Death of cin­ema chain co-founder

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - REELNEWS NEWS -

On Tues­day we learnt of the sad death of Leo Ward, co-founder of the Ward An­der­son cin­ema chain, at the for­mi­da­ble age of 94. Cur­rently in the midst of come in­ter­nal con­vul­sions, that com­pany man­ages around half the cinemas in the state, in­clud­ing the Savoy in cen­tral Dublin.

Leo’s first pas­sion was foot­ball. Born in Fairview, one of 10 chil­dren, he signed to Manch­ester City in the 1930s (and just lived long enough to see his team re­gain the top ti­tle). When the war started, he re­turned to Ire­land and played for a spell in the League of Ire­land.

In 1949, he formed Ward An­der­son with Kevin An­der­son, his half-brother, and six years later they pur­chased their first cin­ema in Lu­can. They went on to be­come two of the wealth­i­est men in the state. The com­pany re­mains in fam­ily hands.

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