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08 Dec 2021

Tipperary billionaire among buyers of Kildare's Weston Airport

Tipperary billionaire among buyers of  Kildare's Weston Airport

John Collison: part of the group that has bought Weston Airport

Tipperary billionaire John Collison is among a group of investors who have bought a majority stake in Weston Airport near Leixlip, County Kildare.

Mr Collison, an aviation enthusiast, founded the global financial services company Stripe, with his brother, Patrick.

Both brothers attended Gaelscoil Urmhumhan in Nenagh for their primary education while their parents, Lily and Denis, ran the Dromineer Bay Hotel in nearby Dromineer on the shores of Lougg Derg

The owner of Weston Airport, Brian Conneely, made the announcement this morning.

Derick Walshe, a Limerick-based financier, is leading the group of investors, which also includes John Brennan, Catherine Greene and Gerald Dundon.

The group intends to upgrade facilities and to develop Weston as a general aviation centre. The investment plan will modernise facilities to create a best in class experience for airport users, employees and the local community.

Bar, restaurant and conference facilities will be enhanced and improvements will also be made to the terminal, aircraft storage and hangar areas. All current staff will be retained and it is envisaged that additional employment could be created for the local area as new services are introduced.

Weston Airport was established in 1931 by Darby Kennedy. Fight training, flight clubs, light aircraft and helicopters predominantly use the facility.

In June, Mr Collison bought the Abbey Leix Estate in County Laois, an 18th century classical mansion, comes with 1,120 acres and includes a large area of ancient native woodland.

The giant demesne, next to the town of Abbeyleix, was sold by joint agents Sotheby’s and Colliers International. It had been on the market for two years, with a price of €20m.

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