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Tue 3 Mar 2009 10:14 AM

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Owner of Ireland on The World 'takes his own life'

Tycoon John O'Dolan reportedly suffered financial worries amid global downturn.

The owner of the island of Ireland on Dubai’s The World project has taken his own life amid rumours of financial worries as a result of the global economic crisis, it has been reported.

John O’Dolan, one of Ireland's leading building developers, was one of four business partners from his home country who brought the “Ireland in the Sun” development in March 2007 for AED142m ($38.6m).

The four had plans to build a resort with a collection of homes, apartments, restaurants and retail amidst beaches, boating and leisure opportunities on the 225,000 sqft island development owned by Nakheel.

O’Dolan, owner of O' Dolan International, was found dead after taking his own life at his home in Rusheen Bay in Galway on Friday, leaving behind a wife and three children, according to Irish daily The Irish Independent.

There is speculation that his death was linked to the recession with commentators saying O’Dolan was depressed and despondent over his faltering finances - receivers had been appointed to two of his business interests, the Kinlay House Hostel and property sales firm Polska Property.

However, there has been no confirmation on the level of financial distress O’Dolan, described by friends as "so much fun to be around," was in, the newspaper added.

On buying the island of Ireland O’Dolan said: "I admire the vision that is behind this project. The islands are truly spectacular, and we look forward to developing Ireland, which will provide the Irish homeowner with their very own place they can call home in the sun."

In true Irish tradition he presented Hamza Mustafa, general manager of The World (pictured above), with a bowl of shamrock, customary for Irish business people and diplomats, on signing the property deal.

Other members of the Irish consortium are Noel Connellan, Ray Norton and Andrew Brett, who bought the island to coincide with St Patrick's Day.

O'Dolan, 51, founded the auctioneering company Mullery, O’Dolan and Doyle which became one of the biggest in the west of Ireland throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

He went on to become a major player in the real estate sector throughout the country and beyond and became renowned for choosing signature properties.

O'Dolan International was set up to develop overseas properties including the island of Ireland in Dubai.

Other landmark buildings owned by O'Dolan include former Revenue Commissioners offices on Lord Edward Street in Dublin, bought five years ago with partners.

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Jebel Ali Baba 9 years ago

Why do you push this old news to the front page again? This happened almost a year ago and might be sad for the relatives but irrelevant to the rest of the World.

Julie Mendelsohn 8 years ago

It's not irrelevant to me or others who are fascinated by The World.