From humble beginnings to norths’s richest man

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

From humble beginnings to norths’s richest man thumbnailLORD Ballyedmond. NM1272

FROM humble beginnings in Kilcurry, north of the Dundalk, Lord Ballyedmond worked to build one of the world's largest veterinary pharmaceutical companies, becoming one of the north's richest men in the process.
Edward Enda Haughey's father passed away just a few months after his birth on January 5, 1944. His mother later married a wealthy farmer, though Dr Haughey always insisted he was a self-made man.
After leaving the Christian Brothers School in Dundalk, like many young men of his generation, Dr Haughey emigrated to New York where he became a salesman with a pharmaceutical company - working his way up to regional marketing manager.
In the late 1960s, he returned to Ireland and set up Norbrook Laboratories, which was described as "a rare beacon of hope" in Newry during the turbulent Troubles. In 1972 he married solicitor Mary Gordon Young and the couple later had a daughter and two sons.
Drawing on his farming background and his previous experience in pharmaceutical experience, Dr Haughey built Norbrook into a major player in veterinary medicine.
Over the next 40 years the company prospered, building up a range of products, increasing profits and winning a Queen's Award for Export Achievement four times and the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2011.
The company later expanded into developing and marketing human medical products and became heavily involved in HIV/Aids research in Africa.
Now worth £660m, the company employs over 1,700 people in the north and is one of its largest exporters.
The 70-year-old, who later took the title Lord Ballyedmond, was in 2008 awarded an honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Ulster.
In the 1990s he was appointed to the Irish Senate by Albert Reynolds and then by Bertie Ahern.
In 2004, Dr Haughey was made a life peer as Baron Ballyedmond of Mourne in County Down and sat in the House of Lords on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, before switching to the Conservative Party.
According to last year's Sunday Times 'Rich List' Lord Dr Haughey was worth £860m. In addition to his pharmaceutical interests, he became involved in the aviation business, founding Haughey Air, a charter helicopter business and, for a time, owning Carlisle Airport.
He also invested in sporting estates and had luxury homes across Ireland and the UK, including Ballyedmond Castle, Rostrevor.

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