Eugene and Gene Murtagh
Eugene, 74, and his family today enter the Irish billionaires’ list, their insulation company Kingspan having lifted profits 33% last year to a record €341m, on a turnover of €3.1bn. Murtagh started making trailers and sheds behind the family pub in Kingscourt, Co Cavan, in 1965 but changed course after spotting the trend in America for using insulation panels to make buildings more energy-efficient. It has become a world leader, supplying insulation panels and other products for roofs, walls and floors. Kingspan, which he founded and chairs and which is headquarted in Kingscourt, is worth €5.2bn on the London stock market. The value of his 16.9% stake has grown by more than a third to €879m in the past 12 months. The company has 101 manufacturing plants around the globe and plans to expand in Brazil, Mexico, India and Russia. Murtagh has made more than €110m in share sales, salary and dividends. His son Gene, 45, is chief executive and holds a 0.6% stake worth €32m. Murtagh has interests in hotels, including the Dylan in Amsterdam, property and other investments and owns half the €119,000 Carraig Capital, an investment company. His son Paul owns the other half.