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.
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.