Category: Archive

O’Brien tops earning list

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The combined income of Ireland’s top 25 earners in the last year was £412 million, with high-tech industries and entertainment dominating the list compiled by the Sunday Times.

There are few women in the top 25 and while the average age of the top earners is 50, three are in their 70s.

Topping the Irish list is Denis O’Brien, 42, with £243 million, largely as a result of his bonus payment from Esat Telecom and then his share of the subsequent sale of the company to British Telecommunications.

He is currently head of a consortium bidding over £1.23 million for the fixed-line telephone business of Eircom the former state telephone company.

Next is investor Dermot Desmond, 50, with £77 million, and Barry Maloney, 41, with £39 million as part of his Esat sale proceeds.

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Leading the gray power earners is Denis O’Brien Sr., 70, (20th) who earned 3.5 million from Esat; Padraig O hUiginn, 76, (23rd) who earned £3.39 million from Esat, and Liam Healy, 71, (24th) who earned £3.2 million largely as a result of exercising share options in the Independent News and Media group.

Two women who make it into the list in their own right at Lucey Gaffney, 40, (20th) who earned £3.5 million from Esat, and Gemma Maughan, 60, (25th) who earned £3.1 million from her stake in Convest, the Citroen and Peugeot cars franchise she inherited from her first husband, Con Smith, who was killed in an plane crash on 1972.

The three Corr sisters from County Louth, Andrea, 26, Sharon, 30, and Caroline, 27, are ranked 11th with their brother Jim, 36, after they jointly earned £5.3 million since the family quartet consistently began to dominate the international charts.

Irish people who make it onto the UK’s top 500 include for EU Commissioner and now chairman of Goldman Sachs Peter Sutherland, 54, with £10.6 illion (93rd), brothel Madam Josephine Daly, 64, with £3.5 million (236th), Manchester United footballer Roy Keane, 29, with £3.25 million (261st), 007 star Pierce Brosnan, 47, with £3 million (280th), the Granada group’s Gerry Robinson, 52, with £2.8 million (290th) and Ballymena-born actor Liam Neeson (48) with £2.2 million (355th).

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