Ian Guider: Saving Irish hospitality and retail is now in the hands of two British tycoons

Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin and Frasers Group’s Mike Ashley have both taken big contrarian bets on Ireland as the pandemic has seen off smaller Irish brands

22nd August, 2021
Ian Guider: Saving Irish hospitality and retail is now in the hands of two British tycoons
Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoons: eager to snap up more Irish pub premises

Mike Ashley and Tim Martin are outsiders in the business world. They are colourful, outspoken and unorthodox. Their public personas overshadow the scale of their achievements.

Ashley, for the uninitiated, is the founder of SportsDirect, the sports clothing now called Frasers Group. Martin, a qualified barrister, is founder and chairman of the JD Wetherspoon chain of bars. Both men have made enormous bets in the last few years on the recovery of Irish retail and...

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