Denis O'Brien

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Denis O'Brien
Born (1958-04-19) 19 April 1958 (age 61)
EducationUniversity College Dublin
Boston College
Net worthUS$4.2 billion (October 2019)[2]
Catherine Walsh (m. 1997)

Denis O'Brien (born 19 April 1958) is an Irish billionaire businessman, and the founder and owner of Communicorp. He was listed among the World's Top 200 in 2015 and is also Ireland's richest native-born citizen.[1][3][4][5] His business interests also extend to aircraft leasing (Aergo Capital), utilities support (Actavo), petroleum (Topaz Energy, until 2016), and football (soccer), being a minority shareholder of Celtic F.C.. O'Brien was implicated by the Moriarty Tribunal as having improperly influenced the decision to award a mobile phone license to the Esat Digifone consortium, which he chaired.

Early life[edit]

O'Brien was born in the city of Cork and grew up in the Ballsbridge area of Dublin. His father was a salesman for a veterinary pharmaceutical company, and he often accompanied his father on business trips, where he learned how to "sell and to present". He attended The High School in Rathgar, and although he was suspended for disciplinary problems, his talent for rugby was such that he was asked to return so that he could participate in a championship for the school.[1]

He studied politics, history and logic at University College Dublin, graduating in 1977. After winning a scholarship from Boston College while attending UCD, he completed an MBA in corporate finance there in 1982. Upon his return to Dublin, he was employed as an assistant manager in a local bank, but left that job and became a personal assistant to Tony Ryan, owner of an aircraft leasing company.[1]


O'Brien has spent most of his career in the communications technology and mass media industries. He has also been a part owner of energy, aerospace, and industrial service companies.


O'Brien is the owner of Communicorp,[6] a media holding company operating across Europe. He started the company in Ireland in 1989,[7][8] where it has owned independent radio stations like Newstalk and Today FM.[9][10] The company expanded to markets in Eastern European countries, later selling some of its stations to local operators.[11][12] In 2014, Communicorp expanded to the United Kingdom, acquiring eight radio stations across the country;[13] in 2017, Communicorp moved its UK radio stations to a new independent company, Communicorp UK, of which O'Brien owns 98% of the shares.[14]

Esat Telecom and Esat Digifone[edit]

In 1991, O'Brien formed a telecommunications consortium called Esat Telecom to compete with the state-owned Telecom Eireann.[15] In partnership with Telenor, Norway's state telecom operator, Esat formed Esat Digifone, which made a successful bid for Ireland's second GSM mobile licence.[16][17] Circumstances around the awarding of the licence to Esat Digifone became the subject of the Moriarty Tribunal.[18][19]

On 7 November 1997, Esat Telecom Group plc held an initial public offering and was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ.[20] In 2000, Telenor made a bid for control of the company, but O'Brien sold it to BT, reportedly making €250 million from the sale.[21][22]

Aergo Capital[edit]

In 1999, O'Brien co-founded aircraft leasing company Aergo Capital, of which he owned an 80% stake. From its inception until 2014, Aergo traded more than 150 aircraft with a gross value of over €791 million (approximately $1 billion). In October 2014, O'Brien and his partner, Fred Browne, sold the company to CarVal, a US investment firm; Browne remained with the new company as CEO.[23]


In 2001, O'Brien founded Digicel, a telecom company that operates in the Caribbean, South America, and Asia Pacific. Using the cash from his sale of Esat Telecom, O'Brien used Digicel to build a wireless network in Jamaica.[24] That same year, Digicel expanded into the South Pacific. As of 2019, Digicel operated in 31 countries.[25]

Along with Digicel, O'Brien created the Digicel Foundation, which has worked with local organizations to develop community services, build schools and health centers, and support recovery efforts.[26][27] After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, O'Brien pledged €3.5 million to assist recovery efforts.[28][29] In 2012, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded O'Brien with the National Order of Honour and Merit for his investments, contributions and promotion of the country,[30] and in 2015, O'Brien received honorary membership of the Order of Jamaica for his service to the country's telecommunications industry.[31]

Digicel was involved in an extensive court battle with the Jamaican Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) throughout the 2000s. The issue originally arose after Phillip Paulwell, the then Jamaican minister of industry, commerce and technology, instructed the OUR to refrain from interfering with the pricing policies of Digicel, after the regulator had itself instructed Digicel to amend its interconnectivity fees.[32] Although Paulwell was ruled to have had no power to issue the instruction to the OUR, Digicel unsuccessfully appealed the ruling first at the Jamaican Supreme Court, which overturned the ruling, though it was subsequently upheld by Court of Appeal after a counter-appeal by OUR, and then at Jamaica's Privy Council.[32]

In January 2014, the Financial Times's Telecoms Correspondent wrote of O'Brien's intention to expand Digicel into next-generation mobile and fixed line services, with O'Brien quoted as being excited by the prospect of a "world order [that] is changing."[33]


In 2012, O'Brien purchased Siteserv, a utilities support company, from IBRC for €45m; in 2015, the company was renamed Actavo.[34] Actavo was bought and controlled through O'Brien's firm Millington on the Isle of Man.[35]

In 2016, Actavo expanded into the United States through the purchase of Atlantic Engineering Services, a structural engineering firm.[36] Actavo was also involved in the installation of fibre networks for Digicel in the Caribbean.[37]

Topaz Energy[edit]

In December 2013, O'Brien purchased €300 million in debt owed by Topaz Energy to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. In December 2014, Topaz's parent company, Kendrick Investments, announced it would buy all of Esso's Irish operations.[38][39]

In December 2015, Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian convenience store company, announced that it planned to buy Topaz.[40] The sale was completed in February 2016; Topaz had more than 2,000 employees and close to 35% of the consumer market in Ireland at the time of the sale.[41]


O'Brien married Catherine Walsh, who helped Communicorp expand into the Czech Republic, in August 1997. The couple have four children.[1]

Moriarty Tribunal[edit]

The Moriarty Tribunal's second and final report found that Michael Lowry, Ireland's then energy and communications minister, assisted O'Brien in his bid to secure a mobile phone contract for Esat Digifone, a key foundation of O'Brien's personal wealth. The tribunal found that this happened after Lowry received a $50,000 payment from O'Brien via a circuitous route involving a complex arrangement of third parties and offshore accounts. It said that it was "beyond doubt" that Lowry gave "substantive information to Denis O'Brien, of significant value and assistance to him in securing the [mobile] licence" during at least two meetings between the two.[42][43] The Tribunal was not a court of law; its findings were "legally sterile".

On 15 October 2011, Today FM confirmed Sam Smyth's Sunday radio show was being dropped. He had been presenting it for 14 years. Smyth had previously offended his bosses by commenting in a newspaper and on television about Today FM's owner O'Brien's involvement in the Moriarty Tribunal. Smyth said on air the next morning that he had been told not to talk about the end of his show and stopped one of his guests from talking about it too "before someone comes downstairs and pulls a wire we better move onto something else."[44] The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it was concerned at the development, but Today FM stated that "the decision was made to address a decline in listenership and was part of an initiative to improve programming quality." The Today FM board supported the decision, which was one of several programming changes made by Willy O'Reilly[45] The Irish Independent, of which O'Brien is a leading shareholder, reported that Anton Savage was being lined up to replace Smyth.[46]

Relationship with the media[edit]

Independent News & Media[edit]

In January 2006, O'Brien took a stake in Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media (INM). At the beginning of June 2007, O'Reilly tabled a resolution to strengthen rules on the disclosure of beneficial interests. This was regarded as a defensive measure that would empower IN&M to monitor any additional accumulation of shares in the company. The resolution passed and empowers IN&M to withhold dividends from investors who do not comply with a request for information on the ownership of a holding of shares. O'Brien, speaking on RTÉ Radio, described the resolution as a "retrograde" measure, saying that the resolution was designed to protect the interests of O'Reilly's family against a hostile bidder.[47] In January 2008, at the same time as completing the purchase of Today FM (then Ireland's last national radio station independent of O'Brien and state broadcaster RTÉ), O'Brien increased his INM shareholding to become that company's second-biggest shareholder behind Tony O'Reilly.[48]

In 2012, O'Brien seized control of INM from O'Reilly, bringing to an end four decades of that family's ownership. Brett Chenoweth, the chief executive of APN News and Media (INM's Australian arm), was forced to resign in 2013. Its Chairman Peter Hunt and three independent directors – Melinda Conrad, John Harvey and John Maasland – also resigned in a dispute with INM. Shortly before this, INM announced it would sell South African arm of its business for £146 million to a consortium fronted by Iqbal Survé, a former doctor of Nelson Mandela. This followed the 2010 sale of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday to Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev for £1.[49]

As of May 2012, O'Brien held a 29.9% stake in INM, making him the largest shareholder.[50] This compares to the O'Reilly's family stake of around 13%.[51]

On the evening of Friday 7 December 2012, O'Brien's friend and solicitor Paul Meagher contacted the Sunday Independent with orders from O'Brien to 'kill' a story concerning environment minister Phil Hogan.[52]

On Saturday 19 July 2014, group editor of INM Stephen Rae ordered the presses to be stopped to amend a column written by Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris which featured references to O'Brien. Copies of the original article did however appear, allowing comparisons between the two. Harris originally wrote: "Denis O'Brien is the major shareholder in INM. In theory, with 29% of the shares, he does not control it. In practice, he does." Rae had the last sentence deleted. Harris also wrote: "The question is whether he understands newspapers. In order to confront the truths in our society, we must have a free press. With the restrictive charter for journalists proposed last year, and some garrotive (sic) new structures, Denis O'Brien does not make this easy." This was changed to: "The question is whether he understands newspapers. In order to confront the truths in our society, we must have a free press. If the restrictive charter for journalists proposed last year, along with some other structural changes, are anything to go by, it might be instructive for him to listen to journalists, troublesome and all as they are."[53]

On 24 March 2018 the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) in Ireland said it would apply to the High Court of Ireland to appoint inspectors to Independent News and Media to investigate an alleged data breach.[54] According to an affidavit filed by the ODCE, invoices associated with the data interrogation were discharged by Blaydon Limited, a company owned by Denis O'Brien, INM's largest shareholder.[55]

Independent News & Media was sold in its entirety to the Belgian group Mediahuis in June 2019[56] and de-listed from the Euronext Dublin exchange; thus ending O'Briens involvement in the group. It was reported that he lost in excess of €450m in total on his INM investment.[57]

Media lawsuits[edit]

O'Brien has threatened to sue the journalist and broadcaster Vincent Browne; as the Sunday Independent wrote at the time: "Suing the individual journalist is a tactic usually designed to instill a fear of financial ruin into the writer of the allegedly offending article, especially when the potential litigant is somebody of Mr O'Brien's means."[58]

On 14 February 2013, O'Brien sued the Irish Daily Mail for defamation over his numerous appearances in RTÉ news reports on the relief effort after the Haiti earthquake in an attempt to use the publicity to deflect attention from the Moriarty Tribunal. The court awarded O'Brien €150,000. The case was a landmark one as it was the first time a journalist had attempted to use the honest opinion defence. The newspaper's solicitor said it was a sad day for freedom of expression in Ireland.[59][60]

On 6 August 2015, Waterford Whispers News (a satirical website similar to America's The Onion) editor-in-chief Colm Williamson received a cease and desist order from a solicitor acting on O'Brien's behalf, for a satirical article published on the website regarding O'Brien.[61] Soon after lawyers for O'Brien also demanded that a report of the Waterford Whispers News story also be removed from under a threat of legal action.[62]

However, this demand was not complied with and the article is still carried on 3 years later in July 2018.

In response to such actions - in particular, those relating to the threat of legal proceedings against satirical websites - the comments sections of various Irish related social media outlet featured many negative comments chastising O'Brien for his constant issuing of threats of legal proceedings.

IBRC and parliamentary privilege[edit]

IBRC controversy and RTÉ injunction[edit]

In 2015, arguing that revelation of his relationship with his bank was an invasion of his privacy, O'Brien successfully applied for an injunction against RTÉ preventing the state broadcaster from airing a report on how O'Brien was allegedly receiving, on foot of a claimed but disputed[63] verbal agreement with a former CEO of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC)—the former Anglo Irish Bank, and another senior executive, a rate of approximately 1.25% when IBRC "could, and arguably should" have been charging 7.5%.[64] This alleged rate applied to "outstanding sums of upwards of €500 million",[64] or "over €300 million" according to the RTÉ producer's court affidavit.[63][65] O'Brien then allegedly wrote to IBRC's special liquidator Kieran Wallace to demand that these same favourable terms that were granted him by way of verbal agreement be continued.[64][66] The Irish government later appointed Kieran Wallace to conduct a review into various IBRC transactions, including the sale of Siteserv by IBRC to Denis O'Brien.[66] Acting as IBRC special liquidator, and in order to protect the confidentiality of IBRC's relations with its customers and of any legal advice given to it,[67] Wallace then joined with IBRC and Denis O'Brien to seek an injunction in Ireland's High Court to hide this information from the public.[64] High court judge Justice Donald Binchy granted O'Brien the injunction and told the court that certain elements of the judgement would have to be redacted. The Irish media therefore could not report on details of the injunction.[68]

Independent TD Catherine Murphy attempted to raise this in the Dáil on 27 May 2015. Seán Barrett silenced her and called her contributions "out of order".[69] Catherine Murphy then attempted to raise the matter again the following day, this time with more success.[70] O'Brien "claimed the information was false and that it was an abuse of Dáil privilege."[66] (The former chief executive of IBRC, Mike Aynsley, also took issue with other comments by Deputy Murphy).[66] Lawyers acting for O'Brien immediately forced much of the country's media to censor its own coverage, with some media outlets confirming they had received warnings from O'Brien's lawyers.[71] RTÉ reporter Philip Boucher-Hayes tweeted that Drivetime would play Murphy's speech; in the event, Murphy's speech was not broadcast and his tweet was later deleted.[64] Tonight with Vincent Browne (with Browne absent and instead moderated by Ger Colleran, editor of INM's Irish Daily Star) featured Colleran reading a statement from TV3 management asserting that no discussion about Murphy's comments would be allowed following letters from O'Brien's lawyers.[64] At least one foreign commentator covering these events for the international media suggested that in Ireland "the bedrock of any society claiming to be democratic" had been "wiped away at a stroke".[72] Some enterprising citizens received a positive response by printing Catherine Murphy's speech from foreign media coverage and handing copies to passers-by on the streets of the nation's towns and cities in an attempt to inform those relying on state media.[73]

The Irish Times stated that "it is an unprecedented development that the mainstream media have been prevented from publishing privileged remarks in the Dáil due to the threat of legal action".[74] However it also added that Deputy Murphy's Dáil speech was still available on the Oireachtas website,[74] and that the website had ignored a request by solicitors to remove a copy of her speech.[74] rejected the request by referring to Article 15.12 of the Irish Constitution[75] - this states "All official reports and publications of the Oireachtas or of either House thereof and utterances made in either House wherever published shall be privileged."[76] Former Attorney General Michael McDowell indicated that parliamentary privilege does not grant "absolute impunity", but that he expected it would apply in this case.[77] In the High Court the following Tuesday (2 June 2015), Justice Donald Binchy stated that it was "never intended nor could it have been intended that any order of this court would impact upon entitlements of deputies to speak as they see fit or the entitlement of the media to report on those utterances", but added that it was "entirely understandable" that RTÉ had sought court clarification on this.[78]

When giving written reasons for the injunction (with "fairly minimal" redactions) a few days later, Judge Binchy said "there was no allegation whatsoever of any misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of Mr O'Brien".[79] Earlier O'Brien had defended himself in an Irish Times article, stating that he had been shocked that somebody took confidential files from a bank, tampered with them, and then leaked them, that he had done much to try to help the Irish economy and the stability of its banking system in recent years, that the 'throwing to the wolves' of decent Irish borrowers by institutions like NAMA had ruined many lives and led to suicides, and that he was being vilified to an unprecedented degree by enemies, competitors, publicity-seeking politicians, and social media cowards, for trying to defend his privacy.[80]

On 17 June 2015, RTÉ published what it stated was "a curtailed version of the story RTÉ sought to publish last month. Two paragraphs of the original planned story cannot be published as they are still covered by the injunction granted to IBRC against RTÉ in May." The curtailed version was accompanied by an alleged "timeline of events".[63] The omissions were not due to O'Brien's lawyers, but to objections by IBRC to publication of reported legal advice given to IBRC that was not already in the public domain.[81]

Commission of Investigation into IBRC[edit]

On 10 June 2015, a Commission of Investigation (O'Keeffe Commission) was established to inquire into the wider issue of certain transactions of IBRC under the Commission of Investigation (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) Order 2015 passed by Dáil Éireann[82] and Seanad Éireann.[83] This was partly as a result of controversy over the sale by IBRC of Siteserv to a company controlled by Denis O'Brien, and of complaints by Deputy Catherine Murphy that IBRC special liquidator Kieran Wallace, who had originally been asked to conduct an inquiry into such matters, could no longer credibly do so after he had joined with O'Brien in his above lawsuit against RTÉ.[64][66][84]

Lawsuit against the country[edit]

On 16 June 2015 Counsel for O'Brien informed the High Court that he was suing the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, Ireland and the Attorney General over remarks made by Independent TD Catherine Murphy and Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty about his banking affairs (following his above lawsuit against RTÉ) in an alleged breach of parliamentary privilege, violating his constitutional rights and his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.[85][86][87] The Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges had previously rejected O'Brien's claims that Deputy Murphy's allegations were a breach of parliamentary privilege.[88]

Other interests[edit]

O'Brien has been a member of the Trilateral Commission.[89] He regularly attends the World Economic Forum's annual winter meeting in Davos.[1][90]

O'Brien supported the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, holding the title "Chairman of Council of Patrons."[91] He is also a director on the U.S. Board of Concern Worldwide.[92]

In September 2005, O'Brien was named deputy governor of the Bank of Ireland. Simultaneously, he moved his residence from Portugal to Malta, for tax reasons. He resigned as Deputy Governor, and as a member of the Bank's board or court, on 12 September 2006.[93] The Bank of Ireland issued a statement describing his resignation as due to "his growing international business interests together with the demands of an extensive travel schedule, meant that he could no longer devote the time required to the ever increasing workload of the court."[94] O'Brien also resigned from the Norkom Group and the UCD Smurfit School of Business. His spokesman said these resignations were unconnected with the work of the Moriarty Tribunal.

On 13 February 2008, Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney confirmed that O'Brien was funding the wages of Ireland national soccer team manager Giovanni Trapattoni.[95] O'Brien's soccer interests also extend to being a minority shareholder in Scottish club, Celtic.[96]

O'Brien's Siteserv provides services to the Irish State including the installation of water meters, and 'modular homes' through subsidiary RoanKabin.[97]

In 2011, O'Brien donated €2,500 to the campaign of Mary Davis for the Irish presidential election.[98]

O'Brien and the Clintons[edit]

O'Brien and the Clintons were prominent investors of time and money in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.[99] U.S. government agency USAID, overseen by the State Department and headed at the time by Hillary Clinton, donated millions of U.S. tax dollars to O'Brien's Digicel company. USAID's "Food for Peace" scheme transferred money over Digicel's mobile network, with citizens of the stricken country being given mobile phones and free Digicel accounts, which led Digicel to "significantly expand" its customer numbers. Bill Clinton also oversaw the building and then opened a luxury Marriott Hotel in Haiti; this hotel was owned by Digicel, which made a $45 million contribution (compared to a $26.5 million contribution from the World Bank-affiliated International Finance Corporation).[100]

In 2011, Bill Clinton flew to Ireland on O'Brien's private jet to attend the Global Irish Economic Forum.[101][99]

In 2012, Clinton bestowed upon O'Brien the title "Clinton Global Citizen" as part of an awards scheme connected with the Clinton Global Initiative think tank.[99]

According to The Irish Times, Clinton's 2013 speaking engagement at Dublin's Conrad Hotel was "facilitated largely by his friend" Denis O'Brien. When opening his speech, Clinton personally thanked O'Brien "for the invitation."[99] According to U.S. accounts, Clinton's average speaking fee for the previous year a minimum of close to $200,000 (though he had received multiples of that fee at some corporate functions).[99]

O'Brien's "arrangement" of speeches for Clinton is covered in Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash.[102] Clinton has also praised O'Brien in Time Magazine,[99] while U.S. media have referred to O'Brien as a "Clinton crony."[103]

In September 2016, during the 2016 US Presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump's campaign produced a lengthy e-mail to the media criticising Hillary Clinton's relationship with O'Brien.[104] O'Brien refused to make any comments on Trump's statements.[105]

Wealth and residences in Portugal and Malta[edit]

Forbes estimates O'Brien's wealth as approximately $6.8 billion.[4]

O'Brien took up residency in Portugal some time before Esat Telecom's sale to BT in 2000. He netted more than €300 million from that sale but paid no capital gains tax due to a then-existing provision in the Irish-Portuguese tax treaty. While considering the flotation of Digicel on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, it emerged in public that O'Brien had taken up residence in Malta. O'Brien's move to Malta was revealed in a March 2006 filing to the Companies Registration Office (CRO), which listed O'Brien's residential address in Malta. Malta charges no tax on worldwide assets or income brought in by permanent residents. Residence, for tax purposes, means renting or buying a property with a minimum value and visiting Malta at least once within one year of becoming a resident.[106]

Community recognition[edit]

He was appointed goodwill ambassador for Port-au-Prince by the city's mayor and deputy mayor in recognition of his efforts to rebuild Haiti and attract foreign direct investment in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake on 12 January, and on behalf of the Clinton Global Initiative. He is chairman of the Haiti Action Network, which coordinates the activities of approximately 80 support organisations in Haiti.[107] Most recently, O'Brien reconstructed the Iron Market in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, the first public building in the city to be rebuilt since the earthquake.[108] He has also contributed to building 50 primary and secondary schools in 18 months following the earthquake.[30][109]

Honours and recognition[edit]

In 2012, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded O'Brien with the National Order of Honour and Merit for his investments, contributions and promotion of the country.[30][109]

UCD awarded O'Brien an honorary doctorate in 2006.[110]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kennedy, Edel (23 March 2011). "From bell boy to billionaire, O'Brien had real business flair". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Forbes profile: Denis O'Brien". Forbes. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Moriarty Tribunal – Inquiry into Payments to Politicians and Related Matters".
  4. ^ a b "The World's Billionaires". Forbes.
  5. ^ "Denis O'Brien: High court injunction prevents Irish media reporting on businessman's finances". BBC News. London: BBC. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp sells Latvian radio group". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  7. ^ O'Carroll, Sinead. "Change of CEO in Denis O'Brien's radio group". Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Irish Media, Fearing Lawsuits, Steers Clear of a Billionaire". The New York Times. 29 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Communicorp seals purchase of Emap radio stations". Reuters. 11 January 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp to acquire Irish radio stations -Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio - in €200m deal". Finfacts. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Denis O'Brien's Communicorp sells Latvian radio group". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Denis O'Brien sells Highland Radio". The Irish Emigrant. 11 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  13. ^ Ryan, Nicky. "Communicorp to snap up eight UK radio stations". Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Communicorp Group disposes of Communicorp UK". RadioToday. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  15. ^ Journal, Jennifer L. SchenkerSpecial to The Wall Street (23 April 1997). "Irish Phone Market Proves Tough for Upstart to Crack". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  16. ^ Kennedy, Geraldine. "Esat Telecom beat the world's best in mobile phone bid". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  17. ^ Gaffney, Lucy (27 March 2011). "We won because our was simply the best bid". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  18. ^ Court action on the awarding of the license by the Persona grouping has been signaled.
  19. ^ Keena, Colm (9 January 2016). "Cab seeks to question Denis O'Brien on tribunal findings". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  20. ^ Editor, Paul Polishuk. European Telecom Monthly Newsletter. Information Gatekeepers Inc.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  21. ^ Northedge, Richard (16 September 2007). "Denis O'Brien: The man who wants to make a splash at Independent News & Media – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  22. ^ Russell, Jonathan (22 March 2011). "Denis O'Brien 'paid minister to help secure Irish phone licence'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  23. ^ Mulligan, John (3 October 2014). "O'Brien sells stake in aircraft leasing firm Aergo". Independent.
  24. ^ "Digicel makes cellphone connection in Jamaica -". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Digicel shortlisted for international award". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  26. ^ Tighe, Mark (29 July 2018). "New website pays tribute to O'Brien charitable work". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Denis O'Brien's Digicel Foundation opens 174th school in Haiti". 3 February 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  28. ^ McDonagh, Patricia; O'Brien, Jason (14 January 2010). "O'Brien pledges €3.5m as charities plead for money". Irish Independent. Denis O'Brien. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  29. ^ "O'Brien receives prestigious award from Clinton". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  30. ^ a b c "O'Brien Honoured In Haiti". Jamaica Gleaner. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  31. ^ Paul, Mark. "A juicy award for embattled Denis O'Brien". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Blow to Digicel". Jamaica Observer. 22 January 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  33. ^ Thomas, Daniel (20 January 2014). "Irish billionaire Denis O'Brien plans 'massive' telecoms push". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  34. ^ Daly, Gavin (18 October 2015). "Siteserv rebrands in €1bn sales drive" – via
  35. ^ Paul, Mark. "Millington: just one of many Manx companies used by Denis O'Brien". The Irish Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  36. ^ "Actavo expands into US with AES acquisition". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  37. ^ "Forget about Irish Water, Actavo Network's boss says his eye is on breaking America". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  38. ^ McNamee, Michael Sheils. "Denis O'Brien-owned Topaz to take control of 38 Esso stations". Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  39. ^ "Denis O'Brien-owned Topaz to take control of 38 Esso stations". 2 June 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  40. ^ King, Carolyn. "Canada's Couche-Tard to Buy Ireland's Topaz Energy". WSJ. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  41. ^ "Topaz sale to Couche-Tard completed, new MD named". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  42. ^ "Honourable Justice Michael Moriarty". Moriarty Tribunal.
  43. ^ "Moriarty says Lowry helped O'Brien win mobile licence". The Irish Times. 22 March 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  44. ^ "Today FM's Smyth changes topic during discussion about his own sacking". 16 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
  45. ^ Taylor, Charlie (16 October 2011). "Smyth show to end on Today FM". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  46. ^ Quinlan, Ronald (16 October 2011). "Savage to replace dropped Smyth on Today FM slot". Irish Independent. Denis O'Brien. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  47. ^ McEnanaey, Tom (28 March 2008). "O'Brien branded a 'dissident' and accused of destabilising company". Irish Independent. Denis O'Brien. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
  48. ^ Hancock, Ciarán (12 January 2008). "O'Brien seals €200m deal for Emap's three Irish radio outlets". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  49. ^ "Irish publishing group ousts Australian chief executive". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  50. ^ "Denis O'Brien ups stake in Independent News & Media to 29.9pc". Irish Independent. Denis O'Brien. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  51. ^ Sweney, Mark (8 June 2012). "INM investors oust chairman and finance chief". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  52. ^ Tighe, Mark (28 June 2015). "INM was asked to 'kill' Phil coverage". The Sunday Times.
  53. ^ "Irish newspaper editor's column was changed after going to press". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^ "Denis O'Brien makes personal libel threat to Vincent Browne". Sunday Independent. 5 August 2012.
  59. ^ "Denis O'Brien wins defamation case against Irish Daily Mail". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 14 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
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  66. ^ a b c d e Barry O'Keeffe; Cliff Taylor (28 May 2015). "Catherine Murphy makes Denis O'Brien claims in Dáil". Irish Times. Retrieved 3 June 2015. O'Brien says information was false and claims were an abuse of Dáil privilege ... Ms Murphy has previously claimed Mr O'Brien had written to IBRC's special liquidator Kieran Wallace seeking the same terms IBRC had allowed him, which was to "pay off his own loans in his own time at low interest rates". The sale of Siteserv to Mr O'Brien has become embroiled in controversy and is the subject of a formal review by the IBRC's liquidator. The terms under which the company, which carries out a wide variety of services, including water meter installation, was sold are part of that review. Separately, Mike Aynsley, the former chief executive of IBRC, released a lengthy statement, taking issue with other comments by Ms Murphy, who was moving a Private Members' Bill through the Dáil. The Bill's aim is to permit the Comptroller & Auditor General to investigate the Siteserv sale and other IBRC transactions.
  67. ^ Mr Justice Donald Binchy (3 June 2015). Denis O'Brien-v-RTÉ redacted judgment (PDF). The High Court. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 38. Mr Wallace is one of the joint special liquidators of IBRC ... He also asserts legal professional privilege over any documentation constituting legal advice as is in the possession of the defendant ... This is a grounding affidavit used to support an application by IBRC for injunctive relief ...41. Mr. Wallace expresses great concern that if the bank's entitlement to confidentiality in its dealings with its customers is undermined, this has the potential to damage IBRC in reputation and in financial terms.
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  75. ^ "'It's Important People Stand Up For Democracy'". 29 May 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015. Scary update: Solicitors acting for Denis O'Brien have asked us to remove this post asserting that it is a breach of a High Court Order [O'Brien Vs RTÉ]. They gave a 7pm [Thursday] deadline or they would begin injunction proceedings. We have replied that article 15.12 of the constitution allows all Dáil statements "wherever published" to be privileged and we currently await their response.
    In response, Denis O'Brien's legal representative said the High Court ruling "covers what could be reported about what was said in the Dáil by Catherine Murphy" and again put us 'on notice'. Unfortunately, the judge in the case never revealed the terms of the injunction. In a statement Catherine Murphy said: "I am a public representative. Information came to me, from a number of reliable sources, that is, without doubt, in the public interest. I have a duty to put that information into the public domain and I fully intend to fulfill my democratic mandate."
  76. ^ "CONSTITUTION OF IRELAND". Office of the Attorney General. December 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2015. Articles 15-27: THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT
    ARTICLE 15
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  77. ^ "Oireachtas privilege 'should trump' privacy of Denis O'Brien's financial affairs - Former Attorney General". Irish Independent. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015. Former Attorney General Michael McDowell has said that comments made by members of the Oireachtas, under privilege, "should trump the private interests of Denis O'Brien in relation to business borrowings from a bank" "The words of parliamentarians are privileged wherever they're published but it doesn't absolutely mean that a parliamentarian can say anything they like and that anyone under any circumstance can repeat what they said with absolute impunity," he told Morning Ireland earlier. "But I think that we're dealing here with a very different situation."
  78. ^ "Judgment in O'Brien's case against RTÉ expected tomorrow". RTÉ. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015. Mr Justice Binchy then intervened to say that he could "help" and said it was "never intended nor could it have been intended that any order of this court would impact upon entitlements of deputies to speak as they see fit or the entitlement of the media to report on those utterances". However, he said, it was entirely understandable that RTE came to court to seek clarification.
  79. ^ "Court issues written judgment on O'Brien injunction". RTÉ. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015. Mr Justice Donald Binchy said he had made some redactions to the judgment but he said they were "fairly minimal". ... He said Mr Murphy said it amounted to an assertion by Mr O'Brien that while the agreement was proper from Mr O'Brien's point of view, senior IBRC management had made an agreement with him in respect of over €300m of debt which was from IBRC's point of view, very likely highly irregular. Mr Murphy said such assertions were made against a backdrop of recorded concern by the Department of Finance in relation to management by senior IBRC management of relationships with major IBRC borrowers. The judge said there was no allegation whatsoever of any misconduct or wrongdoing on the part of Mr O'Brien.
  80. ^ Denis O'Brien (2 June 2015). "Denis O'Brien: 'I have never experienced this level of hatred'". Irish Times. Retrieved 3 June 2015. What shocked me most of all was that someone would take files from a major Irish bank, tamper with them and leak them to RTÉ. ... Many decent people who had loans transferred to Nama, or had loans with Anglo Irish Bank/IBRC were thrown to the wolves. ...I have known people who took their own lives, people who lost everything including their homes and their marriages. Also many people who have had nervous breakdowns. The toll all this has taken on the "community" that makes up our country is quite shocking. I think it is regrettable that there is such a feeding frenzy to spread rumours and selectively leak information to point- score, challenge a competitor or simply do somebody down. It is done behind the cloak of secrecy and anonymity and the principle that "my enemy's enemy is my friend". Social media being used for this purpose is crowded with cowards. At a particular point in time when foreign multinationals were at their most nervous about their deposits in Irish banks I decided to be contrarian. I took a decision that Digicel would repatriate its cash deposits from US banks amounting to more than $600 million and place them with two Irish banks as a vote of confidence. Both banks asked my permission to tell a small number of foreign clients of this decision to help stop further outflows and this was granted. At that time, and subsequently, I was talking up Ireland internationally as a recovery story. I wanted to make a significant financial gesture of support at home. This was to show solidarity with Ireland but also to support the efforts of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in stabilising the Irish banks and slow future outflow of deposits. ...

    I have been dragged into a media frenzy because of RTÉ's attempts to publish my private bank details and Deputy Murphy's desire to distort them. I have never experienced the level of abuse, venom and hatred resulting from taking a stand to protect privacy in relation to my financial affairs.
  81. ^ "Court rules most of O'Brien report can be broadcast". RTÉ. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015. Lawyers for Mr O'Brien said they were no longer opposing the publication of the script of the proposed report by RTÉ's Business Editor David Murphy. However, IBRC continued its objections to those parts of the script it said referred to legal advice. RTÉ agreed that one paragraph of the script should not be published, but argued that the issue of legal advice was already in the public domain due to remarks made by Pearse Doherty in the Dáil. Judge Binchy ruled there was a difference between what Doherty said in the Dáil and what was in the script and ruled the paragraph objected to by IBRC should not be published.
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