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Technology forms foundations for Ireland's rapidly rising billionaires

Technology of various guises has formed the basis of many new fortunes on the Rich List.

Ireland's fastest ever billionaires, John (24) and Patrick (26) Collison, created their online payments group, Stripe, while still at college. A recent fundraising round has valued the business at €2.94bn after just over four years in existence. It is backed by some seriously smart Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Elon Musk and Peter Theil.

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Patrick (left) and John Collison

Patrick (left) and John Collison

Bill McCabe

Bill McCabe

Gary O' Neill

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Patrick (left) and John Collison

Mike Lynch (49), whose father was from Cork and mother from Tipperary, has been described as Europe's Bill Gates. He built up 'big data' Autonomy firm into a FTSE 100 giant before selling out to HP for $11bn. He has reinvented himself as a serious tech investor, backing artificial intelligence and anti-hacking start-ups.

Pat McDonagh is a former school teacher who became one of the first people in the world to grasp the potential of computer-based learning. Books have become so passé! McDonagh set up CBT, which floated on Nasdaq and replicated the trick with Riverdeep a few years later, making hundreds of millions. While there's a lot of property in his portfolio too, he's developing some other smart tech, including a firm that is trying to create an African Netflix.

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Liam Casey is known as Ireland's 'Mr China'

Liam Casey is known as Ireland's 'Mr China'

Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

Bloomberg

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Liam Casey is known as Ireland's 'Mr China'

Liam Casey is known as Ireland's 'Mr China', but he's now largely based in Silicon Valley, where his firm PCH designs, develops, manufactures and delivers hardware for some of the world's biggest consumer electronics groups. It's highly lucrative stuff, earning him a fortune of around €250m and our estimates could be on the low side.

Galway man Declan Ganley's Rivada has developed some really smart technology which will become central to the future of the internet, or rather, access to the internet. The firm helps allocate tiered access to broadband, which is central to the whole 'net neutrality' debate. Investors have been queuing up to get a slice of the €500m company.

Terenure's Turley brothers, Greg (53), Mark (48) and Niall (46), used to run a 'bricks and mortar' car rental business before they saw that harnessing the internet could make for an even more lucrative business. Their Cartrawler firm provides the engine for many car rental booking sites and has now been sold twice in the last four years, helping make a €160m fortune for the Turleys.

Bill McCabe hooked up with Pat McDonagh to make waves in the e-learning space with their CBT Systems, which floated on Nasdaq in the 1990s, making the Belfast man huge money. He is now a backer of some cutting-edge tech firms.

Sunday Independent