, who lives in Monaco but can often be found flying on Ryanair, is a keen horse breeder and owns a number of stud farms in Meath, Kildare and south Dublin. He is thought to own over 200 horses.