Ireland's former richest man, Anthony O'Reilly, ordered to sell assets as creditors circle

He was Ireland's first business star and once its richest citizen, but now Anthony O'Reilly faces possible bankruptcy.

A Dublin judge has ordered O'Reilly to sell assets, including his prized 750-acre mansion and equestrian center, to repay loans to one bank exceeding 22 million euros ($30 million).

Friday's judgment rejected pleas from O'Reilly's lawyers for a six-month postponement. The judge said Allied Irish Banks already had waited too long, and further delays could allow other banks to make their own bids to seize the 78-year-old tycoon's most valuable possession, his country estate west of Dublin.

O'Reilly's lawyers say he owes eight banks a total of 195 million euros. He lost an estimated 750 million euros in investments in two companies he long led: Waterford Wedgwood and Independent News & Media.