08 January 2016, The Tablet

Billionaire Albert Gubay who pledged half his fortune to the Catholic church dies

The philanthropist billionaire Albert Gubay who has systematically given at least half of his fortune away to Catholic causes has died aged 87 at his home in Cheshire.

Gubay, who was made a papal Knight Commander with Star of the Sacred Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great in 2011 for his charitable services, has set up a charitable foundation that is worth about £1bn.

A statement from Derwent Group Holdings, the property development firm that Gubay owned, said: “It is with the greatest sadness that we have to announce the death of our founder Albert Gubay.

“He had been ill for some time, but happily his close family were with him at the end.

“In due course more information will be supplied regarding his life, his legacy and the future of The Derwent Group, but for now all our thoughts are with his wife Carmel, his children and grandchildren.”

After his death it is believed that his charity will be set to donate about £20m each year to Catholic causes.

In 2009, Gubay told RTE that when he was young and poor he had promised God that he would share half of any fortune with the church.

"One Saturday, I didn't know where the next penny was coming from and I lay on my bed and I had this conversation with God," he said. "I said 'God, help me and whatever I make over the years of my life, when I die, half will go to the church'."

Mr Gubay's first business was selling army surplus clothing, but he later founded the budget supermarket chain Kwik Save which he sold in the 1980s, making his first fortune.

His most recent venture was property development. The bulk of his fortune is expected to be left to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation to be distributed.



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