Luck of the Irish

Everyone has heard of the luck of the Irish, where did this belief start or is it real or old mining expression? In general, the phrase means immense fortune. It is often used when someone enjoyed a massive win or great luck.

According to Edward O’Donnell the phrase is not even from Irish origin but an American one. It all started during the 19th century and the silver and gold rush, the most famous miners at the time was Irish. Over some time, the fortunes enjoyed by the Irish miners were called the luck of the Irish. Some think it was used by American’s to indicate that they were only lucky due to sheer luck as opposed to cleverness. It all had to do with a bit of jealousy on how these fools could succeed when others couldn’t.

Luck of the Irish in Gambling

When a gambler won over $1 million on St. Patricks day at a casino, some called it the luck o’ the Irish and other beginners’ luck. The origin of the word success is from middle Dutch and coming from the word luck, which is a shortening of the world gheluc. The word GHELUC means good fortune and happiness. The word luck could also have been borrowed from English back in the 15th century as a term for gambling. Ambac means double aces.

Massive Lunchtime Win for Irish Roofer

Regardless if you believe in the luck o’ the Irish or not, a very lucky roofer from Ireland decided to play casino games during his lunch break. It was NetEnt’s Mega Fortune Dreams Slot that made him a big winner when the jackpot triggered to award the player with a win worth €137,499. His first thought was what was happening, and due to his uncertainty, he never said a word to anyone. Only after the casino called to congratulate him, he knew it was real, and it was time to celebrate. He booked a Disney World holiday for the family and could finally enjoy a relaxing time.

Luck O’ the Irish Themed Casino Games

The luck of the Irish is a theme utilized often by casino software developers in creating slots for online and mobile play. Some of the favourites include Finn and the Swirly Spin, Emerald Isle, Irish Eyes, Irish Luck and Irish Gold. Leprechaun themed games are hugely popular, and some of the most enjoyed titles include Leprechaun Goes Egypt, Lucky Leprechaun, Plenty O’ Fortune and the Isle of Plenty.

The popularity of The Leprechaun Slots

Players adore slots featuring leprechauns due to the hint of Irish luck, the pot of gold that is hidden at the end of the rainbow and the Celtic symbols. Most of the slots feature an array of bonus features that further increase the chances of the player to win and with the wide variety of betting options cater for anyone from casual players to high rollers. There is only one way to find out if you have the luck of the Irish and that is to explore some of the latest Irish-themed games.

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Irish Bookmakers Concerned Regarding Double Tax

The final review of the bookmaker’s turnover tax is expected soon, effectively it could mean double tax. Bookmakers would be obliged to pay from one up to two percent. Concerns voiced by multiple industry stakeholders include the damaging effect an increase in tax would have on the gambling industry. The main concern is how this tax hike could affect the independent Irish bookmaking sector.

Legislative Changes Proposed During 2019 Budget Speech

Paschal Donohoe, the Finance Minister of Ireland proposed the new legislation during his 2019 budget speech. He stated that the aim of the Government is to level the playing field in the area of betting by extending the tax to remote betting exchanges and bookmakers. The Irish Bookmakers Association had requested a tax review, numerous times. Donohoe promised to reassess the industry impact at the end of the first financial quarter of 2019. Still, many bookmakers believe that the tax review will not take place in the near future.

Detrimental Impact of Tax Proposal

Bruce Betting’s Managing Director, Thomas Byrne discussed the impact of the new tax and feels it could have a significant effect on the bookmaking scene in Ireland. He also commented that the proposed tax increase of 100% to Irish bookmakers effected from the 1st of January has resulted in ten shops closing. At the same time, he shared that he remains aware that Irish firms keep an eye on whether government honour their promises. This time it is reviewing the tax situation within the first quarter of the year. What determines whether more shops close, will be the outcome of tax on profits instead of a tax on bookmaker’s turnover.

Betting Shops Closing – Job Opportunities Lost

Doubling the tax would hit independent bookmakers hard and they form a noteworthy portion of the betting market in Ireland. The increased tax will affect all the remaining shops and put several into a nonviable position. What is most frustrating to the bookmakers is that as the government takes this stand the consequences are that many betting shops will close. At the same time, every closure means five to six individuals will lose their jobs.

Smaller Bookmakers Faces Tough Competing with Massive Firms

The smaller independent bookmakers are not only competing with the large bookmaking firms but are also struggling to survive. This survival will become even more challenging due to an increase in tax. There is not much that can be done to offset the tax increase, according to Byrne. Especially since the market remains extremely competitive in Ireland. It is therefore extremely difficult to cut back on any prices or specials.

Larger Profitable Online Bookmakers Set the Pace

Larger bookmaking companies owning profitable online websites set the pace. This leaves retail betting establishments fighting to uphold a share in the market. Most of the bookmakers are hopeful that the review by the government will lead to amending the tax to a workable tax level.

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€100,000 John Delaney Loan costs FAI Over €1m


The FAI is about to lose over €1.4 million, following the suspended funding by Sport Ireland to the association after concerns that the state funding rules were not obeyed. Sports Ireland took its responsibility as the administrators of the taxpayer’s money seriously and moved to withhold and suspend future funding. Many questions remain focussed around the €100,000 payment that was made by John Delaney, the former chief executive to the FAI in April of 2017.

Bridging Loan to Address Cash-Flow Issue

The payment in question was labelled at the time as a bridging loan; the purpose was to address some cash-flow issue, although Sport Ireland was never notified. The statutory body’s decision puts even more pressure on the FAI, which plans on sending a delegation of officials including Delaney and president Donal Conway, to meet with the committee. The Irish Independent revealed that Mr Conway, in his opening statement addressed the committee and explained that the organisation did not communicate the content or circumstance to Sport Ireland in 2017. The organisation is to set up new procedures to ensure that it is compliant with the stipulations and clauses of Sport Ireland.

On-Site Review by Grand Thornton

Of the estimated €2.9 million funding, Sport Ireland has paid out 50%to the FAI and considers the lifting of the suspension once all reviews are completed. As the details regarding the load worth €100,000 emerge, two reviews were triggered, Grand Thornton is on-site to review and audit the records and ledgers of the FAI. While the FAI contracted Mazars.

In the meanwhile, other information emerged and Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, always a John Delaney critic, revealed that he asked the former CEO of the FAI for assistance to gain access to tickets for the March and October football matches in 2017. Mr Rock texted Mr Delaney in November, and the text said that he was pleased to push back against TD Catherine Murphy. It was then the chief of the FAI was required to appear before the Tourism, Transport and Sports Committee, although when asked, Mr Rock could not recall the exchange of such a text message.

Troy Demand Comprehensive Answers Regarding the €100,000 Loan

The FAI expressed disappointment at the suspending fund decision, although Mr Conway felt it was crucial to the development of Ireland football. According to Conway, the organisation is eager to rebuild the relationship and restore the confidence with Sport Ireland. He was also confident that with the processes in place it would be possible for the FAI to satisfy the requirements and standards of Sport Ireland on finance and governance issues, ensuring that funds could be restored. A secret memo informed all staff that it was business as usual regardless of the Sport Ireland decision. Robert Troy wants comprehensive answers, and the organisation’s members face questions on the level of awareness the board had regarding the 2017 €100,000 loan.

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Official Game of Thrones Tour in Ireland


Northern Ireland, for many visitors, became synonymous with the hugely popular series, Game of Thrones. The country provided the backdrop for most of the iconic locations in the series by HBO. Which is why it is only fair that the largest ever Game of Thrones exhibition will start in Ireland as the final season starts showing around the globe.

April Exhibition Kick-Off in Belfast

The Touring exhibition of Game of Thrones opens in April 2019 in Belfast and runs until the 1st of September. With the official exhibit opened during the same month as the season eight, airs it is perfect for the high betting interest as well as fan Westeros fever at an all-time high. It has never been an ideal time to view the displays, costumes and other decoration uses in the series. According to the organisers, it is an all-important part of the series’ incredible legacy in the Irish region.

Winter is Almost Here for Irish Fans

A large part of the Game of Throne scenes are filmed in Ireland, and the exciting exhibition combines the majestic settings, authentic props and costumes from all seven seasons. The show aims to provide visitors with an immersive and interactive experience unlike anything before it. The display opens on the 11th of April 2019 and remains open until the 1st of September. The expedition promises 5,000 square metres of memorabilia of Game of Thrones plus endless fun. It is the most immersive trip, and it takes attendants through the North with The Hound.

Located at the TEC Belfast, the footprint of the Titanic Studios, the exhibition focusses on where the series was filmed across a period of 10 years. Visitors can immerse themselves in an authentic Essos and Westeros experience. And have the opportunity to relive the tribulations and trails of all who struggled for survival in the ultimate battle for the Iron Crown and Throne.

Game of Thrones Ireland Experience

The exhibition offers Game of Thrones fans a whole list of amenities and activities; these include the Battle for the Throne, exploring the home of the Night’s Watch as well as exploring the Castle Black. Visitors also get to enter the House of Black and White, view the iconic House Targaryen costumes and the garrison of unsullied warrior costumes. The exhibition also allows fans to experience the North’s wintry landscapes including the Kingsroad tree-line pathway.

Bend the Knee & Get Book Your Tickets Well in Advance

Winter is coming, and you surely do not want to miss this exhibition that runs seven days a week from April to August. If you are eager to place a bet or two on the outcome of the final season, this is the place to get your inspiration. The hours of operation are from April to May is 10 am to 7 pm from Monday to Sunday, and the entry tickets are around £17.50 or €19.

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Irish Cowboys Once the Fastest Guns in Town


Most of the new gamification online casinos utilise adventure themes. These often include island exploring. The wild west is another theme hugely favoured by online operators as well as casino gaming software developers.

Heated Arguments at the Tables

Some of the most popular slots include Arizona Treasures, Bandit Saloon, American Gold Rush, Cowboys and Cowboys Go West. In reality, some of the fastest guns in the west were the Irish-born cowboys. The Irishman Johnny Murphy was the first to make a statement, this was in 1882, straight after the James Leavy the notorious Irish gunfighter were murdered. David Gibson shotted leavy, William Moyer and Murphy followed heated arguments at the faro table in the saloon. All three were placed in the county jail although the trio managed to escape before the hearing.

Shooters and Gamblers in the Wild West

James Leavy, the Irish gunman, was described after his death and during his life as a fearless fighter. He is remembered as a cowboy that was a dangerous man. He was also recognised for his partnerships with Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and as a gunman and gambler one of the most feared.

Leavy did survive over sixteen shootouts, and for a legendary gunfighter in the old west it was not unusual, but no photograph exists of him. The details that are known about him as a gunman places him in the list of glorified gunfighters in Richard Maxwell Brown’s terms. Leavy’s early life was mystery riddled and his last name more than often misspelt as Levy. Born in Ireland in 1842 it is believed he was Catholic although no evidence is found. When he was a teenager, he travelled to find work in the gold mines of California — ventured to Nevada’s Lincoln Country when the news broke of the silver strikes in the 1860s. It is here where Leavy became an expert in gun handling and met Richard Moriarty another Irishman. Using the alias Morgan Courtney, this Irish gunfighter has a reputation as the most feared gunman at the time.

Hot-Tempered Drunk Gamblers in the Wild West

Leavy testified that Mike Casey, the prospector was the one to fire first in a shooting he witnessed, an angry Casey tracked him down and the two had a wild shootout. Casey was killed by Leavy and got shot through the jaw by the Arizona Territory lawman, Dave Neagle.

In the old west most, gambling establishments offered the game Faro, which involved one person as the dealer also called the banker and several punters. The game was played in around 15 minutes and provided great odds. A common problem was cheating by the dealer, and it often was the start of an argument that was solved by a shootout. James Leavy was attracted by the gambling centre Tuscan who was already a veteran in gambler Deadwood, Cheyenne and San Francisco. With the amount of gambling at the time, it was only a matter of time before hot-tempered drunk players would demand a duel due to crooked games and this time it was Murphy and Leavy.

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British Army Spy hired by Ireland to Search for Bugs.


Since Ireland’s authorities were anxious regarding media leaks since the disastrous World Cup. They’ve decided to employ a former military intelligence officer from Britain to search for any bugs. These bugs could have possibly been planted inside the headquarters in Dublin.

Sean Hartnett Reveals All in Client Confidential

Sean Hartnett’s new book reveals the extent of the Irish Rugby Football Union fears. These fears are over the ability of the Irish media to report on the plans to replace managers and dressing room rows. Harnett also claims he got entangled in the internal disputes of Ireland’s final stages failure to advance during the World Cup held in France. Hartnett said in Client Confidentiality, that the IRFU requested him to warn board members that he would utilise specialist tracking devices. He will be using them to discover if anyone were covertly recording any of the meetings via their smartphones.

Author of Client Confidential Claimed to be IRFU Employed

The IRFU employed Hartnett at the time, and the author of Client Confidential had just moved into a private espionage business after leaving the counter-terrorism unit. He also claims that he was requested to brief all newly appointees such as Decan Kidney, who became the head coach of the Irish team. The briefing was officially to inform the newly appointee of the danger part of being involved with security. Unofficially it was to report the newly appointed coach that all his enemies were not just those outsides of the IRFU HQ walls.

British Ministry of Defense Requested Ban of JACUNI

First, the Ministry of Defense in Britain tried to ban the book titled JACUNI by Hartnett. This detailed the undercover military force that secretly filmed and bugged the dissident Republican and IRA suspects. Country Cork-born Hartnett was brought in to investigate the possibilities of leaks after the post-mortem 2007 World Cup meeting taking place in Dublin in the Shelbourne Hotel. These meeting leaked word for word to the Irish media and Hartnett concluded that leaks were probably via smartphone recordings.

The first thing Harnett then did was to thoroughly test security by means of breaking into the Dublin Ballsbridge based HQ. This is easily doable via an employee’s electronic pass card, and he used it when he returned to the underground parking of the building. He was able to walk without any interruptions to the office of the CEO’s office of the IRFU.

A spokesman for the IRFU said that it is all fictionalised by Hartnett, that the company employed by the IRFU was RMI. Their task was to check for any risks. RMI was also asked to check IT systems and meeting facilities. The headquarter building, all hotel accommodation, areas used as meeting facilities and any other facilities used by the IRFU or the Irish team. Harnett says he did inform the IRFU of his finding, which seemed to irritate the board instead of providing them with the information request.

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Modern Celebrated Irish Sports Stars


Ireland is fuelled by its passion for sports, whether its rugby, horseracing, soccer, hurling or motorsports. Several of the all-time sports greats came from Ireland, which is entirely unexpected from a country with such a small population.

Soccer is the third most supported sport in the country, while it is played by more than 250 million players across more than 200 countries. The two most popular sports in Ireland is hurling and Gaelic football.

Some of the greatest football players like Roy Keane is from Ireland, also home to hugely successful cyclists such as Sean Kelly, Olympic silver medallists such as Sonia O-Sullivan, Hurling championship winners such as Christy Ring and the best horse trainer in history, Vincent O’Brien.

Roy Keane

During the late 1990s the caption of the Irish national football team was Roy Keane, he remained caption into the early 2000s. Born in Cork, Kean was a midfielder that intimidated his opponents with his ferocious reputation. Roy Keane was also the captain of the Manchester United team during what is still their most successful history. This was when they won four FA Cups and seven Premier League titles.

Keane left the national team only days the 2002 World Cup after an argument with Mick McCarty the manager at the time regarding the team preparations, which upset many of his Irish supporters. Later, Kean became the assistant manager for the national side in 2013.

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly held the number one position and was hugely successful in the 1980s, he remained number one for six years and throughout his career won 193 races. Kelly also won fourteen Tour de France. Born in Tipperary, he worked as a bricklayer and farmhand before he became one of the most famous sports legends from Ireland.

Sonia O-Sullivan

Sonia O’Sullivan already showed a flair for athletics when she was a youngster in Cork. Her passion led to her becoming an elite athlete in the running during the late 1990s as well as early 200s, and she won an Olympic silver medal at the 2000 Games in the 5000m.

O’Sullivan also won a gold medal in 1995 for the 5000m in the World Athletics Championship, in 1994 the European Championship in the 3000m and Budapest in 1998, she achieved double gold in the 5000m and 10 000m races.

Christy Ring

Christy Ring is the master in hurling; his achievements include winning the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships eight times and the Hurling Munster Senior Championship nine times. During his career with Cork town club, he was voted the greatest player of all times. In celebrations of his phenomenal achievements, the bridge over the river in Cork is named after him, and a life-size statue of Christy Ring can be seen at the airport in Cork.

Vincent O’ Brien

The Racing Post newspaper voted Vincent O’Brien the greatest trainer ever in horse racing. He is the winner, three years in a row of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The horses have also won three years in a row the Champions Hurdle, and for three consecutive years, O’Brien won the Grand National.

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Irish Sports Legends


Sports play a significant role in the Ireland communities and apart from the great sports legends actively participating, sports offer many spectators a fun way to spend the day out. The top spectator sport in the country includes hurling, golf, horseracing, soccer and Gaelic football.

Ireland is also home to many sports heroes including Champion League winners, World Boxing Champions, Olympic gold medallists and golfing primary victors.

The county can compete with the best in the world, despite its relatively small community and some of the sporting greats include Padraig Harrington, Brian O’Driscoll, George Best and Joey Dunlop.
Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington is one of the greatest golfers from Ireland, and this PGA golfer won the Open titles in both 2008 as well as 2009. He is also the winner of the 2008 PGA Championship, and while representing Europe in the Ryder Cup, he enjoyed winning the competition no less than four times.

In 1997, Padraig Harrington won the World Cup of Golf while playing with Paul McGinley. The Dublin sports star was also the only one to partner with Tiger Woods over five times during tournaments.

Brian O’Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll from 2003 until 2012 was the Captain of the Ireland team. His rugby career also includes him captaining the Irish Lions as well as the British Lions during the New Zealand tour.

O’Driscoll won the IRB World Player of the year award three times, these include in 2009, 2002 and 2001 and is the all-time leading try scorer in Ireland, while in 2008 he won the Dubliner of the Year award. He was also the captain of the Ireland team when they won the Grand Slam and was voted the Rugby Player of the Decade by Rugby World magazine for the time-period 2000 up to 2009.

George Best

George Best is without a doubt the most talented soccer player. This Irish player won the European Cup as part of the Manchester United team in 1968 and scored a total of 137 goals for the club. When Best was spotted in Belfast as a teenager, Matt Busby got a call and was told that Best was the next soccer genius.

He dated several glamorous women, which also included a few Miss Worlds. He was the first celebrity footballer, while he is known in the British media as the fifth Beatle. Unfortunately, Best died in 2005 from alcohol-related illness when his playboy lifestyle caught up with him.

Joey Dunlop

Joey Dunlop is from Ballymoney in the North of Ireland, and this World Champion motorcyclist was voted the 5th greatest by the Motorcycle News and was the winner of the Ulster Grand Prix twenty-four times.

Dunlop was also the winner of the TT Formula One from 1982 to 1986 when he won five years in a row and was awarded an OBE for the charity work; he did with orphans and an MBE for his sports contribution. Joey Dunlop was killed in Estonia during a race in 2000.

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Ireland’s Biggest Sports Stars


Ireland is not a big country, yet it produced several top sports stars such as Rory McIlroy, Aiden McGeady, James O’Donoghue, Jonathan Sexton and Carl Frampton. These all feature on the list of the biggest stars in sports in Ireland and their success internationally are phenomenal.

Rory McIlroy

Rory Mcllroy is from Northern Ireland and participated for Ireland in the Olympics of 2016. McIlroy had quite a bad sports year in 2013 since he never won any tournaments, yet the thirteen competitions he entered got him on five occasions into the top 25. The lowest prize money he earned was in 2013 when he earned €862,177, the lowest since the year 2008.

In 2014 McIlroy was back on top of his game, ended his engagement to Wozniacki and focused entirely on golf. He won the BMW PGA Championship as well as The Open and due to this winning streak, McIlroy was described by newspapers as simply incredible.

Jonathan Sexton

Only a limited few backed the team from Ireland to actually win the Six Nations, those who did bet money on the game, placed their wagers on England. At the end, England scored 8 points and difference of +73, while Ireland had an 8 point different and a +83 points difference.

Newspapers afterwards published that although rugby is a team sport, they had no choice but to single out one particular player, this player was Jonathan Sexton who was deserving of the praise as he had the tournament many can only dream off in 2014 in the Six Nations. He went on to win the tournament and ended up as the winning joint with Mike Brown of England, both scored four.
Sexton ended the tournament with 66 points, which was half of the points earned by the Ireland team. Everyone hoped that he would be nominated the player of the tournament although that title went to Mike Brown.

Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton had the potential to become the biggest boxer of all times, the former world champion Barry McGuigan believed. Frampton had 19 fights and remained unbeaten, while fights ended in knock-outs totalled 13 before he became the world champion.
He went on to beat Kiko Martines in the IBF Super Bantamweight title and won the WBC belt. Under the guise of boxing, Carl Frampton has united both Southern and Northern Ireland and his closest friend and mentor are still McGuigan.

Aiden McGeady is most known as the Everton winger that is by far one of the most exciting and supported players to wear Irish Jersey. He enjoyed major success internationally and displayed great tactics during the games against Scotland and Poland. Thanks to the goal by John O’Shea, Ireland managed to score a historical point against the world champions, at the Euro in France. Irish fans have had many reasons to celebrate during the Euro 2016 and it could be heard all night long in pubs in Gelsenkirchen.

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Ireland’s Wealthiest Sports Star

It came to many as a big surprise when the Sunday Time announced the wealthiest sports star in Ireland. The richest of the sports star is Sir Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly. Sir Anthony is a rugby player known as Tony O’Reilly that was also previously the owner of the Independent News and Media. He made some of his money on the rugby field, and via clever investments and great control of his assets, he became the wealthiest of the sports stars.

Tony O’Reilly previously owned the majority of shares in INM. He lived by a rule that you win and lose and once you know how to handle losses you also know how to live. O’Reilly studied at the University of Bradford, Belvedere College SJ and at the University College Dublin. During his rugby career, O’Reilly played for the Barbarians, Irish Lions and the British Lions. He features on the Hall of Fame of the International Rugby Board.

Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly’s Charitable Work

Tony O’Reilly was known and loved for all the charities he was involved with, which included several different charitable activities. He was one of the major supports for many years of the Professorship in UCD studies in Australia. O’Reilly was also a sponsor of the National Science Historical Museum that is based next to the Birr Castle.

In 1994 he was a Pro-Chancellor at the Dublin University before retiring in 2011. He also financially backed the Jewish Studies development and became a keen supporter of Neuroscience. Additionally, O’Reilly funded and supported the building of the UCD’s Hall named the O’Reilly Hall at completion.

Private Life of Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly

O’Reilly met Dorothy Collins in 1954, in 1958 they got engaged and planned to get married in 1959. O’Reilly’s first wife was Susan Cameron, the pianist and secretary from Australia. Cameron was the daughter of a rich mining family in Australia. O’Reilly met her during a rugby tour in the country and they married in 1962. They had six children together including triplets and today they share nineteen grandchildren.

After divorcing Susan, Tony O’Reilly got married to the Greek Shipping heiress Chryss Goulandris after they met in New York. After their wedding took place in 1991, Chryss gifted her husband with the Theatre in Pittsburgh. It is still known as the O’Reilly Theatre, and he spent $20 million on the ring known as the Jackie Onassis.

O’Reilly’s Wealth

The Sunday Times reported in 2014 that the O’Reilly family was worth $545 million, which went up to after his wife inherited around €300 and according to the Sunday Independent, the family’s worth was estimated at around €1 billion.

Biography of Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly

Ivan Fallon produced The Player: The Life of Tony O’Reilly in the 1990s, the biography offered details regarding all his business matters as well as all his Irish businesses. Gill and Macmillan published a second biography in 2015. It was written by Matt Cooper and this time titled The Maximalist: The Rise and Fall of Tony O’Reilly. It gave an overview of the life of the rugby player as well as an overview of one of the remarkable figures in Ireland’s history.

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