Paul Coulson and family
Rank 2017

Known as "the Cooler", the 64-year-old Dubliner owns 39% of the €2.8bn Ardagh Group, one of the world’s biggest metal and glass packaging manufacturers, which provides bottles and cans for everything from Budweiser beer to John West tuna and Nescafe coffee. Taking over as chairman in 1998, he has expanded the company from a €35m-turnover Irish glass bottle manufacturer, mainly via acquisitions. It has 109 plants in 22 countries and 23,000 employees and is planning to float 5% of its shares on the New York stock market this year for up to €270m, aiming to pay off some of its €4.7bn debt. Coulson, who rented a luxury home in Mayfair, central London, at a cost of about €1.3m a year while his mansion in Paris underwent renovation, also owns a yacht, the 164ft Mosaique. He recently transferred ownership of his home in Shrewsbury Road, Dublin, to his wife Moya, whose brothers David and Niall Ward (qv) have been long-serving lieutentants at Ardagh. Coulson had put the property on the market for €27.5m in 2008, but it failed to find a buyer. His shareholding in Luxembourg-headquartered Ardagh is partly held through his stake in Yeoman Capital, an investment company. The Trinity College Dublin business graduate and former PwC accountant has made more than €82m in the past eight years through various property and share transactions. He has extensive other assets.