Friday 18 October 2019

Rich List 2018: The young Irish stars of the future

Success in business has delivered incredible wealth for many, but some younger Irish go-getters are ploughing other fields of gold, write Claire O’Mahony and Fearghal O’Connor

Saoirse Ronan at the 23rd Critics' Choice Awards. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
Saoirse Ronan at the 23rd Critics' Choice Awards. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
Saoirse Ronan
Caitriona Balfe. Photo: Getty
Hozier. Photo: Getty
Barry Keoghan. Photo: Getty
Paddy Cosgrave. Photo: Getty
Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty
Katie Taylor. Photo: Getty

Claire O’Mahony and Fearghal O’Connor

Career-wise, it's been a thrilling year for Carlow actress Saoirse Ronan (23), who last weekend won a Golden Globe for her role in Lady Bird.

It is also widely expected to land her a third Academy Award nomination. Last year, Slaney Productions Ltd, the entertainment company owned by Ronan, increased its accumulated profits from €27,832 to €436,184 in a year.

She's also likely to increase her bank balance with the sale of her Howth three-bedroomed property, which is currently on the market for €495,000, which is €160,000 more than she paid for it in 2013.

The actress has now reportedly bought a home for over €1m in Greystones, Co Wicklow. But Hollywood's darling of the moment keeps her feet firmly on the ground, and, like everyone else, she loves her loyalty programmes.

After being accused of being anti-Aer Lingus following an SNL sketch ribbing the Irish airline, she told Ryan Tubridy: "I'm not anti-Aer Lingus! I collect my points on Aer Lingus. That's how often I fly Aer Lingus."

Wicklow singer-songwriter Hozier (27) has stayed out of the limelight for much of this year but that's because he's been writing his highly anticipated second album, which he has said is "dark but it will have a sense of humour to it".

After his meteoric rise in 2014 with his song Take me to Church, the Grammy nominee has admitted that he has found it difficult to acclimatise to fame but he's certainly reaping financial rewards.

Following a sell-out UK tour in 2015/2016, profits at Haskey Ltd, the entertainment firm owned by the 27-year-old, were €1.77m last year. This figure only reflects the company's Irish activities.

He's a tender 25 years old but Barry Keoghan is clear about his future and states that he wants to win three different Oscars, in three different categories.

He first came to attention playing cat killer Wayne on Love/Hate in 2013 but last year was his breakout year with roles in Christopher Nolan's World War II epic Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer alongside Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, both of which are generating Oscar buzz.

Upcoming roles, meanwhile, include Black 47, a film about the Irish Famine and heist movie American Animals. If he himself has big ambitions for his future, the industry is right behind him, with The Hollywood Reporter labelling him 'Hollywood's Next Big Thing'.

Keoghan, whose mother died when he was young, spent time in foster homes before being taken in by his grandmother at the age of 12, with whom he still lives.

While he doesn't like to dwell on his background, he says: "I took it on the chin and am now proving that you can become one of the biggest names out there even coming from a foster home."

Trinity graduate Paddy Cosgrave has been on the radar since 2007 as one of the organisers of Rock the Vote Ireland, a campaign that encouraged young people to vote in the general election.

The 35-year-old entrepreneur, who grew up on a farm in Wicklow, is of course best known for his role as co-founder of the Web Summit which grew from 400 attendees at the inaugural event in Dublin in 2010 to over 42,000 guests from 134 countries in 2015 at its final staging in Ireland.

A falling out with the Irish Government saw the summit's relocation to Lisbon, where some 60,000 people attended last year's event. Accounts filed earlier this year by his company Manders Terrace Ltd showed an increase in the group's 2015 gross profit from €6.24m to €6.9m.

Now Cosgrave, who has a son, Cloud, with his wife, the model Faye Dinsmore, is returning to Ireland but not with the Web Summit. Moneyconf, a financial technology conference, is set to take place in the RDS Dublin this year on June 11-13.

Dublin-born and Monaghan-reared, 38-year-old Caitriona Balfe originally found success as a model, with a lucrative career that saw her featuring in campaigns for brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara and Victoria's Secret.

For the last decade, she's become better known for her acting, which began, fittingly enough for the model, with a minor role in The Devil Wears Prada, while more recent appearances in films include Super 8 and Money Monster.

But it's her role as Claire Fraser in the top-rated Starz time travel series Outlander, which she took on in 2014, that has really put her name in the spotlight.

Twice nominated for a Golden Globe, Balfe, who is a patron of World Child Cancer, earns $100,000 per episode of Outlander, according to a report by Variety magazine, which places her among the highest paid earners on American television.

Greystones golfer Paul Dunne (24) confirmed his 'one to watch' billing in spectacular fashion in 2017 with his first professional win, at the British Masters no less.

He first rose to prominence in 2015 when he became the first amateur in almost a century to lead going into the final round of the Open Championship.

The Masters win came with a €562,500 pay cheque, bringing his total winnings in his short career to date to just over €2m.

The fact that he held off Rory McIlroy to claim the victory in some style at the Close House course only further underlined that when it comes to Irish professional golf, Paul Dunne is the rising star.

Katie Taylor (31) is going from strength to strength, finishing 2017 with her eighth win out of eight professional bouts.

If the Bray boxer was fighting in the men's game she would enjoy much greater riches but she earned a substantial six-figure sum for her WBA world title defence in London last December.

Taylor has always been a trailblazer for female sport and accounts show she has amassed €1.5m in funds. Her charisma and dignity as an Olympic gold-winning amateur did much for her marketability and she has done more than any other fighter to build broader acceptance of women's boxing.

If she can unify the title belts in the women's game during 2018, it will go a long way to raising her profile and that of the sport, and further confirm, not that it is needed, that she is one of Ireland's great athletes.

A big Dublin fight night could prove to be a well-deserved pay day in the year to come.

Sunday Independent

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