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Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary joins Ireland’s billionaire club for the first time

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary. (Picture: Getty Images)
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. (Picture: Getty Images)

RYANAIR boss Michael O’Leary’s personal fortune has soared past the €1billion mark for the first time.

The airline boss saw his net worth jump from €755million (£593m) to €1.08b (£786m) over the past 12 months.

The news means that Mr O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, is now Ireland’s 12th richest man, joining 13 other billionaires on the Sunday Independent 2016 Irish Rich List.

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After studying economics at Trinity College Dublin, Corkman Mr O’Leary set up his own profitable newsagents in Dublin before entering the aviation industry.

He first joined Ryanair in 1991 in a deputy role and worked his way towards the top job.

Taking control of the airline in 1994, he developed the airline’s lost-cost system which has seen it grow to Europe’s biggest airline, as well as the busiest in the world by passenger numbers.

Mr O’Leary is one of three new billionaires to make Ireland’s rich list this year.

The London-based Irish Post Award winners the Comer Brothers come in at number 14, now worth €1b – up from €825m last year.

Galway natives Brian and Luke Comer are the brains behind Britain’s biggest construction company, the Comer Group.

Ireland’s other newest billionaire is stud farmer John Magnier, whose previous wealth of €970m was reassessed by judges and deemed to be “far, far more than previously thought” – now believed to be €2.2b.

But their fortunes pale in comparison to Ireland’s richest man – Indian-born Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, whose construction firm Shapoorji Pallonji Group has earned him a €14.9b (£11.6b) net worth.

See the list of Ireland’s 300 richest people in full here.

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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