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Rugby star Paul O'Connell's firm gets €136,000 cash boost

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Munster's Paul O'Connell sits out squad training ahead of their Celtic League, Round 2, match against Benetton Treviso on Friday.

Munster's Paul O'Connell sits out squad training ahead of their Celtic League, Round 2, match against Benetton Treviso on Friday.

Munster's Paul O'Connell sits out squad training ahead of their Celtic League, Round 2, match against Benetton Treviso on Friday.

THE main company of Ireland rugby star Paul O'Connell added €136,000 in cash to its assets last year.

The Limerickman, who stepped down as Munster captain last month, increased his company's cash pile by 19pc to €850,211 last year, according to the latest accounts lodged by his company Nellcon.

The 32 year old has been a talisman for Munster and Ireland over the past decade, captaining Munster to their second Heineken cup win in 2008.

Earlier this year, he extended his professional rugby career for at least another two years when he signed a new contract that will see him play for Ireland and Munster until the end of the 2014 rugby season.

O'Connell has benefited from his professional playing career co-inciding with a boom in the finances and popularity of Irish rugby -- between 2001 and 2011, revenues at the Irish Rugby Football Union, which controls 80pc of the finances of Irish rugby, have more than trebled from €21.6m to €69.2m last year.

Like other sportsmen playing in Ireland, O'Connell will be able to claim back 40pc of the tax he paid over a ten-year period under a scheme introduced by former FInance Minister Charlie McCreevy in 2002.

However, O'Connell seems to have lost money on his investments. The figures for Nellcon show that the value of its investments declined by more than half, from €75,750 to €35,000.

O'Connell established Nellcon in 2005. The other director of the firm is O'Connell's father, Michael, who the international forward has described as "my biggest influence".

In a statement explaining his move to step down as captain, O'Connell said: "I've been squad captain for six seasons and just felt it was time to step back and let someone else assume the role."

In an interview after signing the new contract extension earlier this year, O'Connell didn't rule out another contract down the line.

Last April, O'Connell was granted the Freedom of Limerick City and also announced that he got engaged to his long-term partner, Emily O'Leary.

Irish Independent