Graham Norton, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Flatley, and Liam Neeson all among Ireland’s wealthiest entertainers according to the Sunday Times.
The Sunday Time’s Irish Rich List has revealed that the top 20 entertainment stars in Ireland have a combined wealth of $3.3 billion (€2.7 bn).
The list shows that Irish rock legends U2 are now worth $798.8 million (€647m) while TV producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey come in next with $546.9 million (€443m). U2 takes the top spot on the Irish Entertainment Rich List, weeks after they became the first band to top the US album charts in four consecutive decades. Also featuring on the list are Niall Horan, Graham Norton, Pierce Brosnan, Bob Geldof, Michael Flatley, and Liam Neeson.
The big winner on the list is former One Direction star, singer-songwriter, Niall Horan, from Mullingar, County Westmeath, who is climbing up the list with a whopping $64 million (€52m), up $9.8 million (€8m). Bob Geldof slipped down the list with a drop of $8.6 million (€7m) to $51.8 million (€42m)
This is the 22nd annual edition of The Sunday Times Irish Rich List and comes with extended coverage online of Ireland’s 300 richest people and how they gained their riches at
The Sunday Times Irish Rich List surveys the wealth of the 300 richest individuals and families on the island of Ireland in a variety of areas including entertainment, sport, business, technology and construction.
U2 have become rich through extensive touring and €3m annual income from their back catalogue, merchandising and airplay. Their 14th studio album, Songs of Experience peaked at number five in the UK album charts as well as topping the Billboard chart in the US. The €2m increase in their overall wealth helped them finish ahead of husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey who have a combined fortune of €443m.
United States-based Burnett, 57, is president of MGM Television and is the king of reality television, devising ‘The Apprentice’ ‘Survivor’ and ‘The Voice’, while his wife, Derry-born Roma Downey, also 57, is chief content officer of the faith and family division of MGM Television. She co-produced the TV mini-series ‘The Bible’, seen by 100m people. The couple made their fortune from a successful production company, in which MGM took a 55% stake in 2015 for $364m, with the couple exchanging their remaining holding for 1.3m MGM shares, currently worth €107m.
The wealthiest Irish actor is Liam Neeson, who at 65 remains one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Most recently the star of The Commuter, which has grossed $108m to date worldwide, Neeson’s movies have earned more than $6.9bn at the box office overall. Valued by The Sunday Times at €113m this year, he has been lined up to co-star in ‘Widows’, directed by Steve McQueen and also starring Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall.
Lower down the Irish Entertainment Rich List, there is a musical changing of the guard as One Direction star Niall Horan – at 24 still the youngest person in this year’s Rich List – heads up the list with a €8m gain to stand at €52m, while Bob Geldof sees a €7m fall in his wealth to €42m. The pair swap places in this year’s wealth rankings.
Horan is the only person under 40 on the Entertainment Rich List. His second concert world tour ‘The Flicker World Tour’ kicked off a fortnight ago in Killarney’s INEC. Dun Laoghaire-born Geldof, 66, was the lead singer with The Boomtown Rats but is best known as the driving force behind Live Aid in 1985. His main company Bcraft showed a €5.2m drop in assets in the past year.
Harry Patterson, working under his pen name of Jack Higgins, is the most successful writer on the list, appearing at number 11. Higgins has written more than 70 novels including ‘The Eagle has Landed’, ‘A Prayer for the Dying’, and is most well-known as the prolific author of the Sean Dillon series.