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Tony O’Reilly: Former Irish worldwide rugby participant and main businessman dies | UK Information

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Sir Tony O’Reilly, a former Irish worldwide rugby participant and one of many nation’s main businessmen, has died aged 88.

Sir Tony, who was additionally a media magnate, died in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin on Saturday.

The Irish Rugby Soccer Union posted on X: “A legend of the sport has handed.

“Our deepest sympathies to his household and pals.”

Eire’s premier Simon Harris has paid tribute to a “trailblazer” who “cast a path that many different worldwide enterprise figures from Eire would observe”.

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In an announcement, Sir Tony’s household mentioned: “Within the coming days there shall be many worthy tributes made to Tony O’Reilly’s distinctive and extraordinary achievements within the fields of enterprise and sport.

“In addition to to his extraordinary philanthropic imaginative and prescient which was finest evidenced by the institution of the Eire Funds at a darkish time on this island’s historical past.

“However, for us, he was a dearly-loved dad and a granddad.

“He lived one of many nice lives and we have been lucky to spend time with him in latest weeks as that nice life drew to an in depth.”

Born in Dublin in 1936, Sir Tony made his worldwide debut for Eire in rugby in 1955 and shortly grew to become the youngest participant to be chosen for the British Lions – a group made out of gamers from England, Eire, Scotland and Wales.

In his enterprise profession he pioneered the dairy model Kerrygold, turning it into one in every of Eire’s most well-known international client manufacturers.

Sir Tony later grew to become the chairman of the meals large Heinz and in 1973 took management of Impartial Newspapers, writer of the Irish Impartial, Sunday Impartial and Night Herald.

He was additionally identified for his philanthropy, organising The Eire Funds, which gave cash from US donors into reconciliation tasks across the Irish border.

Sir Tony, who had joint Irish and British nationality, was knighted within the 2001 New Yr Honours by the late Queen Elizabeth II “for lengthy and distinguished service to Northern Eire”.

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O’Reilly pictured with a carved Maori stick after coming back from New Zealand with the British Lions Rugby group in 1959. Pic: PA

Mr Harris mentioned: “It’s with nice unhappiness that I’ve discovered of the dying of Tony O’Reilly.

“Mr O’Reilly was an enormous of sport, enterprise and media and left everlasting legacies in all three.

“He was a trailblazer who aimed huge on the worldwide enterprise scene.

“By way of his work within the UK, US and Eire he cast a path that many different worldwide enterprise figures from Eire would observe.

“Modern-day Eire likes to see itself as an island within the centre of the world – Tony O’Reilly was one of many first Irish businesspeople to actually imagine that.”

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Eire’s deputy premier Micheal Martin wrote on X: “Saddened to study of the passing of Tony O’Reilly a pioneering spirit who had a unprecedented influence on Irish enterprise, sport, media and society.

“By way of the Eire Funds, Tony modified the worldwide narrative on peace and reconciliation on this island.

“My deepest sympathies to his kids, household and pals.”

Sir Tony leaves behind six kids.

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