Bookmaker and racehorse owner David Power has died peacefully, following a long illness. He was 77.

He is best known as one of the founders of the Paddy Power betting shop chain, which has evolved into global betting company Flutter, now worth over $34 billion and quoted on the New York Stock Exchange.

Power was a leading racecourse bookmaker for decades, retiring just six years ago. Along with his wife Sabena, he also enjoyed great succes as a racehorse owner, notably with multiple Group 1 winners Sole Power and the homebred Slade Power.

From Waterford, Power's grandfather established Richard Power Bookmakers in 1895. David Power qualified as a chartered accountant and began working in the betting industry in 1970, working at the track and also managing the firm's betting shops across the south of the country.

When British betting chains started to open shops in Ireland in the 1980s, Power struck a deal with fellow 'independents' Stewart Kenny and John Corcoran to merge all their shops and create the Paddy Power brand. In 2018 David Power was reported to still own over 4% of the business.

Eddie Lynam, trainer of Sole Power and Slade Power, described Power as a friend as well as a model client. Their professional relationship began over 20 years ago when their first horse together, Empirical Power, proved very successful.

"From then on, I had a bigger relationship with David," Lynam recalled. "He was a great man to train for and a great friend. I’d say there wasn’t a week went by where I didn’t speak to him two or three times. He was always good company. If he didn’t have something nice to say about somebody, he wouldn’t say anything at all.

"He was a great man to train for in that whether the horse was good or bad, there was never a cross word. He enjoyed his very good horses to the limit, he had great fun with them. It was an honour to train for him.

"He was very kind and had a word for everybody. He was a top, top bookmaker, not that I was a big punter, but in his time in the ring, he was as big as there was. But you wouldn’t know it to talk to him- he was never a boaster, he was pretty level-headed. We’ve lost a good friend."