Woeful Journalism

Good effort this.

As long as the 5 :star: breakfasts are available we don’t need to worry about trollies

1 Like

Coffee and fish stands at Dún Laoghaire pier challenge council in court over decision to revoke licences

Not quite the umami

Like clockwork

https://twitter.com/Independent_ie/status/1734132161777635470

A nice mix of cringe and rubbish from “Mal”

https://x.com/malachyclerkin/status/1738474958462808249?s=46&t=pBoz6vwJNpAFZhshXLNoZg

I haven’t read it but the united fans are seething over it so that’s all good

1 Like

Mal just gets it.

Looks pretty much the same

Mentions of Aido in League preview: 0

1 Like

PREMIUM

From property to stout to suits: how ‘shrewd operator’ Conor McGregor became Notoriously wealthy

The Dublin fighter-turned-entrepreneur is reportedly well on the way to becoming a billionaire, but as he continues to expand his business empire, it has not been all plain sailing

John Meagher

February 17 2024 08:08 AM

It is a long way from Crumlin to Miami but Conor McGregor’s Forged Irish Stout was inescapable at a bare knuckle championship night in the Florida city this month. The logo was everywhere, including on the back of the knickers sported by the scantily clad ‘ring girls’.

The beer is named after the Black Forge Inn, McGregor’s pub and restaurant in the southside Dublin suburb of Crumlin. He bought and redeveloped the pub in 2021. Since its launch in August, he has been relentlessly promoting Forged Irish Stout on social media. Considering the fighter-turned-entrepreneur has 10.4 million followers on X and 47.2 million on Instagram, he can reach a lot of people.

This week, the Dubliner declared on X that it was “the finest stout Ireland has ever produced” — a bold claim considering the centuries-long impact of Guinness, Murphy’s and Beamish — but then the man who likes to call himself The Notorious has never knowingly undersold himself or his myriad business ventures.

McGregor came to prominence a decade ago in the then embryonic Ultimate Fighting Championship, the slickly marketed mixed martial arts competition built for a global pay-per-view audience. Although he was only fought four times since 2018, losing three and winning just once, he has been one of the world’s best paid sports stars in that period. And he has been making enormous sums outside of the octagon, the eight-sided cage where UFC fights take place.

Conor McGregor took to Instagram to urge his followers to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a pint of his stout

Alcohol is a case in point. When McGregor launched his own Irish whiskey in 2018, there were sneers and snorts of derision. Just who did this upstart think he was and how on earth would his business thrive in a marketed dominated by such big players as Jameson? Few of his critics were laughing just three years later, in 2021, when McGregor sold most of his stake in Proper No. Twelve whiskey to the giant Proximo Sports for $600m. He netted $130m for his trouble, and it helped him become the world’s wealthiest sportstar according to a survey by Forbes.

The name of the whiskey, incidentally, comes from the Dublin 12 postcode, home to Crumlin and Drimnagh, McGregor’s home turf. Many are looking at Forged Irish Stout and asking if he can reap similar rewards. It is made by the Porterhouse Brewery, which McGregor also owns. (He does not own any of the Porterhouse bars.)

While there is no shortage of local craft beer makers, it is clear that McGregor doesn’t see the product as a niche offering. It has been developed as a mass market stout with the ability to attract drinkers around the globe. Not one to miss an opportunity, he took to Instagram on Wednesday to urge his followers to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a pint of his stout. “Make it a creamy one!” he quipped, beaming, in a post to out-cringe most.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since he first signed to the UFC, 11 years ago this month, Conor McGregor has displayed a ‘sky’s the limit’ attitude to professional fighting, fame and money-making entrepreneurialism.

He hasn’t fought since he suffered a crushing first-round defeat to the American, Dustin Poirier in 2021. He broke his leg in the process. McGregor is 35 now and while the average age of elite UFC competitors in his weight divisions is 32, some question if his mooted return to the octagon for UFC300 in June is a wise move.

Dana White, the loudmouth president and CEO of UFC, who helped turn it into a multi-billion dollar business — in no small part due to the crowd-pulling charisma of McGregor — questioned if he would return. “Conor McGregor,” he said, bluntly, “doesn’t need the f***ing money.”

McGregor, for his part, claims to be worth €500m and is on his way to becoming a billionaire. He has certainly not shied away from spending the money and the ostentatious lifestyle of flash cars, yachts and blingy watches is one he has embraced.

But such is the enormity of the cash swirling around cage fighting that even a defeat would likely net McGregor tens of millions. After all, he claimed to have made $100m when defeated by boxer Floyd Mayweather in 2017, in a contest billed and promoted as The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History.

McGregor has spent months rebuilding his fitness to the elite level required, but he has also devoted much of his energies to expanding his property portfolio in Ireland. Acutely aware of the housing shortage in his home city, he has been keen to make a killing in apartment building. Already, he has become a significant player.

This week, scores of workers were working on the construction of the foundations and underground car park of what will be a nine-storey, 188 apartment complex overlooking the Grand Canal. Old buildings were demolished last year and a Japanese knotweed invasion was subsequently dealt with before construction commenced. Like the majority of the apartment buildings that have opened in Dublin in recent times, or are currently being built, all units will be for rent rather than purchase.

ADVERTISEMENT

It is a location that will be eagerly sought by home-hunters once it’s completed. It’s just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Goldenbridge Luas stop and a 20-minute cycle to Grafton Street, although anti-social behaviour, such as youngsters on motorcycles racing up and down the canal towpath, blight the area.

John Meagher at the Marble Arch, one of Conor McGregor’s Dublin properties. Photo: Mark Condren

McGregor was granted planning permission for this development last year and he has plans for more apartments on an adjoining site, where the shuttered Marble Arch pub now stands. Proposals to build an eight-storey complex there, featuring 113 apartments, were rejected by planners, following vociferous local objections. A scaled down six-storey alternative, with 72 apartments, has now been proposed.

McGregor purchased the Marble Arch in 2021. It generated much media interest, mainly because it was in this very establishment that he punched one of the pub’s patrons in an apparent argument over McGregor’s whiskey. Desmond Keogh had, he later claimed, refused to drink a free shot of Proper No Twelve. The incident led to an assault conviction and €1,000 fine. After he had bought the pub, McGregor quipped that Keogh was “barred” from the premises.

When the Irish Independent visits on Wednesday, the Marble Arch is looking forlorn, with weeds growing at its entrance steps and rubbish gathering in places. Should the re-scaled proposals be accepted, the premises will soon be razed to the ground. This stretch of Davitt Road has seen significant change in recent years, with a large apartment complex — not connected to McGregor — built there earlier this decade. A pensioner walking along the canal towpath says the rents in the existing development are a far cry from what this mostly working class community is used to.

A figure who knows McGregor well says the Dubliner is always seeking to expand his property portfolio, especially in parts of the city that are ripe for redevelopment. “He’s a very shrewd operator and works with people who really know the lie of the land. Anybody can see that in a housing crisis, it makes sense to get into home building.”

In October, the Irish Independent reported that he had purchased a venue in Temple Bar. Rumours circulate about the location but a query to McGregor’s business partner, accountant Alan Geraghty, was not responded to at the time of going to press. It was also reported that he purchased a property in Tallaght, with the view to either developing restaurants or a modest apartment complex. He also bought the Waterside Inn in Howth. It is thought that he intends to build a hotel there.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for McGregor, business-wise. The Black Forge Inn may have become a tourist hotspot with appearances from celebrity figures such as US rapper Snoop Dogg, but it suffered during the pandemic. The pub recorded losses of €1.13m in 2021, with Covid-19 limitations impacting trading.

ADVERTISEMENT

Read More

McGregor believes the atmosphere of the pub and restaurant can be replicated elsewhere. Buoyed by its association with Proper No. Twelve whiskey as well as the stout that borrows its name, there are plans to open Black Forge Inns in cities such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Boston.

Some of McGregor’s business ambitions have also had an impact on those in his local community. This newspaper previously reported how a barber shop beside the Black Forge closed last autumn after 70 years of business because it could not afford a rent hike imposed by its landlord, the McGregor-owned Jemi Ventures.

Vincent Roche, who took over the barbers after his father passed away, said there were “no hard feelings” towards the Black Forge, indicating he was given plenty of notice of the increase and left on good terms with the owners.

Unsurprisingly for one who achieved fame and fortune in sport, McGregor has diversified his business interests into that field too. The crowded performance app market includes the McGregor FAST.

The downloadable app promises that participants can “train like Conor” and “transform your fitness.” According to its website, “McGregor FAST is grounded in revolutionary sports science that adds purpose to training. Let Conor guide you through his intent-based workouts, so you can get the most out of every movement.”

McGregor also has an association with TIDL, recovery products aimed at fitness enthusiasts who are looking for “next generation pain relief”. The range was developed in conjunction with McGregor and as well as being available at retail can also be purchased from McGregor’s own website.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Dubliner is renowned for his dapper dress sense. He favours sharply cut suits that accentuate his meticulously sculpted body.

The US tailor David August has long been his go-to maker of bespoke suiting, including an infamous navy number that featured the words ‘F*** you’ discreetly stitched into the fabric.

The duo’s company, August McGregor, offers some of the formal wear that the fighter has sported during contentious weigh-ins as well as more casual clobber. The prices are pitched above typical high street offerings. A pair of jeans are yours for $198 while a sweatshirt featuring a prominent August McGregor logo and the words ‘Whoop Ass’ scrawled in red is $124.

Despite the lofty pronouncements that characterise him and the increasingly divisive comments on X — including the far-right trope that ‘Ireland is full’ — McGregor tends to be comparatively tight-lipped when discussing his business ventures.

Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for McGregor, recently told the Irish Independent that “Conor is proud of the many businesses he owns, and the positive impact and contributions they have on the Irish economy.” She added: “He is a prolific entrepreneur and is always pursuing opportunities to add to his portfolio.”

Chris Wojcik, an American writer and black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has long been fascinated by McGregor’s appeal, not just in the world of MMA, but in business too.

“McGregor,” he says, “is one of a kind and someone who understood the importance of building a brand early on. He is a storyteller as well as an entertainer and great athlete. He would predict the fight and tell you what was going to happen. He’d tell stories in press conferences that would create a narrative that was engaging to viewers. He was doing this at a time when nobody else was doing it in the UFC and that made him a trailblazer.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The documentary that was made about him early on showed the ambition that he had. And, as a martial artist myself, it takes a lot of confidence to say that you’re going to do something long before you’re going to do it, especially in the UFC, which is the premier level of fighting.”

Wojcik says McGregor’s Irishness is wrapped up in his brand identity. “That was certainly the case with the whiskey. He really leaned into his Irishness and knowing that, for many, Ireland is synonymous with whiskey.”

He adds that McGregor understands who his audience is. “It’s primarily young men who [were attracted] to the fact that he was a young, confident fighter. He went from very little to the most successful mixed martial artist at one time and they might want to see something of themselves in that story.”

Read More

Read More Articles

Colm Keys: How JP McManus’s €32m cash flow has trickled into every corner of Gaelic games

GAA

The extraordinary story of an Irish women, her Ukrainian surrogate and a daring rescue: ‘I didn’t want to go – but Cathy told me to think of my children’

Life

Should a pint of Guinness be poured in one go? Backlash from Irish publicans after London-based bartender’s claim

Irish news

Read More Top Stories

A nice puff piece by John. Wonder how much was handed over there

5 Likes

My first thoughts exactly.Who does the rapist’s PR I wonder

1 Like

https://app.independent.co.uk/2024/03/01/growth-in-house-prices-turns-positive-for-first-time-in-over-a-year/content.html

https://twitter.com/roolockwood/status/1768306425908871447?s=46

That headline…

1 Like