By Liam Deegan
Good old Denis O’Brien has been slumming it up with his old billionaire buddies, Larry Goodman and Dermot Desmond by sharing Larry’s private jet parking space and hangar at Dublin airport. The Hangar is owned by a company controlled by Goodman called Venair and is situated beside the control tower. Denis’s jet is often seen parked here and is effectively hidden from plain sight to most casual observers.
What makes this arrangement interesting is that there are NO revenue or customs people who are supposed keep an eye on Denis,situated on the west side of the ramp therefore Denis can come and go as he pleases. What also makes the arrangement interesting is the “co-incidental flight departures and arrivals” of all three aircraft on many occasions, which to the layman won’t set off alarm bells but to the keen eye will. In other words, who of the three is on which jet at any one time? Is there a little bit of jet sharing going on is the question?
The other item that makes interesting reading is that Larry Goodman is the major shareholder in the prestigious Blackrock Clinic having bought the majority shareholding from Denis’s old friends in the IBRC as well as having built the Hermitage Clinic and also invested in a private hospital in Galway. Coincidentally Denis just happens to buy the Beacon hospital from the Ulster Bank for €35 million giving him a saving of €65 million for which the taxpayer was instantly made liable.
All of these purchases seem to be coming at a bad time for private hospitals in Ireland as people are leaving the private healthcare system in their droves due to the rising costs. But as always, these men are well informed of what’s coming down the road in the form of Leo Varadkar’s “private healthcare insurance reform”. Therefore the investments made in what appears to be a failing sector looks like it will turn up trumps once again, thanks to that old political head nod that only ever seems to nod in the direction of very wealthy friends of the political system.