Island retreat sells for €2.8m

A West of Ireland luxury island retreat developed a cost of over €9m by Nadim Sadek — who appeared on the Secret Millionaire programme last year — has been sold by a receiver for over €2.85m.

The undisclosed buyers, currently in the UK, are expected to take up permanent residence on the 65-acre Clew Bay island off Westport later this year, said selling agents Knight Frank.

Inishturk Beg, with six retreat houses, got a strong international sales push as “one of the most sumptuous multimillion-euro luxury property developments ever to come on the Irish market”.

Knight Frank of Sherry FitzGerald described it as one of the most spectacular island properties in Britain or Ireland.

Years ago singer Ronan Keating considered buying Inishturk Beg (and Louis Walsh is said to have an island in the Mayo waters), but it was eventually bought by Mr Sadek for €1m, with up to €10m going into its delivery and branding. It was available to let for up to 40 guests from 2009, with full catering packages on offer for up to €100,000 a week.

Its name, meaning the island of the small wild boar, was used by Mr Sadek to brand whiskey, toiletries, and clothing.

He is married to Westport woman Sandra O’Malley and they have four children. Mr Sadek, who is Egyptian-born but with Limerick roots and educated in Dublin and TCD, sold market research firm Sadek Wynberg in 2003 for a multimillion-euro sum to WPP, now Milllward Brown. Inishturk Beg swallowed up much of that windfall, to its new owner’s benefit.

Developed as a personal dream by the marketing entrepreneur and consumer psychologist, the island went up for sale at the end of last summer for receivers KPMG. It has been sold for an undisclosed price, but for more than its €2.85m asking price, showing a loss of €6m to €7m.

Mr Sadek appeared on RTÉ’s Secret Millionaire programme last year, visiting places like Cork’s Penny Dinners, as his own Irish island asset was drowning in financial woes. He gave €30,000 to the Knocknaheeny Music Project, describing it as “Cork’s real-life version of The Commitments, in a Portakabin”.

Robert Ganly of Knight Frank yesterday declined to discuss the buyers’ identity, with local speculation that they are a low-key, UK-based couple.

The island’s main house now is 12,000sq ft with six bedrooms, enormous play/games rooms and has a grass-roofed swimming pool with Atlantic and island-dotted bay views.

The entire island with five other houses designed by former European young architect of the year winner Andrew Wright was promoted as a luxury travel destination. It also boasts a helipad, broadband, horse stud facilities, a marina, and a cottage on the mainland.

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