Declan Ganley
Rank 2017

Not many businessmen have the courage to take a foreign government to court. But Ganley is in a tussle with Mexico after document boxes were snatched by a thief on a motorcycle as the Galway businessman’s Rivada Networks prepared to submit a bid to build a €7.44bn mobile network. Ganley’s bid was then rejected on the grounds that paperwork was missing and he has threatened the Mexican government with legal action in return. Watford-born Ganley, 48, returned with his parents to live in Galway aged 13, then worked on building sites before going to Russia to trade in aluminium and later timber. He sold up in 1997 and moved into telecoms and broadband. Rivada Networks, of which Ganley owns nearly half, and has offices in Ireland and the US, has been valued at up to €4.2bn, but we are more cautious and, including property and earlier sale proceeds, we keep him at €471m.