Credit: Paul Kagame via Flickr under Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dubai ruler, an alleged kidnapper, received €225,000 from state

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns a stud farm in Co. Kildare.

A company owned by Dubai’s multi-billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received over €225,000 in common agriculture policy (CAP) payments and grants for unproductive land.

Owned by the Al Maktoum family, Godolphin Ireland has run the 1,500 acre Kildangan stud farm since 1986, employing 250 staff to look after some 400 horses.

The company also owns two farms in Tipperary, one in Kildare and one in Meath, with the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recording a loss of €8.3 million last year according to the CRO, despite showing a turnover of €28 million.

Sheikh Mohammed, who is also vice-president of the UAE and has six wives and 30 children, is accused by one of his daughters, Sheikha Latifa (36), of holding her against her will after she attempted to flee Dubai in 2018, although her father strenuously denies the allegation.

Former Irish president Mary Robinson became embroiled in the controversy when she was photographed at Sheikha Latifa’s home, in an apparent attempt to normalise the situation, a move she later described as “the biggest mistake” of her life.

Sheikh Mohammed received the third biggest CAP payment of any farmer in Ireland in 2020, as over 122,281 farmers received a total of almost €1.2bn, in an average payment of almost €10,000.

With 800 fewer farmers claiming CAP compared to 2019, Cork farmer Brendan Kelleher received the largest payment at over €245,000.

40% of farmers received less than €5,000 in direct CAP payments, with 8% receiving less than €1,500.

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