J. P. McManus

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J. P. McManus
Born (1951-03-10) 10 March 1951 (age 68)
ResidenceIreland, Switzerland, Barbados
Net worthIncrease€2.1 billion (2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Noreen McManus

John Patrick "J. P." McManus (born 10 March 1951) is an Irish businessman and racehorse owner.

Early life[edit]

Born in Limerick, Ireland, McManus began his business career at his family's construction plant hire firm, and then became an on-course bookmaker at Limerick's Markets Field greyhound track. He later moved into horse ownership and punting and laying horses on the advice of his associate Jimmy Hayes.[citation needed]

In 1982, he and his wife, Noreen, a former mental health nurse,[citation needed] bought Martinstown Stud on over 400 acres (1.6 km2) in County Limerick from the McCalmont family.[citation needed] McManus's first horse was Cill Dara, which had been owned by the late Edenderry solicitor and gambler, Tim O'Toole.[citation needed] McManus is now National Hunt racing's largest owner, with over 550 horses in training.[citation needed] In 2006, he built a €200 million residence next to Martinstown Stud.[3] In 2013, he completed a €150 million home in Barbados.[4]


McManus's first Cheltenham Festival winner was a horse called Mister Donovan in 1982.[5] Mister Donovan was the second favourite and won the race after the favourite, Angelo Salvini, whipped around at the start.[citation needed] The rider of Angelo Silvani - Alan Brown - rarely ever rode again. McManus's distinctive green-and-gold-hooped racing colours are those of the South Liberties GAA Club, in Co Limerick.[citation needed]

The most famous[by whom?] of his horses is Istabraq, a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle.[6] Twenty time champion jockey Tony McCoy was retained as his stable jockey for a large part of his career, a role that Barry Geraghty has taken over since McCoy's retirement.[7] Former champion jockey Jonjo O'Neill trains some of his horses at the Jackdaws Castle facility which McManus owns. He has often appeared at race meetings in recent years with the British actor Clive Owen. McManus was once close to jockeys Ted Walsh (Greasepaint at Fairyhouse one Easter Monday) and Niall Madden, T. Busteed, F. Codd and C. Roche, Micky Flynn and a slew of others.[citation needed]

McManus's horse Don't Push It, ridden by McCoy and trained by O'Neill, won the 2010 Grand National Steeplechase.[8]

In 2012, McManus's horse Synchronised won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Synchronised went on to run in the 2012 John Smiths Grand National with champion jockey Tony McCoy on 14 April 2012. Synchronised threw McCoy on the way to the starting area; after being caught and veterinary checks were performed, Synchronised was re-entered. However, he fell at Becher's Brook and sadly broke two legs and had to be put down.[9] McManus had his 50th Cheltenham festival winner when Buveur d'Air won the 2017 Champion Hurdle.[10]

Currency exchange and business[edit]

A significant part of McManus' wealth, though not all, appears to have been derived as a private foreign exchange trader, though seasoned traders doubt this very much, which McManus operates from a small office over a jewellery shop in Geneva, Switzerland, his city of official residence.[citation needed] McManus also had a permanent suite at London's Dorchester Hotel[citation needed] for over thirty years and he returns to Ireland regularly. Currencies are apparently his speciality,[clarification needed] always[citation needed] working on the advice of his good friends Dermot Desmond and Joe Lewis.[citation needed] He now[when?] has a wide portfolio of investments from leisure centres and betting shops to pubs and nursing homes.[citation needed] He is a large shareholder in Ladbrokes.[citation needed] McManus appears to have been a holder of substantial Junior Irish State bonds at the time of the financial downturn but working with adviser,Limerick solicitor Gordon Holmes, was bailed out by the Irish government.In a NEWSTALK radio interview with Ivan Yates McManus hinted that he had "vested interests" in the government bondholder bailout.

Sporting interests[edit]

Together with business associate John Magnier, McManus built up a 28.89 per cent shareholding in Manchester United, which they sold on to businessman Malcolm Glazer after falling out with manager Alex Ferguson.[citation needed] In 2004, McManus began sponsoring the Limerick GAA teams, choosing to use the non-commercial Sporting Limerick promotional brand on the jerseys.

He is also a keen golfer and a close friend of Tiger Woods,[citation needed] who married at the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, which McManus co-owns. The wedding at Sandy Lane was a gift from the owners of Sandy Lane to Woods.[citation needed]

McManus routinely competes in Pro-Am golf events. He is a two-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am pairs competition,[citation needed] partnering with Pádraig Harrington on both occasions.[citation needed]

Glackin Report[edit]

In 1991, an Irish company law inspector, solicitor John Glackin, was appointed by the Irish Government to investigate complicated dealings involving Dermot Desmond and the purchase and sale of the former Johnston Mooney and O’Brien site in Ballsbridge, Dublin, to Telecom Éireann. While Desmond represented himself as an intermediary in the sale, Glackin’s report said Mr Desmond, businessman JP McManus and John Magnier were beneficiaries of the sale. Mr Desmond strenuously disputed Glackin’s findings.[11]

According to the Glackin Report,[12] Hoddle Investments (the vehicle through which the deal was handled) executed two contracts with Telecom Éireann for the sale of the Johnston Mooney & O'Brien site for an aggregate price of £9.4 million, on 7 May 1990. Glackin concluded that McManus had loaned £1.5 million to Chestvale to purchase the site from the liquidator in August 1989. McManus made the investment through an AIB account in Jersey in the name of J&N McMahon. Whether this account was to the benefit of John and Noreen McManus was not confirmed as AIB refused to break client confidentiality.[13]

The report concluded that McManus was a beneficiary of the sale of the site to Telecom Éireann, and received £500,000 in cash from the transaction, which Dermot Desmond had stored in a tennis holdall in his safe. At paragraph 5.4.4 of the report, Glackin concludes that:

I am satisfied, on a basis that I believe is reasonable, that Mr. McManus was promised by Mr. Desmond as his consideration for the advance a share of the profits and that this was either agreed in advance or during the period between 29th June 1990 when the money was received from Telecom, and 19th July 1990 when the request was made to Ansbacher for the first cash withdrawal of £100,000. I can find no evidence that any other person received any of the cash of £500,000 and find accordingly that it was received by Mr. McManus.

No criminal charges were made against McManus or the other principals involved resulting from the findings of the Glackin Report.

Charitable contributions[edit]

In 1996, McManus established the J. P. McManus Scholarship Award which provides €6,750 each year for third level education to eight selected students at his former secondary school C.B.S. Sexton Street in Limerick.[citation needed] Every five years, he organises the J. P. McManus Invitation Pro-Am golf tournament in Limerick to raise funds for Limerick charities.[citation needed] He has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick and has funded the new Kemmy Business School at the University. Jim Kemmy was a close friend of McManus's. Kemmy introduced the famous Irish tax amnesty onto the floor of Dáil Éireann.[citation needed] In July 2012, McManus donated over €1 million to the Daughters of Charity foundation.[14] He has donated land money and horses to the st Josephs Foundation to help build Liskennett Farm Equine Therapy Centre,Limerick for adults and children with autism.


McManus won millions[clarification needed] from gamblers Terry Ramsden and the late Robert Sangster by laying horses.[citation needed] He says he "rarely bets" these days and when he does he usually describes them as "little bets".[citation needed] He says betting is "not an obsession".[citation needed] In 2012, he won $17.4m gambling in the United States, of which $5.2m was retained as income tax by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).[15] In 2016, The Irish Times reported that he was seeking a refund of the tax on the basis of the US double taxation treaty with Ireland; the IRS stated that McManus was a self-confessed tax exile out of Ireland and therefore - despite McManus's sworn affidavits to the contrary - not a legal resident of Ireland in 2012.[15]


McManus was diagnosed with cancer in late 2008 and after receiving treatment in the United States, he is said to have recovered well.[16]


  1. ^ https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/rich-list-2018/profiles/jp-mcmanus-36489006.html
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Construction starts on JP McManus mansion, mother of all stately homes".
  4. ^ Phelan, Eugene (10 October 2013). "JP McManus' €150m Barbados mansion almost complete". Limerick Leader. Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  5. ^ Scott, Brough (8 March 2014). "The stuff of Legend - Independent.ie". Independent.ie. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ O'Connell, Brian (28 April 2001). "Istabraq is floored again". The Irish Times. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. ^ Townsend, Marcus (21 June 2015). "Barry Geraghty to replace Tony McCoy as No 1 jockey to leading owner JP McManus". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  8. ^ Armytage, Marcus (10 April 2010). "Grand National 2010: Don't Push It is lucky 15 for Tony McCoy at Aintree". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  9. ^ Wood, Greg (14 April 2012). "Death of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised at The Grand National 2012". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  10. ^ O'Grady, Sean (15 March 2017). "JP all smiles as he notches 50th festival winner - Independent.ie". Independent.ie. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  11. ^ Keena, Colm (23 March 2011). "Financier is no stranger to business and political rows". The Irish Times.
  12. ^ Author Gavin Sheridan (17 January 2012). "The Glackin Report – complete –". Thestory.ie. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  13. ^ The Irish Times http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1993/0708/Pg001.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Profile: JP donates over €1m to Daughters of Charity in Limerick". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  15. ^ a b Keena, Colm (22 February 2016). "US insists JP McManus not Irish resident when over $17m won". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  16. ^ Michael Lavery – 24 April 2009 12:00 PM (24 April 2009). "JP McManus fights cancer in US clinic". Herald.ie. Retrieved 11 April 2017.

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