Irish enterprise and rugby ‘large’ Sir Tony O’Reilly dies aged 88 | EUROtoday

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Ireland’s deputy premier Micheal Martin mentioned Sir Tony had an “extraordinary impact on Irish business, sport, media and society”.

In a press release, his household mentioned: “In the coming days there will be many worthy tributes made to Tony O’Reilly’s unique and extraordinary achievements in the fields of business and sport.

“As well as to his extraordinary philanthropic vision which was best evidenced by the establishment of the Ireland Funds at a dark time in this island’s history.

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

“He lived one of the great lives and we were fortunate to spend time with him in recent weeks as that great life drew to a close.”

Born in Dublin in 1936, Sir Tony made his worldwide debut for Ireland in rugby in 1955 and shortly turned the youngest participant to be chosen for the Lions.

In his enterprise profession he pioneered the dairy model Kerrygold, turning it into certainly one of Ireland’s most well-known world shopper manufacturers.

He later turned the chairman of the meals large Heinz and in 1973 took management of Independent Newspapers, writer of the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Evening Herald.

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

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

Mr Martin mentioned on X: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Tony O’Reilly a pioneering spirit who had an extraordinary impact on Irish business, sport, media and society.

“Through the Ireland Funds, Tony changed the global narrative on peace and reconciliation on this island.

“My deepest sympathies to his children, family and friends.”

As information of his demise emerged, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) posted on X: “A legend of the game has passed. Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Sir Tony was the daddy of six kids.

Mr Harris mentioned ‘‘his passing will be felt by the many people he encountered in his long life My thoughts are especially with his children and grandchildren at this sad time.”

Mr Harris added: “In a life so varied it is hard to focus on one area, however Tony O’Reilly’s founding of the Ireland Funds with the late Dan Rooney had a transformative impact on the island of Ireland. The Ireland Funds is an instance of peace and reconciliation completed brilliantly from the bottom up in communities.

“It has been one of many largest donors to our shared island and the reason for peace and remains to be going sturdy.’’