Saturday 18 November 2017

Riverdance has earned Moya and John €75m

A scene from Heartbeat of Home
A scene from Heartbeat of Home

Gordon Deegan

The creators of Riverdance have shared a pay bonanza of €75m since the turn of the century.

The show, which grew from a seven-minute interval performance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and has been seen by more than 23 million people over the past two decades.

New accounts just filed by John McColgan’s and Moya Doherty’s Abhann Productions Ltd with the Companies Office during the Companies Office show that pay to directors, including pension contributions, in 2012 totalled €1.33m.

Abhann is the management firm for the Riverdance show, and the firm’s directors’ pay contributed to the firm sustaining a pre-tax loss of €294,201 in the 12 months to the end of June 30, 2012.

An examination of Abhann Productions Ltd’s accounts between 2000 and 2012 shows that McColgan and Dogherty shared directors’ pay, including pension contributions, totalling €75m, with €73.76 million paid between 2000 and 2011.

Three other people were directors with McColgan and Doherty over that period, but the bulk of the directors’ pay went to the married couple, who each own 50pc of the business.

The pair have been richly rewarded for their risk-taking – short of invertors before the first Riverdance show was put on in February 1995, they put their own home on the line.

After John Egan stepped down as director of Abhann in September 2012, McColgan and Doherty are now the only directors of the firm.

Riverdance marking its 20th anniversary by playing in Copenhagen this weekend before touring Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Switzerland and the UK.

(The Herald)

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