It was forty years ago last month that Liam Daniel, first met Tom Lynch.

Daniel, the current chair of Malin Corporation, was a young audit manager in KPMG when Lynch joined the accountancy firm, then called Stokes Kennedy Crowley. Lynch joined the firm some months later than the usual entry-level graduate intake to the firm in 1980.

He was completing a two-year stint as student university president of Queens’ University in Belfast, a post that delayed his start date. Lynch studied economics in Queens’ and he retained a close connection to his alma mater over the decades.

“Tom was in a three-piece pinstripe suit with The Irish Times, the FT and possibly the Spectator under his arm,” Daniel recalls. “He stood out from day one.”

Daniel recalls Lynch in his first week asking for a half-day in order to take the then chancellor of Queen’s University to lunch in a club on St Stephen’s Green. “Tom was always mature beyond his years,” Daniel says. “He was technically brilliant, hard working and with an amazing ability to get to know people.”

“He always had his ear to the ground and knew everything that was going on.”

Peter Gray

Peter Gray, the former chief executive of Icon and current chairman of UDG Healthcare, recalls meeting Lynch for the first time in the Irish Management Institute. Gray was a young up-and-coming accountant in KPMG giving a lecture to its new recruits.

“A voice from the back of the class asked a question I couldn’t answer. It was insightful, complex and something I hadn’t thought of,” according to Gray. The question was from Lynch, who introduced himself at the end of the lecture.

“It was immediately apparent that Tom was very, very bright. Not only that but he knew all about me. He always had his ear to the ground and knew everything that was going on.”

By 1990, Lynch had become a partner in KPMG. He was just 34 at the time. As an accountant at the Big 4 firm, Lynch was exposed to some of Ireland’s most dynamic entrepreneurs.

He worked with Ryanair founder Tony Ryan during his GPA era and so was an eyewitness to the birth of the aviation leasing industry, as well as GPA’s subsequent crash.

Lynch was an admirer of Ryan – both for his brilliance as an entrepreneur but also for his taste in art, wine and architecture. 

Decades later, in 2005, Tony Ryan was among the first to invest in Amarin, a company founded by Lynch.

In July 1990 Daniel became chief financial officer of Xtra-vision PLC. Lynch was an audit partner assigned to the company at the time.

“I knew by lunchtime of my first day it was probably a mistake to have joined the company,” Daniel says. “It was a time both Tom and I preferred not to remember. It became a complete nightmare.”

Xtra-vision was founded by Richard Murphy, a salesman extraordinaire. By the time Daniel joined however it had grown too quickly and was a bubble waiting to burst.

The late Dr Edward Cahill concluded in his 1997 book ‘Corporate Financial Crisis in Ireland’: “The company overtraded and overexpanded…” and had an “apparent unwillingness to listen to or face up to bad news”.

In a time before Netflix, the core concept of Xtra-vision was sound, but it collapsed into receivership. Its new owners would later sell the business for £20 million to Blockbuster.

“He was an entrepreneurial accountant who was not your normal accountant or auditor.”

Robert Dix

Lynch had now witnessed at close hand two high profile business failures by entrepreneurs who had sailed too close to the sun.

But his personality ensured that he remained friendly with all involved, despite the financial turmoil.

Robert Dix, a partner in KPMG from 1988 until 2008, recalls Lynch as “incredibly able”.

“He was an entrepreneurial accountant who was not your normal accountant or auditor,” according to Dix.

KPMG was then working with Elan, a pharmaceutical company founded in Athlone by Don Panoz.

This exposed Lynch to Elan’s rising star for the first time.


Elan, Icon and the origins of the Irish pharma sector

Don Panoz, who died in 2018, was one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever to work in Ireland. From a town in the midlands of Ireland, Panoz had taken Elan to the Nasdaq in 1984, making it the first ever Irish company to list there. It was a ground-breaking company and Panoz insisted his core team lived near Athlone.

Gray joined Panoz in 1983 as chief financial officer from KPMG. It was just prior to Elan’s landmark flotation and Panoz nicknamed Gray his OFO (only financial officer). The float was a success and Elan was going from strength to strength. 

In 1987, Panoz convinced a young accountant called Donal Geaney to quit KPMG to join him also. In 1990, Gray left Elan to work with Larry Goodman’s Food Industries, which later became Greencore.

David Diliger, a school friend, was working there at the time, and Gray remained friendly with his old boss Panoz.

Gray then worked with Unidare, a listed engineering group, as he forged a reputation in finance for working with big businesses.

Meanwhile, in 1990 a fledgling clinical research firm called Icon was founded. It was created by Dr John Climax and Dr Ronan Lambe who had worked together at Austin Darragh’s pioneering Institute of Clinical Pharmacology.

Climax and Lambe set up the business with a loan of just £30,000. They opened an office with five people in Dundrum in 1990, and by 1997 it had revenues of $26 million, and plans to also float in America.

Lynch had played an important role in getting Icon off the ground. He had convinced KPMG to back the business in its early years.

The legend is for free, but decades later it is hard to know. Work was certainly done at a huge discount from the blue-chip firm’s usual rates.

Now, as Climax and Lambe geared up for the stock market, Lynch began to think about who could help his friends. Lynch had by then left KPMG, to join Elan in 1993, but he remained close to Icon’s two founders. 

“Tom called me back in the summer of 1997 when he was in Elan and I was in Unidare,” Gray says.

“He asked me to come and meet these two guys running a small business in Ireland called Icon. It was then a private company. He said: ‘Will you meet them as they are a very interesting company?’

“I said: ‘Get lost’ as I’d other plans. But Tom was persistent, and he persuaded me to do some research into this emerging area called CRO (Clinical Research Organisation). I ended up joining Icon as a result.

“Tom introduced me to the second opportunity of my lifetime. Elan was the first. But I owe Tom an enormous amount for making that introduction.”

Icon went on to become one of Ireland’s most consistently brilliant companies. Gray was its chief executive from 2002 until 2011.

A close confidante, and a strategic thinker

Ciaran Murray, the chairman of the pharma giant Icon

Ciaran Murray takes up the story. Murray was chief financial officer of Icon from 2005 until 2011. He then became its chief executive from October 2011 until March 2017. Today, he is its non-executive chairman.

Murray spoke to The Currency from his home last week where he is working remotely due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“Tom made a wonderful contribution to Icon’s growth and success. He was there almost from the beginning firstly as an advisor to John Climax and Ronan Lambe and then as a board member since 1994.

“In all Tom spent over twenty years on the board contributing as a director, chair of the audit committee and then chairman of Icon from 2013 until he retired in 2016.

“Tom knew the pharma world intimately from his time in Elan and his work with many other biopharma organisations.”

Ciaran Murray

“Tom was an important confidante to the two founders of our business John (Climax) and Ronan (Lambe) especially in the early days when he helped guide the company through the IPO process,” he said.

“Tom was very talented and very experienced in business strategy, fundraising, and M&A. Tom knew the pharma world intimately from his time in Elan and his work with many other biopharma organisations.

“He understood the perspective of our clients in terms of drug development. He knew what compounds were doing well and where the market was going.

“Tom was very good with people. He was non judgemental and always very helpful with any issues they might have. He was a valued mentor to myself, and many of the team who are now running the business. I was very sad to hear of his passing and will miss him.”


Icon floated at a valuation of $180 million and is worth over $8 billion today. The company employs 15,000 people in 40 countries.

From its headquarters in Dublin it has helped some of the world’s most innovative companies bring to market drugs that have made all sorts of impacts including saving millions of lives. Lynch is part of its incredible story.


The rise and fall of Elan

In 1996 Don Panoz stepped back from Elan to allow Donal Geaney to become chief executive. Elan moved its headquarters to Lincoln House near Trinity College Dublin while continuing to expand its manufacturing capabilities in Athlone.

Panoz would later come to believe that it was this move to Dublin that started Elan becoming more entranced by the numbers it reported to the stock market than in its scientific core.

Not everybody agreed with this assessment, and there was certainly an argument for being nearer Dublin airport as the company became more and more international as well as being close to TCD.

Lynch joined Elan in 1993 as chief financial officer, before being given the additional responsibility of being executive vice chairman in 2001. In 1994, Daniel joined Elan as financial controller.

Elan went on the acquisition trail as it transformed itself from primarily a drug delivery company to a biotechnology company. Perhaps the best deal Lynch was involved in was the acquisition of Athena Neurosciences in March 1996 which gave Elan an exciting discovery pipeline into Alzheimer’s disease and auto-immune diseases.

Out of this deal came Tysabri a multiple sclerosis treatment which ultimately made billions and eased the suffering of many people. But Lynch would not remain long enough with Elan to see this occur.

Elan’s share price meanwhile peaked at $22 billion and it became the biggest company in Ireland.

“Elan embarked on a very aggressive growth path from 1996 until 2001 using debt and off-balance sheet vehicles,” Daniel recalled. “Tom and Donal were the odd couple as they both supported and sparked off each other.”

All of Elan’s accounting manoeuvres were disclosed to investors in the fine print but Elan was telling such a good story nobody during those years took too much notice.

Its share price rocketed as investors got super excited about the prospects of it solving huge healthcare problems that were potentially worth tens of billions. 

If Lynch had a flaw it was that he wanted to be liked. He was incredibly intelligent across multiple fields, but, looking back, it is hard not to conclude that Elan oversold its prospects and underestimated the timelines and risks required to bring key drugs to market.

It became a victim of some of the very mistakes that Lynch had seen at the start of his career working with GPA and Xtra-vision but on an even larger scale.

Elan did little to dampen down shareholder exuberance during the good times. Geaney arguably took on too many outside roles as he became a player in Dublin’s financial circles.

Elan was aggressive in its accounting. Its problem was that in the fevered atmosphere post-Enron, once attention focused on its accounting practices the market moved hard against it

Elan was allowing the seeds to be sown for its downfall by not being more cautious and stressing the potential for downside as well as up. Being more negative might have caused Elan’s share price to fall, but it would have made it more stable.

In October 2001 the Enron scandal broke. The American energy company had engaged in outrageous accounting that led to the company’s bankruptcy, the end of accountancy firm Arthur Anderson, and the jailing of its chief executive in 2006.

Elan was aggressive in its accounting. Its problem was that in the fevered atmosphere post-Enron, once attention focused on its accounting practices the market moved hard against it. Elan had complex joint-venture agreements with 55 companies, where it held its stake in various vehicles below 20 per cent.

This meant Elan was able to keep poor results, which are not uncommon when developing drugs, off its income statements, while still earning revenue from each of these vehicles through licensing agreements.

Once the market started to focus on these arrangements, Elan’s share price started to fall sharply. Nothing Elan did was criminal, everything was disclosed in the small print, but this did not matter as investors were spooked.

As this was happening, Elan’s promising pipeline of drugs failed to deliver as quickly as promised.

It now faced a perfect storm and was in a downward doom loop that became self-perpetuating.

Lynch showed his prodigious memory at a company dinner by recalling the names of the previous 40 governors in his welcome speech.

Elan’s share price from a peak of €74 went to €1 and the business was expected to go bankrupt (but did not thanks to a recovery plan by a new board and management).

Dick Thornberg, the 41st Governor of Pennsylvania, joined the board of Elan in 2002 to try and shore up the company.

Lynch showed his prodigious memory at a company dinner by recalling the names of the previous 40 governors in his welcome speech.

Lynch worked hard to try and turn around Elan. It was not enough however to save the company or himself.

Elan had no choice but to dismiss Geaney and Lynch. Both men were given two year contracts as advisors, but this was essentially a payoff.

At Elan’s 2002 AGM, its new chairman Garo Armen was scathing of his predecessors.

“There was a decision-making paralysis at the end because the senior management were rendered ineffective because of the perception of an inability to manage…”

“They were not able to cope with the situation and that’s why we’re in the position we are in today.”

Geaney ended up suing Elan, and became bitter about his treatment. He died in 2005 from cancer, and did not get the chance to make a comeback.

Lynch picked himself up. He had been through a terrible experience, as had everyone associated with Elan, and he was determined to rebuild his career.

In a 2006 interview with The Irish Independent Lynch admitted: “There were a couple of tough years in Elan. Mistakes were made, but they were honest mistakes by honest people. The company got too big too quickly.

“In 2003 Elan took a worse pummelling than any Irish company. A lack of confidence and indebtedness are what destroy companies. With Elan the cash was there, and the assets were good.

“We modelled in the company how we would cope if one bad thing happened. But then you had Enron and Worldcom, generic competition for Zanaflex and problems with the Alzheimer’s programme.

“I am still enormously proud of what we built in terms of products, people and research. I think if I was doing it again, I would do things differently but I have no regrets.”


The fallout was tough for him and his family, but Lynch kept going.

In 1994, for example, Lynch had founded a company which became Warner Chilcott after he negotiated and financed the acquisition of Warner Chilcott from the larger Warner-Lambert company in 1999.

Northern Irish drugs maker Galen bought this business in 1999. Galen was Northern Ireland’s first listed billion pound business and Lynch joined its board after it acquired Warner Chilcott. Lynch served on the board of Galen until 2002.

After Elan’s share price nosedived, Galen’s also started to fall. Lynch resigned “owing to the pressure of other work commitments.”

“Tom Lynch has a big job on his hands at Elan,” Galen chairman John King said.

“Galen chief executive Roger Boissonneault was more blunt. He described the link as “guilt by association”, emphasising that Galen engaged only in vanilla accounting.

In the years after Elan’s downfall anyone associated with the business was looked down upon by some of the capital’s bankers, stockbrokers and property developers.

It was seen as a cautionary tale of a business from the midlands getting too big for its boots.

Ireland’s utter financial crash and loss of its economic sovereignty put Elan’s failings in perspective. Elan, even after everything, was still worth many billions. Many of its drugs did work, and under new ownership they have changed the lives of millions of people and made money for other shareholders.

To determine the rights and wrongs of what happened in Elan would take a book.

Lynch was chief financial officer and must bear considerable responsibility for what occurred. Elan could have been Ireland’s first $100 billion company, but it failed.

Its legacy when seen with the perspective of time however is a proud one. From its embers many great indigenous drugs companies and entrepreneurs emerged.


Working for Ireland Inc

Tom Lynch served on the board of the IDA from 2000 to 2010. This aspect of his career saw him play an important role in helping Ireland attract many billions of euro in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical investment.

Lynch, from his time making acquisition after acquisition with Elan and his interests afterwards, had ins with the biggest players in the field and was part of an IDA that made Ireland a global leader in pharma and biopharma manufacturing.

“Tom was a key supporter of ours. He recognised what was needed to win more business.”

Barry O’Leary

Barry O’Leary, chief executive of the IDA from 2007 until 2014, recalls Lynch as an influential figure. He recalled travelling to Singapore and the United States with him as the IDA began to target rising biopharmaceutical giants as well as traditional pharma from 2002 on.

This was a crucial decision by the IDA as it helped keep Ireland at the forefront of the industry.

“Tom was a key supporter of ours. He recognised what was needed to win more business. He had a global network of people from life sciences to medical devices. We often wondered how he pulled things out of his hat. Sometimes we could hit a brick wall trying to meet a particular company, but if Tom knew them, he would always open the door for us,” O’Leary says.

O’Leary said Lynch was part of a double-act with Bernard Collins, a former Boston Scientific executive, who was also on the board of the IDA at the same time in championing Ireland internationally as a global leader in pharma, biopharma and medical devices.

“Tom was also very supportive of the setting up of NIBRT (The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training.) He could see how important that was in terms of education and Ireland staying ahead. Tom’s overall knowledge and experience was very helpful.”

In private conversations Lynch was intensely proud of the IDA. He understood better than most the danger to Ireland if it failed to bring in fresh investment from drug makers to replace old investment as it went off-patent.

He also knew that Ireland needed to stay close to the next generation of firms looking to expand into Europe. Ireland could not afford to rest on its laurels and Lynch was part of the IDA team that ensured it did not.

The Amarin years

After Elan, Lynch began to rebuild himself. He became chief executive of Amarin, which became another stock market rollercoaster – albeit on a smaller scale than Elan.

In December 2007 I interviewed Lynch while he was in charge of this company. Amarin’s new drug to treat Huntington’s disease, a hereditary disorder of the central nervous system that leads to severe physical and mental changes, had just failed during medical trials. Amarin’s value had fallen from $240 million to $34 million – but Lynch was optimistic that the company could make a comeback with a new set of compounds being developed to treat cardiovascular disease.

“If you grew up in Belfast in the 1960s, there were two things you supported: George Best’s Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic,” Lynch recalled.

Amarin attracted smart investors including Tony Ryan and Dermot Desmond. Lynch was friendly with Desmond and the two shared an interest in Celtic football club. Discussion of the club gave an insight into Lynch’s formative years.

“If you grew up in Belfast in the 1960s, there were two things you supported: George Best’s Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic,” Lynch recalled.

Lynch grew up in north Belfast. “It was a mixed community and I had many good friends from Protestant and Catholic communities in that area. We went to different schools and churches, but that was it. We had much more in common with each other than differences,” he said.

“The 1970s were very different and north Belfast was one of the worst flashpoints of the Troubles. I witnessed the growth of sectarianism and, with some sense of relief, left for Dublin in 1980 when it was clear there was no end in sight.”

Amarin’s research into treatments of cardiovascular disease proved promising. Its value surged to $2 billion before collapsing back again. In 2009 Lynch resigned as chief executive. Between 2007 and 2009, Lynch helped raise $100 million for the company and reinvented it as a cardiovascular drug company. His position, however, had become untenable as investors became impatient.

Ultimately Lynch left the board of Amarin but the company did come good for investors.

Its sales forecast for 2020 is somewhere between $650 million and $700 million and its lead drug Vascepa is saving lives by reducing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

*** **

A fan of the arts, a man of faith

After Amarin, Tom Lynch continued to have a wide array of interests in the pharma and biopharma sectors. He was a director of GW Pharma, a listed British company which has developed a drug based on a cannabis plant derivative to treat multiple sclerosis. Sigmoid Pharma, Prospectus and Chrontech were three other companies he was involved in. He was also chairman of the US female sexual and reproductive health company Evofem Biosciences.

From his time in Elan on, Lynch became a patron of the arts. He was a trustee of the Royal Opera House Foundation Advisory Board, an honorary director of the Royal Opera House and a governor of the Royal Ballet. Through his work in the arts, Lynch became a friend of Prince Charles. I had found this out after I had cause to ring Lynch in relation to a question about Amarin in May 2011. Lynch had texted back he would ring me later as he was at a wedding.

When we eventually spoke, I joked had he been at the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It turned out he had, with his wife Deirdre.

Lynch was that sort of person. He seemed to know everyone.

He never discussed with me his religious beliefs but he had a deep faith. Lynch was among a small gathering who met the Pope on his visit to Ireland in Malahide.

He attended mass in the Vatican at Easter. In his death notice published in The Irish Times last week he was listed as being both a Knight of St Gregory and a member of The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Lynch was also on the first governance board of the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin along with other science and academic luminaries like Dr John Climax, Iona co-founder Chris Horn, the Naughton family of Glen Dimplex and Heather Mayfield, head of content in the Science Museum in London.

Prior to its opening he served on its development and fundraising committee that helped get the project off the ground which has had over three million visitors since it opened in 2008.

Lynch was certainly a believer in the power of education to transform lives.

Services to Irish healthcare

In 2013 Tom Lynch was appointed chair of the Ireland East Hospital Group by the then Minister for Health James Reilly. It was a tough gig trying to combine 11 hospitals across eight counties as four community healthcare organisation partners as well as working with its academic partner UCD.

The job required combining healthcare, education, research and innovation to deliver better outcomes for patients. Lynch threw himself into the role, and his work undoubtedly helped Ireland respond to the Covid-19 crisis better by connecting a complex network together.

Lynch had long shown an interest in public service having served as a director of St Vincent’s Health Group as well as chair of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. He also served as a member of the expert group on resource allocation in Irish healthcare which reported in 2010.

After Reilly stepped down Lynch ably worked with his successors Leo Varadkar, now the Taoiseach, and Simon Harris, the current minister for health. Lynch never took a stipend or even submitted an expense for his public service work. There was a kerfuffle over a fundraising dinner Lynch held for Varadkar, but Lynch shrugged it off. It was a bit of a non-story.

“He really did a lot to improve the overall level of healthcare being provided to patients in Ireland.”

Tony O’Brien

Tony O’Brien, the director of the Health Service Executive from 2012 to 2018, got to know Lynch through his job leading Ireland’s health service.

“Tom gave an enormous amount of time towards the hospital groups,” he said. “He really did a lot to improve the overall level of healthcare being provided to patients in Ireland.”

“He brought his own incredible networking ability to bear and made bridges between institutions and people in Irish healthcare as well as abroad. He facilitated managers and leaders in Irish healthcare to do their jobs better with exactly the same focus brought to his business life. He had extraordinary energy.”

“Tom linked the other Hospital Group chairs together and helped create a collegiate and coordinated atmosphere. He understood the need for a strategic approach to healthcare. As director general of the HSE, I witnessed first hand his energy, focus, forward looking ability and his understanding of how the whole thing needed to work together.”

Noel Daly, the former chairman of the West/Northwest Hospital Group, Lynch’s regional counterpart, recalled him fondly.

“Tom was an exceptionally good colleague. He made a huge contribution to the public health system in Ireland. He brought his compassion and his private business experience to bear and he always tried to deliver the best result for patients.”

O’Brien singled out Lynch’s time as chair of the Mater as especially important to the current crisis. “There is no doubt we are seeing the benefits of his work as chair now as the Mater is at the centre of our national response to the coronavirus.”

“The Health Service Executive and its internal networking and cohesion was definitely enhanced by Tom’s personal contribution. He helped glue together academics and hospitals to ensure they were working together,” he added. “He gave a huge amount of his time to public service from which he got no personal benefit. He never took a stipend or an expense. Given his business interests all over the world he arranged his life in a way that ensured he could give the time to public service.

“Tom was a very complex character. There was always a lot going on. At his heart he had religious roots – and we don’t share a religious background – but I think somehow it left him with a strong sense of the need for a wider contribution.”

“His outlook on life, business career, voluntary efforts and his personal characteristics were exceptional. He is a huge loss. We have lost an absolute titan.”

Tony O’Brien

“Tom had a strong sense of mission. He was a person who cared deeply and passionately about other human beings. This found expression on the bigger stage… but also through reaching out to people one to one. He was a very solid person and friend to people who needed him.”

“In a reasonably long career where I met an awful lot of people I never met another Tom. His outlook on life, business career, voluntary efforts and his personal characteristics were exceptional. He is a huge loss. We have lost an absolute titan.”

After O’Brien lost his job in the wake of the cervical check scandal, Lynch stood by his friend. He knew better than most what it was like to come under fire.

Lynch was chair of US pharmaceutical firm Evofem Biosciences and he had recommended O’Brien as a suitable non-executive director. Lynch rang me when I was deputy editor of The Sunday Business Post to vouch for the integrity of O’Brien.

I told Lynch that Susan Mitchell, then health editor at the SBP, was already in contact with O’Brien. “That’s good. She is the best health journalist in the country,” Lynch replied. “Someone needs to say what really happened.”

Mitchell’s subsequent long interview with O’Brien revealed the full story of O’Brien’s resignation and how the health chief felt he had been scapegoated as responsible for a very complex situation.

It was a mark of character that Lynch stood square behind his friend when it might have been politically expedient to ditch him.


“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Tom Lynch was a polymath who mastered everything from accountancy to science. “To me he was a renaissance man who was interested in business, history, politics, opera and ballet as well as science and pharmaceuticals,” Daniels reflected.

Lynch was immensely charming. He wove his knowledge naturally into his conversations and also listened closely to what others had to say. He could talk about groundbreaking molecules one moment and business gossip the next.

The late Fianna Fail spokesman PJ Mara was a friend and the two shared a similar love of storytelling.

Tom Lynch was a kind and decent man. He did not enjoy confrontation or rows and was an optimist by nature. This was a flaw perhaps in hard-nosed business but an advantage as a human being. He could be a name-dropper over dinner and enjoyed fine wine and restaurants. As a conversationalist few could rival him.

However, Lynch also undoubtedly knew how to spot a promising drug. He didn’t always succeed, but undoubtedly he was involved in bringing many important treatments to market.

He also put in long unpaid hours trying to reform Irish healthcare using his unique combination of intelligence and unrivalled contacts book.

Lynch helped many people below the radar whether that was financially, with his personal time or by opening his contacts book.

Tom Lynch was a good friend over the years to me, who was always encouraging and seemed to have read not only every story I had ever written, but also that of every other journalist around town. Lynch had dropped me a note saying he had become a member of The Currency. Later he promised to do an interview with us when we were last in touch at the start of this year. He did not mention his health at that time, but said he would be back in touch before the summer. 

Lynch helped many people below the radar whether that was financially, with his personal time or by opening his contacts book.

In September 2018 Don Panoz, the founder of Elan, died at the age of 83. Like so many Lynch owed Panoz a depth of gratitude and offered to write a few words.

“The late Tony Ryan brought aircraft leasing and Ryanair to Ireland. Panoz was his counterpart in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, where Ireland is now an acknowledged world centre,” Lynch reflected.

Undoubtedly Lynch was one of a generation who were inspired by Panoz to take risks and go for it. In so doing wealth, thousands of jobs, and important breakthroughs were created. 

Tom Lynch is survived by his beloved wife Deirdre and children Jennifer, Rebecca and Mark. His brother Peter and sisters Mary, Anne, Sarah and Jane as well as his extended friends and family.

Lynch closed his tribute to Panoz with the phrase “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.” It is a good note to end on.