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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Wealthy Irish man burnt to death
A member of one of Ireland's richest families has died after apparently setting himself alight in a churchyard.

Jason Smurfit, 35, was found on fire in the grounds of St Michael and St Martin's Catholic Church in Hounslow, west London, on Sunday.

Police said they were not treating his death as suspicious.

Mr Smurfit grew up in Dublin but had been living in London. His family own the multibillion-pound packaging business, Smurfit Kappa Group.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said officers were called to reports of a man alight in the grounds of the church in Bath Road just before 1430 BST on Sunday.

Times Rich List

Police officers, an ambulance, an air ambulance and the fire brigade attended the scene but were unable to save the man.

Representatives of the Smurfit family are understood to be in London to arrange for Mr Smurfit's remains to be returned to Dublin.

He was the son of the late Jeff Smurfit Jr, who died of a heart attack in 1987 in the Isle of Man. His mother Anne lives at the exclusive K Club in Co Kildare.

His uncle, Sir Michael Smurfit, controls the family business.

The family were ranked 221 in the Sunday Times 2006 Rich List with a combined wealth of 274m.

The multinational company has annual sales in excess of 4.8bn and employs more than 40,000 people supplying containerboard, solid board, graphic board, corrugated and solid board packaging.

Founder Jefferson Smurfit began the firm as a small Irish box maker in 1934.


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