How loaded are Tyrone’s richest people?

TYRONE’S top financial movers and shakers are worth £259 million, owning extensive property portfolios, food companies, meat processing companies and a bookmaking chain, it has been revealed by Ireland’s new rich list.

The county may be undergoing one of the most turbulent economic periods in modern times, but there is still a lot of money around, especially in the food industry.

Dungannon men Jim and Jack Dobson, who own Dunbia, one of the largest lamb processors in Europe, are the richest men in the county, with an estimated fortune of £92m, up £1.7m in the last year.

The newly published Sunday Independent rich list also shows the losers over the past year with fortunes continuing to be hit by the decline in the property market and the construction industry.

In fact some of Tyrone’s wealthiest people have lost more than £16million in the past year.

Among the millionaire’s whose wealth is spiralling the wrong way, is Cookstown’s Barney Eastwood, now ranked as Tyrone’s second richest person, down from last year’s top position, with a personal wealth estimated at £77m, a drop of £13m from last year.

Missing from Northern Ireland’s list of the top 40 richest people is Darren Clarke, who last year was a new entry when his wealth rose to £18m after winning the British Open. The golfing victory had made him the 300th wealthiest person on the 2012 Irish rich list.

Here’s the guide to who are Tyrone’s richest people — and how they’ve earned their millions.

1. Jim and Jack Dobson, £92m, up £1.75m, Dunbia is one of the largest lamb processors in Europe and it all started 40 years ago when the brothers bought a butchers with the aim of expanding into meat processing.

2. Barney Eastwood £77m, down £13m, Barry McGuigan’s manager Barney Eastwood was Northern Ireland’s best-known bookie when he sold his company to Ladbrokes in 2008. He and his family are now investors in the Somerston Hotel Group.

3. Wayne Acheson £52m, up £9.5m, Foyle Meats is one of the largest beef processors in Ulster.

4. Seamus McAleer £38m, the construction company has emerged from the doldrums of the property market collapse and completed a number of major UK projects. The company’s valuation is down £3m from last year. McAleer and Rushe has built 12,000 hotel rooms.