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Communications mogul and Forbes billionaire Denis O'Brien. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Irish billionaires are worth a whopping $25 billion between them

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Communications mogul and Forbes billionaire Denis O'Brien. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

The Celtic Tiger may have left the building, but Ireland’s billionaires are sitting on a combined fortune of $25 billion, according to the latest figures from Forbes magazine.

There are 1,645 names on the latest list of the world's billionaires from Forbes and between them they control $6.3 trillion in wealth, according to an Irish Independent analysis of the report.

The paper says India-based Pallonji Mistry (84), the patriarch of the sub-continent’s massive Shapoorji Pallonji construction group, is listed as being worth $12.8bn and, thanks to his Irish citizenship, is Ireland’s richest person by far.

Media and communications tycoon Denis O’Brien (55) is listed by Forbes as Ireland’s second richest person, with a $6bn fortune.

The largest shareholder in Independent newspapers, O’Brien also controls the Digicel mobile communications group, which operates in the Caribbean, the Pacific and Central America.

O’Brien also controls Communicorp, which owns radio stations in Ireland, the UK and eastern Europe.

In third spot in the Irish rankings is John Dorrance, the 70-year-old worth $2.5bn who renounced his US citizenship and moved to Ireland before selling his 10.5pc stake in Campbell Soup Company.

Forbes speculates that he moved to Ireland to avoid paying high capital gains tax in the US.

Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton (74) is named by Forbes as Ireland’s fourth richest person with $2.2billion in total assets.

Celtic football club owner Dermot Desmond is fifth-richest at $2bn.

The paper says that among the Irish billionaires missing from the group are Hilary Weston and her family, who are behind Brown Thomas, Selfridges and Associated British Foods, the company that owns Primark. They are estimated to have a $10billion fortune.

Dublin financier Paul Coulson, who owns a large stake in glass container maker Ardagh, is said to be worth just over $1.3billion.

The Forbes list is topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with a $76bn fortune.

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