The Life Of O’Reilly


Building boss Joe O Reilly is back on a lucky streak – thanks to the Irish state. He has bought a large site in Ashtown, Dublin for €22 million, after selling the same site in 2006 for €77 million. The auctioneering firm Savills handled the sale on behalf of a receiver appointed by State agency Nama

Even better, 0’ Reilly will benefit significantly from Fine Gael’s move to change the planning laws. The Ashtown site originally had planning permission to build 296 houses and apartments but thanks to changes introduced by Fine Gael, O Reilly is expected to apply for new permission to build 700 apartments.

Joe o Reilly was a Fianna Fail supporter who originally owed €2.8 billion.  But despite this enormous debt, he still managed to continue with a life of luxury – even as thousands more suffered an enormous drop in income after the Celtic Tiger collapse.

Ownership of huge mansion in Foxrock was transferred to his wife on March 5 2009, just a few months before NAMA was established. He was then put on a €200,000 a year wage from NAMA.

And just to add to his good fortune, Fingal County Council paid his company an over-the-odds €7 million for a site to build a school. The land had been re-zoned shortly beforehand by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael councillors. If that had not occurred, it could have been bought at a fraction of the price.

Like many Irish builders, O Reilly is back in business because he is now a front man who is backed by global investors. In his case, it is the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of a vicious little regime that locks up those who criticise its rulers.