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Funeral of Tony O’Reilly to take place on Thursday

The funeral of the well-known Irish businessman, philanthropist and rugby player, Tony O’Reilly, will take place on Thursday.

A funeral mass will be held in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook in Dublin 4 at 11am, following a removal at 5pm the previous evening.

Mr O’Reilly died on Saturday in Dublin following a short illness.

A funeral notice said he would be sadly missed by his six children, Susan, Cameron, Justine, Gavin, Caroline and Tony, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, his twenty-three grandchildren, relatives and friends.

Many tributes have been paid to Mr O’Reilly in the days since he passed away by political, business and community leaders.

Mr O’Reilly played rugby for Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, before becoming a hugely successful international business figure and entrepreneur.

He is credited with creating the Kerrygold butter brand, led Irish Sugar and later became President and Chairman of food giant Heinz.

He also took control of Independent Newspapers and led its expansion into an international media company.

In Ireland he also took over the crystal and ceramic group Waterford Wedgwood in 1990 and saved it from financial collapse.

Mr O’Reilly was also an active philanthropist and set up the Ireland Funds which ploughed money from US donors into reconciliation projects around the border.

His philanthropic work resulted in him receiving a knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

Mr O’Reilly had several high profile boardroom battles with businessman Denis O’Brien.

In one he successfully led a takeover of Eircom which Mr O’Brien was also trying to buy and in another Mr O’Reilly lost control of Independent News and Media to Mr O’Brien.

Mr O’Reilly’s financial empire began to crumble when Waterford Wedgwood got into further financial difficulty and eventually he went into bankruptcy in the Bahamas.

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