Martin Naughton, and his wife Carmel hailed for their philanthropic endeavours

One of Ireland’s wealthiest businessmen, Martin Naughton, and his wife Carmel were named Philanthropists of the Year by the Community Foundation of Ireland yesterday.
Martin Naughton, and his wife Carmel hailed for their philanthropic endeavours

However, the couple, who won the award for their “significant and strategic” philanthropic investment in many areas of Irish life declined to talk about the honour.

Mr Naughton, who was born in Dundalk, Co Louth, founded Glen Electric, now the Glen Dimplex Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of domestic heating appliances.

The couple have given significant funding to the National Art Gallery and provided scholarships to promote the study of engineering, science and technology by third-level students through the Naughton Foundation.

They have also made a major contribution to the history of art and architecture in Ireland though their support for the Royal Irish Academy, which nominated them for the award.

The Corporate Philanthropist of the Year is Xilinx Ireland, a major US technology multinational that was nominated for the award by Talbot Senior National School, Clondalkin, Dublin.

The company which first established operations in Dublin in 1995 also has engineering centres in Cork and Belfast. Its principal David Ruddy said the company helped develop the school’s information technology infrastructure.

“The company genuinely cares for our school and senior staff regularly visit to touch base with us,” he said.

A special award was also presented to the Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by billionaire and Irish-American Chuck Feeney, that will end its Irish operations this year.

The chief executive of the Community Foundation of Ireland, Tina Roche, said that this year’s winners were all long-term strategic philanthropists.

More in this section