JP McManus gives away €52m in 10 years

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A CHARITABLE foundation set up by businessman JP McManus has given away more than €52.2m in a decade, new figures reveal.

A CHARITABLE foundation set up by businessman JP McManus has given away more than €52.2m in a decade, new figures reveal.

Last year the JP McManus Charitable Foundation more than doubled the amount of money it donated to charity.

Figures filed to the Companies Registration office show donations last year topped €4.7m, up from €1.8m in 2010.

The foundation received submissions from 241 charitable organisations last year and donated €4,776,124 to 146 of these.

The foundation is largely funded from JP McManus’s Invitational Pro-Am golf tournament, which is held every five years in Adare and attracts prominent figures in sport and the entertainment industry.

In 2010, the foundation received €22 million from this event, with a further €5m provided last year.

In the very first year it was established JP McManus, 61, made a donation of €63,486,891 to the foundation, indicative of the wealth he planned to give away to local and national charities.

The foundation is the principal donor of a €13m medical unit at the Midwestern Regional Hospital in Limerick, which will provide lifesaving facilities for people with cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, stroke and other neurological conditions. The unit is due to be built in 2014, creating 100 construction jobs in the process.

While the latest set of accounts does not reveal who the beneficiaries are, in the past he has supported a variety of organisations, from the University of Limerick to racing charities for jockeys and hospices.

McManus does not sit on the board himself, but those who have responsibility for deciding who should receive funds include his wife Noreen McManus, Declan Moylan, P Gerard Boland, daughter Sue Ann Foley, and Mark Power.

Labour minister Jan O’Sullivan resigned from the board in July 2011.

Through its donations, the foundation aims to provide relief from poverty, provide care and comfort to those who are terminally ill and support work in the areas of drug addiction, human rights and sexual and physical abuse.

Last November around €3.5 million in funding was given to 125 college students who were recipients of the JP McManus All-Ireland Scholarships.

At that time, and in a rare public comment McManus rejected the characterisation of him as a tax exile, saying he paid all his taxes “in full” before going abroad to set up in business.

“If I was somebody who set up a business abroad and it didn’t go so well, I’d be considered an emigrant. If it goes well, I’m considered an exile,” Mr McManus commented.

“I’m proud to be Irish and I think I’m doing the country more good by being abroad, trying to earn a few quid. If I decide to bring it back and spend it whatever way I like here, at least I’m improving the economy,” he said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the county Limerick philanthropist, who mainly resides in Geneva, Switzerland, is “an example of how others who have made their way in life can help their country and help our people.”