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The Million Dollar Irishman

As Featured in The Sunday Times
Available Now

As seen in The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Irish Times


About the Author

Chris McGale lives in London with his wife and four children but grew up with The Troubles in Northern Ireland. He spent fifteen years working in financial markets in Dublin and London, starting at the time of the Black Monday Wall Street Crash of 1987 and finishing as one of the top-earning City stockbrokers

– earning more than The Arsenal.


This memoir traces the journey from the warring streets,

through a near-death car crash, to burning out in The City.

The Story

Chris McGale lived a life of ‘fight or flight’ and always chose to fight. His memoir tells of a remarkable journey from being bookies-runner at his family’s Irish pub, to mega-stakes gambling, and to a dazzling City career with the Wall Street giant Merrill Lynch.

Along the way he nearly died in a collision with a lorry and his fund-raising for the Omagh Bomb victims led to a nomination for the New Year’s Honours List. The story also traces the emotional conflict, return to education, and reconciliation between the author and his fellow-orphan sibling, Paul.

Then at the height of his City career, The Million Dollar Irishman went on sabbatical and never went back. He had burnt out, doing too much of what he called “The too muches” - a never-ending cycle of long days, late nights, booze, gambling, and the compulsion to win.

This is his life story.

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My Books
The Book

The Million Dollar Irishman

The Million Dollar Irishman was the name given to me in 1988 by the head of a multi-trauma team of surgeons that operated on me for five hours at a Belfast hospital, putting me back together again.

  At twenty-five years of age, a high-speed, head-on collision with an articulated lorry had devastated me physically and mentally.

   Had I not been travelling so fast I would have been decapitated.

In a one-in-a-million near-death experience, my life was saved twice that day.

  In another one-in-a-million chance my pay ascended from £1 a week as a bookie’s runner at my family’s Irish pub, Kate’s Bar, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, to $1m a year at the American investment bank, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

  And then, in what I would later call my George Best moment, I went on sabbatical from Merrill in May 2002 and never went back.

I gave up the one-million-dollar salary and retired to a darkened room to write my life story.

- Introduction


"Mental health and burnout have always been an issue [in banking]. Nearly 20 years ago Chris McGale was a managing director at the investment bank Merrill Lynch, he has recently written a memoir, The Million Dollar Irishman"

The Sunday Times

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