Derry names on Irish ‘Rich List’ as personal fortunes soar

.  Picture Martin McKeown.
. Picture Martin McKeown.

Two well known Derry names have made it onto the ‘Sunday Independent’ ‘Rich List’ which was published at the weekend.

Actress Roma Downey and engineering boss Philip O’Doherty are among 300 individuals on the list of Ireland’s wealthiest people.

Derry City chairman, O’Doherty, owns E&I engineering in Burnfoot which makes specialist switching gear and power distribution equipment for the energy industry. The company is the biggest manufacturer in Ireland and the UK and has recently opened a new factory in the U.S

The ‘Rich List’ reported Mr. O’Doherty’s personal wealth at €163 million, up more than a quarter on the 55-years-old’s estimated wealth of €130 million in 2015.

Derry born actress Roma Downey came in at number 35 on the ‘Rich List’ with the ‘Sunday Independent’ claiming the Bogside born actress is currently worth €390 million, compared to €270 million in 2015.

Also aged 55, the ‘Touched by an Angel’ star received two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role in the show.

Downey’s husband, British born television producer Mark Burnett, developed shows such as ‘The Apprentice’, ‘The Voice’ and ‘Survivor’.

He sold a chunk of his production company in 2012, then valuing the operation at €480m.

The couple enjoyed major success with their TV adaptation of the Bible, which was seen by 100 million viewers.

Downey was born and raised in Derry’s Bogside and attended Thornhill College. Her mother was Maureen O’Reilly Downey, a homemaker and actress.

Her father, Patrick Downey, was a school teacher by training but worked as a mortgage broker. Originally Roma planned to be a painter and earned a Bachelor of Arts at Brighton College of Art. She turned her attention to acting, however, and had a classical training attending at the Drama Studio London, where she performed in plays by Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov.

The Derry born actress currently lives in Miami.