An Irish Man Of Property
TV Times
15 May 1969
TV Times: Eamonn Andrews article TV Times: Eamonn Andrews article TV Times: Eamonn Andrews article TV Times: Eamonn Andrews article TV Times: Eamonn Andrews article
Eamonn Andrews in off-screen roles … beside the swimming pool of his Dublin bungalow, The Quarry. At a business conference in an hotel penthouse … taking a call in the lounge of The Quarry with his wife, Grainne, at his side
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Eamonn Andrews

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by Dave Lanning

THE MAN... Eamonn Andrews, with his wife, Grainne. The property... Portmarnock Country Club – a £100,000 baronial mansion set in 35 acres of lush land just outside Dublin. The latest deal by this Irish man of property.

Every time Andrews looks over a plot or at a business, rumours fly. For in Ireland, Andrews the businessman is much better known than Andrews of the Eamonn Andrews Show.

So far, Andrews' other property investments are in the Dolphin Inn and the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. He is chairman of the Eamonn Andrews' Studios, which handles radio and television commercials. He is a director of Commercial Investment Advisers and several other smaller businesses. Recently, he ended a seven-year stretch as chairman of the Irish television service.

Indeed, a man of property and big business. And business takes him to Ireland once a month on 36-hour trips. Everyone knows Andrews. He gets the VIP treatment on the jet over. A middle-aged woman kisses him on the cheek as he waits for baggage clearance. Priests speak to him. So do a bunch of rugby players. Teenagers with autograph books flutter around him. Then a sleek limousine pulls up. Out jumps a bulky chauffeur with carroty hair. He's an old friend.

The Portmarnock Country Club, about half-an-hour's drive from Dublin airport, is Andrews' first stop. After poring over papers in his office, he takes a stroll on the deserted beach ("I like to ride, but recently I fell off and knocked myself cold").

Then it's back to Dublin and the hotel penthouse he takes over on these business trips. Dinner time, and the head waiter ushers him to the best table. The editor of a Sunday newspaper stops for a few words.

Another acquaintance says: "Word is going around that you stopped at the Baldoyle Racecourse. Is that the next thing you'll be buying?" Andrews shrugs. "What chance has a man got?"

Noon on Sunday is time for serious business. But not too serious. Fellow directors join him in the penthouse. Andrews wears no shoes. And he sits on the sofa with his legs tucked up. Jokes and anecdotes are bandied around between discussions about bookings for the Gaiety Theatre and share developments. Andrews contributes little to the conversation. He listens and has the knack of picking up the important threads and knitting them into a coherent plan at the end.

Sunday lunch with the hotel manager. An afternoon visit to friends includes an uproarious game of poker dice – 2s. a pot. Time flies. At 7pm the flight back to London and his home in Chiswick. The curtain falls on Eamonn Andrews, the business man, and rises on the television star.