Five things you might not know about JP McManus
Beloved Irish millionaire JP McManus hit the headlines after he announced he "didn't leave Ireland to avoid paying taxes". Here are five facts about the super rich expatriate.
By Oisin Collins
He’s not in the Irish rich list’s Top 10
JP was listed in 12th place in the Irish Rich List published by the Sunday Times earlier this year, with a personal fortune estimated at £481m (the Sunday Times rich-list is always calculated in pounds sterling, because for media purposes we’re still just off the mainland, like).
That fortune leaves him just £40m or so off his fellow equestrian obsessive and old business partner John Magnier, with whom JP part-owns the high-end Sandy Lane hotel and complex in Barbados.
He’s also way behind people like table-topping Hilary Weston (£6bn), Denis O’Brien (£2.5bn) and Dermot Desmond (£1.3bn), but he’s still ahead of ha’penny placers like Michael O’Leary (£338m) and Tony O’Reilly (£324m).
He was ‘embarrassed’ to receive a special Limerick medal
Back in August, JP was awarded with a lovely gold medal bearing his name, which was then added to the historic mayoral chain of Limerick in honour of his contribution towards ‘the social, community, education and sporting life of the city’. His response to this wondrous achievement? “I’m embarrassed to a point.”
“I’m embarrassed because there’s so many other people who make it [Limerick] their lives day in and day out; I’m only here an odd day." An odd day? Well, at least he was saying what many were thinking.
A horse called Linden Tree changed his life
This was back in 1970, when JP was just about to turn 20.
He had £4 on Linden Tree in a Newmarket maiden in 1970, pocketing a tidy profit of £50 when the horse won at 100/8. He reinvested another £4 on the same horse in the Observer Gold Cup, a bet which returned £100 when Linden Mill came in at 25/1, and a fiver each-way at 33/1 for the Derby came within a whisker of another mammoth win, as Linden Mill came home a close second behind the champion Mill Reef.
Those experiences tipped him headlong into an obsession with all things racing, starting with a stint as an on-course bookmaker before he switched sides to become a big-money punter. And the rest is history.
Fellow Limerick man Willie O’Dea had JP’s back during the fake Facebook account court cases
“I think that if somebody like JP takes a case to court and succeeds, then Facebook should be heavily fined and made pay every penny of the damages so as to encourage them to do it in future [voluntarily take down the sites]. What is the big problem that they can’t do it?”
This is what Willie had to say about JP and the three separate fake JP McManus Facebook accounts that were trolling around the Internet. Soon after Willie’s speech, all three sites were removed by Facebook. Was it thanks to the power of the 'tache? Probably not. Still, it was a 'tache not to be messed with.
JP defended Tiger Woods after the Tiger sex scandal
Back in 2009 when Tiger Woods was getting more 'holes in one' than actual holes in one, JP stood tall to defend his womanising friend.
“He has done a lot of very good things in his time. He's done a lot of work for charity and he has been very good to Ireland.” JP continued to say that Tiger was a “very personable guy”.
Maybe Tiger was a bit too personable, though, eh, JP?