Fallen king: The legend of Tony O'Reilly

Fallen king: The legend of Tony O'Reilly View Gallery
An emperor in his domain: Tony O'Reilly poses for a portrait in London in 1999. Picture: Getty

Biographer Matt Cooper explores the contradictions of a complex tycoon

Tony O’Reilly was the most significant and powerful media owner in the country for a period of nearly 40 years, as well as seemingly the country’s wealthiest man. This gave rise to legitimate concerns about his exercise of that power.

Did he, for example, use his newspapers to prosecute specific political agendas? Within his own media, did he curtail accurate reporting on the behaviour and/or performance of his business interests? Or did he use...

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