Businessman Sir Anthony O’Reilly dies after short illness

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Born in Dublin in 1936, Tony O’Reilly made his international debut for Ireland in rugby in 1955 and became the youngest player to be selected for the British and Irish Lions.

He scored a record 37 tries for the Lions, who in a tribute have described him as “one of the greatest of all the players to have worn the famous red jersey”.

In his business career he pioneered the dairy brand Kerrygold, turning it into one of Ireland’s most well-known global consumer brands.

He later became the chairman of the food giant Heinz and in 1973 took control of Independent Newspapers, publisher of the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Evening Herald.

He established The Ireland Funds, which gave money from US donors to reconciliation projects around the Irish border.

Sir Anthony was knighted in the 2001 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II “for long and distinguished service to Northern Ireland”.

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