Friday June 5, 2020

Tycoons: Private Ryan

At the time, almost no one in his own company knew what he looked like. Yet the Penneys/Primark boss Arthur Ryan was one of the most powerful and influential figures in the world of Irish fashion

1st October, 2017
Arthur Ryan at the launch of the Arthur Ryan Retail Centre at DIT Pic: Tony O’shea

Arthur Ryan’s employees joke that he is a cross between the Invisible Man and the television detective Columbo. Flanked by his personal security detail, he inspects his stores throughout Ireland and Britain wearing a rumpled old mac to protect his privacy. He keeps his head down and his eyes averted, leaving before his arrival has even been announced.

Only a handful of Ryan’s closest colleagues would be able to pick him out of...

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