Frank O’Brien, affectionately known as “Horse”, was born in Cork city in 1931; He recalls his maternal Crowley grandparents of Ballinadee, where his grandfather, Tim, ran a brickyard business. Frank’s father, also called Frank, worked for the Great Southern Railway. The family moved to Tralee, Co. Kerry, for a year, where Frank Snr. worked in general maintenance on the railways. Frank’s mother ran a paying guesthouse in Riverstown House during the Emergency years, and this is where Frank grew up. He explains that his father bought development land in Poulaphuca and built houses there and says that this was the inspiration for his future as a developer. In 1954, Frank emigrated to Toronto having recognised the opportunities there in the real estate business. His network of business contacts in Toronto came from the rugby fraternity as he had played with Cork Constitution before emigrating. His first job was as a draughtsman with Graham Reid & Associates, Consulting Engineers, and he later set up his own business.