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Runaway developer’s €6m home for sale at €3.5m

The former Kinsale home of runaway property developer Greg Coughlan, of Howard Holdings, is being sold by his wife Anne with a €3.5m-plus price tag.

The modern mini-mansion Fastnet House, with swimming pool overlooking Kinsale harbour at Arbrack, cost about e6m to build, but was vacated by the Coughlans after commercial court orders totalling more than e60m were served against three Howard Holdings directors in 2010.

Greg Coughlan failed to comply with a court order to disclose his assets and fled the country.

He is understood to have been living since in Portugal and in London.

Largely funded by Anglo Irish Bank, Howard Holdings at one stage claimed to have developments in train of over e2bn, including projects for the London Olympics, and proposed a e1bn scheme called Atlantic Quarter for Cork’s docklands.

Howard Holdings, headed by Mr Coughlan, completed the €100m City Quarter development in Cork City, and Mr Coughlan subsequently used the same team of architects Scott Tallon Walker, and builders PJ Hegarty & Sons, to build the couple’s dream Kinsale home.

Reckoned to be the most expensive house built in the chic Cork town, it is on several sloping acres with harbour and River Bandon views, is fully air-conditioned, has four bedrooms, a hotel-quality 15m pool, gym, and hot tub plus ice-plunge pool, and comes with a sedum grass roof.

It replaced a 1970s 2,500sq ft house called Umera, bought for about €750,000 and then flattened. The couple subsequently added more land to the private site, bringing it up to four acres, and sank over €1m into ground and site works before building their cool-looking and heavily-glazed home.

When contacted last night, a spokesperson for estate agents Cohalan Downing confirmed they had been instructed by the house’s owner, Anne Coughlan, to publicly put it up for sale for over €3.5m.

Fastnet House has been rented out for holiday home use in the past 18 months, and is expected to sell to overseas buyers rather than locals.

A Victorian waterfront home nearby in Summercove last year sold for about €2m, and last month a London buyer with Irish roots paid close to €4m for the pristine period home Seamark House in Glandore, West Cork.

As Fastnet House comes up for sale, one of its more novel touches is a motorised awning for the BBQ patio which extends in damp weather and retracts in high winds — though it’s a fair bet that when it was built, nobody saw the subsequent maelstrom coming.