THE country might be going through one of the deepest recessions in its history at present but this area can still boast some of the richest men in the country.
That’s according to The Sunday Independent’s Rich List 2011, which was published at the weekend, which showed that eight of the top 300 richest people come from this area.
The wealthiest of the lot is Glen Dimplex owner, Martin Naughton, who has an estimated fortune of e1 billion – up e300 million on last year – making him the 11th richest man in Ireland.
Born and bred in Dundalk where he attended De La Salle Secondary School, the 71-year-old’s firm is now the world’s largest electrical heating manufacturer and boasts companies locally in both Ardee and Dunleer.
Despite the recession, its Northern subsidiary Glen Electric saw profits jump 13pc to e77 million.
Naughton also owns part of the Merrion Hotel and has shares in Ireland’s best restaurant, the Michelin-starred Patrick Guilbaud. He also has a box in Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium as well as the 500-acre Stackallen House and estate in Meath.
He and his wife Carmel are thought to be major art collectors and donated e1.2 million for the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast.
Last week a poll of the world’s richest people estimated Naughton to be the 651st richest man in the world.
Hot on Naughton’s heels is beef baron Larry Goodman, who comes in in 15th place with an estimated fortune of e745 million – up e320 million on last year. As well as having one of the biggest beef and meat processing outfits in the British Isles, Goodman – who has a home in Stabannon – is also a huge property owner and it is estimated that government and state agencies pay rent of e6 million per year to the 73-year-old.
He has also just banked huge profits from the sale of the e370 million Goldman Sachs building in London.
In 21st place is pharmaceutical kingpin Eddie Haughey with an estimated fortune of e430 million – down e90 million on last year.
Born in Kilcurry, Haughey attended Colaiste Rís before building up his veterinary healthcare firm Norbrook Laboratories, which has its base in Newry.
Also known as Lord Ballyedmond, Haughey owns a Sikorsky S76B helicopter, just like the one owned by the Queen of England.
A newcomer to the list is Pearse Lyons, with an estimated fortune of e200 million making him the 46th richest man in the country.
The Dundalk born man owns bio tech firm Alltech, which he figures is the ninth biggest animal health company in the world. Lyons started out as a biochemist at the Harp Brewery in Dundalk before moving to the US where he set up Alltech with $10,000 and some second hand equipment. It has grown 20pc per year since then.
In 60th place is George Moore, with an estimated fortune of e153 million – up e5 million on last year.
The local entrepreneur sold his software marketing group NDR for about e80 million in 1990, investing the proceeds in a new firm called Targusinfo, which was valued at e200 million in 2005. He also owns the Fermanagh Belleek Pottery group and lives in San Diego.
Further down the list in 172nd place is Sean Doyle of Oxigen fame, with an estimated fortune of e49 million – up e4 million on last year.
As well as being one of the biggest players in the Dublin bin collection market he is also trying to build a super dump and recycling facility in Cavan.
In 186th position with an estimated fortune of e45 million is John Boyle of Boylesports fame.
Despite seeing his fortune drop by an estimated e50 million, John and his wife Kathleen own about 91pc of the locally based bookmakers, which has 140 shops nationwide. Other assets include a restaurant in Drogheda, a pub in Dundalk and some property.
Also on the list in 243rd place with a fortune of e30 million is Brendan Gilmore, who has a 20pc stake in Greenore-based wave energy company Open Hydro.