Breifne O'Brien

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Breifne O'Brien is an Irish socialite businessman and rogue financial advisor.[1] A key figure in Ireland's Celtic Tiger, he has been called "Ireland's Bernie Madoff". His residences included a lavish family home in Glenageary, an apartment on Dalkey’s Vico Road and a golfing villa in Barbados. He drove an Aston Martin DB7 and had close on 100 bank accounts.[2] After admitting in 2008 to his investors—many of whom were close friends—that he had taken millions of Euros of their money to fund a lavish lifestyle and could not pay it back, he was investigated by the Garda Síochána Fraud Squad.[3][4][5] He has since been bailed out by his mother and is on trial over his part in an investment fraud.[6][7] He pleaded guilty to a sample of charges brought against him involving sums totalling more than ten million euros. On October 8, 2014, O'Brien was sentenced to a seven-year term of imprisonment.[8] O'Brien appealed the sentence; the Court of Appeal denied the appeal in December 2015.[8] In July 2016, the High Court adjudicated O'Brien as bankrupt.[8]

His family home is Carrigrohane Castle in Cork, Ireland. His father Leo was a businessman and his younger brother is RTÉ rugby commentator Daire O'Brien.[6] Married to Fiona Nagle, he was renowned for hosting lavish parties at his home.[4][9]


  1. ^ Burke, Roisin (22 July 2012). "Rogue adviser Breifne O'Brien to cash in on Berlin sale". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Kelly, Antoinette (21 September 2012). "Ireland's Bernie Madoff appears in court over investment scam". Irish Central. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Sheehan, Maeve (18 December 2011). "The fall of King Con". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "RTÉ star's €3k bet 'con': TV pundit Daire refused to pay wager says bookie girl". Sunday World. [dead link]
  5. ^ "O'Brien loses his sparkle". Evening Herald. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Hogan, Louise (21 September 2012). "Celtic Tiger party boy Breifne O'Brien bailed out by pensioner mum". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2012. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Hogan, Louise (20 September 2012). "Socialite businessman Breifne O'Brien charged with theft of €11m". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c O'Faolain, Aodhan (2016-07-25). "Convicted fraudster Breifne O'Brien declared bankrupt". Retrieved 2016-08-11. 
  9. ^ "Fiona Nagle: How I moved on after 'very, very difficult period for all of us". 15 February 2015.