Ben Dunne

Matt Cooper on Ben Dunne: a titan of Irish business

Ben Dunne’s turbulent life was rarely far from the public gaze, but he never let controversy define or beat him

Ben Dunne shakes hands with Brian Lenihan while Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey looks on at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin in 1986. Picture:

Ben Dunne lived the fullest of lives, but not always the happiest of ones.

The defining incident of his life was his kidnapping by the IRA in October 1981. The trauma of the experience remained with him, not surprisingly. He may have lived with an addictive personality, but in his post-traumatic stress he turned to alcohol and, famously, to cocaine.

His arrest in Miami, Florida in February 1992 made for sensational news headlines, as big ...