Mansfield personified highs and lows of Celtic Tiger
The rise and fall of Jim Mansfield's business empire is so similar to other boom-time property investors, that it is almost formulaic. Having made millions abroad, especially from selling British army Falklands War machinery, Mansfield returned to Ireland and bought well.
He bought what became the Citywest Hotel on 60 acres in 1990 for just €1.3m. He expanded it enormously to make it the biggest hotel in Ireland – and it had the cashflow to warrant it.
But expansion came at a price. Just as the hotel became more successful, Mansfield spent more millions buying up and developing land around it. He acquired hundreds of acres in the area and earmarked much of it for residential and retail development. He also poured around €30m into building a conference centre there.