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Ireland’s super rich are feeling the pinch like everyone else in these rough times.
However, a few like actress Roma Downey and golfer Padraig Harrington are thriving.
Ireland’s wealthiest, both native and those living abroad, have seen their wealth plunge by about 25 per cent or $33 billion according to the annual rich list which was just published by the Irish Sunday Times.
The biggest casualties are Tony O’Reilly, formerly majority owner of Independent newspapers and Waterford Crystal who has lost almost half his wealth, now estimated at just $1 billion, and Sean Quinn, formerly Ireland’s richest man who has lost $2 billion and is down to his last $3 billion.
LA-based actress Roma Downey is the swiftest mover on the list, up from number 82 last year to 28 on the list.
She and her husband, Mark Burnett, founder of hit shows such as "Survivor," are now worth $400 million almost double what they were worth two years ago.
Golfer Padraig Harrington is another Irishman in the green. He is worth $47 million according to the list, and is set to become a golfing multi millionaire like Tiger Woods. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy, the teenage golf sensation has a net worth close to 4$ million.
Ireland now has just five billionaires, down from seven 12 months ago, Hillary and Galen Weston Weston, heir to a Canadian business fortune, tops the list at $3.5 billion while Denis O’Brien, the mobile phone entrepreneur, is now worth $2.5 billion.
Dermot Desmond, who created the International Financial Services Center in Dublin, is worth $2 billion, and bloodstock billionaire John Magner is worth $1 billion.
Overall, 73 percent of the people on the richest list have lost money in the last year, with 34 people dropping off the list altogether. The top 10 have lost over $7 billion between them.