The Rich List placed Hilary Weston and family in number one position, estimating their worth at almost €8.8bn. The 71-year-old former model was born in Dun Laoghaire and with her husband, Galen, controls a large retail operation in different countries, including Brown Thomas.
In second place is Denis O’Brien, whose wealth is estimated at €4.64bn. His Digicel operation accounts for more than half his wealth, according to the Rich List, which also estimates that his fortune has increased by about €496m in the past year.
Investor John Dorrance is in third place with an estimated fortune of €1.99bn, ahead of financier Dermot Desmond in fourth place, with his wealth estimated at €1.76bn, and Martin Naughton, whose company Glen Dimplex has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, in fifth position with an estimated fortune of €1.72bn.
Other members of the top 10 include Lady Ballyedmond and family, investor Paul Coulson and family, Pearse Lyons and family, who made their money through animal feed and biotechnology, the Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family, and UK-based David McMurtry, who has a background in engineering.
According to the Rich List, all members of the top 10 increased their fortune last year, bar Mr Coulson and Mr McMurtry. Those occupying the top four positions did likewise in last year’s Rich List.
Other Irish names who appeared in the list include U2, in 19th position with an estimated fortune of €516m, JP McManus — wealth estimated at €663m — in 12th place, and Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, whose wealth is estimated at €605m, in 16th position.
Brothers and software entrepreneurs Patrick and John Collison from Limerick are in 20th place after their estimated wealth increased from €50m last year to €67m this year. Their success also put them top of the list when it came to people aged 30 and under, ahead of the likes of golfer Rory McIlroy, Niall Horan of One Direction, and Everton footballer Seamus Coleman — the 25-year-old Killybegs man is a new entry to this year’s list with wealth estimated at €12m.
Other names in the Irish Rich List include Ben Dunne, Enya, Liam Neeson, and former F1 racer Eddie Irvine.
Hilary Weston, as well as occupying top spot, also had the biggest estimated increase in wealth of any Irish person in the past year, at €798m.
Across the water, the UK’s wealthiest people are Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who work in industry and finance and have a fortune estimated at £11.9bn (€14.6bn). That is still some way behind Amancio Ortega, the Spaniard behind the Zara retail chain, whose wealth is estimated at €47.2bn , making him the richest person in Europe.