Squaring up for the fight

With a history of bad blood, speculation is rife that O’Brien’s purchase of shares in Aer Lingus is more than just business, write Richard Curran and Laura Noonan.

21st October, 2006

If ever there were two like-minded poster boys of the new Ireland, they are Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary and telecoms entrepreneur Denis O’Brien.

They are of similar age, similar background and are fantastically wealthy, anti-establishment figures. In the small social circuit of wealthy Ireland, they should be friends. Yet O’Brien has splashed out €32 million to buy a 2.1 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, which may ensure O’Leary does...

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