O'Dolan will be most famous in overseas property circles as one of the four Irish men involved in the €28m purchase of the 'Ireland in the Sun' project on the manmade island group known as 'The World' off Dubai's coastline. Last year he was also instrumental in organising a deal to purchase England in the project for a reported €23.5m.
The death is a double tragedy for the Irish property community, coming as it does, so close to the death of Patrick Rocca. O'Dolan is pictured here in happier times presenting a bowl of shamrock to a representative of Nakheel, developer of The World project.
The Irish Times reports this morning:
ONE OF Ireland’s leading building developers was found dead at his home in Galway yesterday morning.
John O’Dolan (51) had developed a large property development portfolio throughout the country and abroad in areas such as Dubai and Spain. He had been involved in the Island of Ireland project in Dubai.
Mr O’Dolan is survived by his wife Eileen, his daughters Fiona and Róisín and son Robert.
Gardaí say they are treating the discovery of Mr O’Dolan’s body in a shed near his home at Rusheen Bay, between Salthill and Barna in Galway, as a tragic accident.
The father of three founded the auctioneering company Mullery, O’Dolan and Doyle which became one of the biggest in the west throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Mr O’Dolan was regarded as a shrewd judge of property trends and he later set up his own development company.
He went on to become a major player throughout Ireland and beyond and became renowned for choosing signature properties.
He set up O’Dolan International to develop overseas properties and along with a number of other developers in 2007 bought the Island of Ireland, part of the unique World development four kilometres off the coast of Dubai.
They paid €28 million for the man-made island which was to contain over 100 residential units as well as replicated Irish landmarks, conference centre, hotel and marina.
A number of his properties were landmark buildings such as the former Revenue Commissioners offices on Lord Edward Street in Dublin which he bought five years ago with partners.
Mr O’Dolan had extensive business interests in Galway and was involved in a number of charities.
He was involved in the big effort to bring the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. The race will arrive in the city in May.
Earlier this month, a receiver was appointed to two of his business interests, the Kinlay House Hostel and property sales company, Polska Property.
The global downturn had impacted on his business interests the same way it has impacted on property developers throughout the world.