Developer Jim Mansfield, who made his fortune selling scrap metal from the Falklands War, was laid to rest yesterday in his home town of Saggart, Dublin, surrounded by his family and a wide circle of friends.
A large crowd braved howling winds and rain to pay their respects as the well-liked entrepreneur was buried.
His daughter-in-law Anita reflected the thoughts of many of his friends — who included entertainer Dickie Rock — when she told mourners: “We’ve lost a unique and special patriarch.”
She told the congregation in the Church of the Nativity in Saggart: “Many of you will know Jim as a businessman. But he was a great family man, a devoted father, husband, and grandfather.
“He was so proud of his sons, as they were of him. He was a man who never took no for an answer.”
Fr Enda Cunningham told mourners that Mr Mansfield was a man of the people and was proud of where he came from.
He told the packed church: “It was touching to hear from Anita about the character of the man we knew so well.”
Staff at the Citywest Hotel, which he helped build, formed a guard of honour as his coffin was brought into the church. The developer of the Citywest complex had been ill for some time and died at home aged 74.
A farmer’s son turned haulier from Brittas, Co Dublin, he made his first million selling equipment left over by the British Forces after the Falklands. With the £26m he made from the deal, he set out to build a property empire which included hotels and a private airport.
At the height of the property boom, he was worth €500m and his assets included the Weston Aerodrome in Dublin.
When the recession hit in 2008, he lost millions. Citywest was placed into receivership in 2010 and Weston Aerodrome was seized by Nama.
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