Inside the court of Sir Anthony O'Reilly
To view O'Reilly's career from perspective of his insolvency is a mistake
Late one Saturday night, a 'Sunday Independent' reporter was retrieving the Lotto results from a fax machine when the phone rang. He didn't make it back up the long newsroom in time, but the caller rang again several minutes later.
Sir Anthony O'Reilly – or "your chairman" as he introduced himself – was on the line, ringing with a query from Castlemartin House, his mansion and estate in Kildare. "Nobody seems to answer the phone round there," he said, a note of concern in his voice. "There's only a skeleton staff on Saturday nights," replied the reporter. A brief pause. "And which particular skeleton am I speaking to?" asked Tony O'Reilly.
Such examples of his sense of humour and wit are legion. As are stories about the parties he threw – legendary both for their hospitality and the cross-section of guests.