Haiti needs 100 Bernard McNamaras says Denis O'Brien
By: Kelly Fincham | Published Monday, January 18, 2010, 1:55 PM | Updated Saturday, August 3, 2013, 7:54 PM
"Haiti needs 100 Bernard McNamaras." So said Digicel CEO Denis O'Brien from Haiti this morning.
He's not wrong.
McNamara (above) was a serious high-flier during Ireland's rocket-charged property boom.
His purchases included Dublin's Burlington Hotel (€288m / $414m) and the ill-fated Irish Glass Bottle site which a consortium headed by McNamara paid €412m (or $593m) for. That site is now worth about €55m and the original investors want their money back.
McNamara says he is now "broke" and has debts of around €1.5bn euros ($2.15bn).
He clearly overshot himself on the finance side but no one has ever complained about the quality of the stuff he actually built.
Unlike the cowboy builders who treated Ireland like one giant gold rush, McNamara was an old-fashioned builder who took pride in his company's developments.
He could do worse than volunteer to go build houses for Concern in Haiti.News / Denis O'Brien lends Concern plane to fly relief supplies into Haiti