By Liam Collins
Of Ireland's three billionaires, Dermot Desmond is probably the most fascinating. From relatively humble beginnings he has created vast wealth by risking everything on various deals from NCB (his money broking company in Dublin) to investments like London City Airport, which he bought as a loss-maker and sold for a cool billion. Celtic Football Club and the famous Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados are just some of his many ventures. Along the way he has become embroiled in political and business scandals, mainly through his association with Ireland's corrupt and colourful Prime Minister Charlie Haughey. Ireland's International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) was his brainchild and Haughey ensured that it became a reality. Desmond has now practically withdrawn from public life but runs the international trading firm IIU from a penthouse in his docklands office block. His closest associates are the one-time Manchester United investor, racehorse owner and gambler JP McManus and the wealthy owner of Coolmore Stud, John Magnier. The Kaiser charts the rise of Dermot Desmond, the deals that made him a billionaire and the many controversies that have followed in his wake.
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