State pays €103m rent to property barons

The State spent over €103m renting property from Nama-hit developers, beef barons, business tycoons, banks and even religious organisations last year.

Property tycoons like Liam Carroll and John Byrne are just some of the names which remain on the list despite many of their companies going into receivership in recent years.

The figures, released by the Office of Public Works show the total state rental bill on 523 leases comes to over €103m. This figure has fallen substantially in recent years from €156m in 2009 and €129m in 2010.

Meat baron Larry Goodman is one of the State’s biggest landlords raking in over €6.8m on eight leases. The bulk of it comes from renting the Setanta Centre on Dublin’s Nassau St, with the remainder through his companies Halfpipe and Hazeldale. Some of his tenants include the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Justice, the Oireachtas and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

While Treasury Holdings, which is now gone into liquidation, is not included in the OPW list, the NTMA pays it €900,000 in rent every year for use of the Treasury building, which is home to Nama.

It has emerged that a number of former Treasury Holdings’ executives, including John Bruder and Niall O’Buachalla, have formed a new company called Burlington Real Estate to manage a number of Treasury Holdings properties, including Bank of Ireland headquarters, Central Park/Leopardstown and the Stillorgan Shopping Centre.

According to the OPW figures, Liam Carroll and his wife Róisín are also taking in seven figure sums by renting to the State. The couple currently earn over €3.35m on four leases in Upper Abbey St to the Public Appointments Service and the Department of Justice

At one point Mr Carroll had been earning a total of almost €8m on 17 leases.

Another long-time landlord to the State is property developer John Byrne. His company Dublin City Estates nets over €1.08m renting to the Department of Social Protection, Fás and the Revenue Commissioners.

Another one of his companies Alstead Securities takes in over €3.3m for two leases on Parnell Square, renting to the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Enterprise.

Businessman and ESB chairman Lochlann Quinn is another landlord to the State, taking in €1.74m a year renting to the Revenue Commissioners in Lower Mount St in Dublin.

Perhaps the biggest earner on the list is Irish Life Assurance which rakes in over €9m renting to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Education.

Cork’s Gandon Property Ltd, owned by Darragh Harte and Gerard Wycherly, takes in just over €1m on three leases to the Department of Social Protection on Amien St in Dublin.

Other landlords include Ryanair which takes in €365,000 and the Knights of Columbanus who earn over of €711,000 for a property it rents to the Department of Arts in Ely Place in Dublin.

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