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hitting out Billionaire John Collison hits out at Forbes ‘stab city’ Limerick slur

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Stripe Inc co-founders John Collison and Patrick Collison Photo: David Paul Morris

Stripe Inc co-founders John Collison and Patrick Collison Photo: David Paul Morris

(l-r) Patrick and John Collison of Stripe

(l-r) Patrick and John Collison of Stripe

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Stripe Inc co-founders John Collison and Patrick Collison Photo: David Paul Morris

THE billionaire Irish brothers behind Stripe have hit back at a Forbes article about them that calls Limerck ‘stab city’. 

John Collison and his brother Patrick were the subject of a piece in the influential business publication that painted an unflattering picture of the city.

John called the piece “daft,” while Patrick attributed their success to the place they grew up.

The publication tonight removed the article from it’s website following an angry backlash.

The article, written by Stephen McBride, said of Limerick: “Some call it stab city.”

“Many folks think Ireland is all rolling green hills and five-star golf courses.

“But in the middle of the Irish countryside is a city called Limerick — known as the ‘murder capital’ of Europe,” it said.

He wrote that Limerick was turned into a “warzone” a few years ago due to a gang feud, adding that “shootings, pipe bomb attacks, and stabbings” happened nightly.

The Forbes article compared “some bad neighbourhoods” in the county to Berlin in the Cold War, mentioning the Berlin Wall.

It said some neighbourhoods are “even walled off by a dirty, graffitied 10-foot-high concrete barrier.”

It claimed the brothers “recently beat the odds” getting out of “stab city”.

“Limerick is the last place you want your kids growing up,” the piece said.

“But two brothers who went to high school there recently beat the odds.

“Not only did they escape ‘stab city’ — they moved to Silicon Valley, founded one of the most disruptive companies on earth, and became two of the youngest self-made billionaires in history.”

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Responding to the piece, Mr Collison called it “daft” on Twitter.

His bother Patrick said: “Not only [is it] mistaken about Limerick but the idea of ‘overcoming’ anything is crazy.

“We are who we are because we grew up where we did.”

And last night Junior Minister Patrick O’Donovan called on Forbes and author Mr McBride to “immediately apologise” to the people of Limerick “for the insult and hurt caused by the article published”.

He invited them to visit the county, adding: “I will gladly set the record straight in respect of what our county and city has to offer as opposed to what your work of fiction depicts.

“Please let me know when suits.”

Last month it emerged that the Collison brothers’ Stripe would add at least” 1,000 jobs in Dublin over the next five years, after a new fundraising round of $600m (€502m) brought its valuation to $95bn (€80bn).

The Irish Government’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) invested €42m as part of the fundraising.

The online payments firm is now the most valuable ever private technology company in Silicon Valley.

It also made both Patrick and John Collison Ireland’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, with individual paper fortunes that could now be valued at around $10bn (€8.4bn).

Stripe now employs more than 300 people in its Dublin engineering hub at present, which also serves as the international headquarters of the business.

Stripe processes payments in 42 countries, counting clients such as Deliveroo, N26, Intercom and Donedeal among its thousands of international customers.

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