Pallonji Mistry is Ireland's richest man.

No one ever heard of him, met him or traced his Irish roots. Just as well, as he does not have any.

Pallonji is worth $6 billion dollars and holds an Irish passport through his wife, and he owns 18.4 per cent of India's largest private company Tata.

He is also 79 years old, and no one knows if he has ever actually seen the Emerald Isle.

The Sunday Independent says that John P Grayken, a Texas billionaire is the second richest Irish citizen.

He's worth $ 5.25 billion dollars, but nobody ever heard of him either in Ireland.

At number 3 is a real live Irish person -- in fact a woman, Hillary Weston, a former super model who married Canadian retail giant Galen Weston. Together they are worth $5 billion.

At number ten on the list is the biggest loser, cement and insurance tycoon Sean Quinn, who has lost a stunning $3 billion dollars in the last two years--most of it on Anglo Irish Bank the bankrupt institution now bailed out by the government. He is now worth a 'mere' $1 billion.

Elsewhere, U2 topped the poll for the richest celebrities with $900 million.

The Sunday Independent also published details of the 2009 biggest losers, both now essentially bankrupt.

Developers Bernard McNamara and Liam Carroll were hammered when the property bubble burst, owing debts of €1.5bn (£1.35bn) and €1.3bn (£1.16bn) respectively.

Ireland's top 10 wealthiest people are:

  • Pallonji Mistry €4.4bn
  • John P Grayken, €3.9bn
  • Hilary Weston, €3.67bn
  • Telecoms and media tycoon Denis O'Brien, €2.55bn
  • John Dorrance, one of the heirs to the Heinz empire, €1.6bn
  • Dermot Desmond, an Irish entrepreneur who sold London City Airport, €1.45bn
  • Ellis Short, the Texan born Irish-American owner of Sunderland Football Club who took Irish citizenship this year, €1.2bn
  • Meath ex-pat Eamonn Cleary, the third richest man in New Zealand, €1.02bn
  • The O'Reilly family, headed by Sir Anthony, has global media business and interests, €1bn
  • Cement and insurance tycoon Sean Quinn, from Co Fermanagh, €845m