Green light for Dromoland Castle upgrade

An Bord Pleanála has given the green light for a piece of the €16m upgrade of the five-star Dromoland Castle in Co Clare.

The appeals board has given the luxury hotel planning permission for a new water supply in spite of opposition to the plan from neighbour and chief of the O’Brien clan, Lord Inchiquin aka Conor O’Brien.

Yesterday, Mark Nolan, general manager at Dromoland, welcomed the decision. “We are delighted with the decision. It is a vital piece of the major refurbishment going on here right now,” he said.

Mr Nolan said that there has never been the scale of investment in five-star hotels in Ireland as there is now “and we believe the €16m being spent is money well spent” with the hotel being restored “to its former glory”. The outlook for business this year was “very promising”, he said.

The Inchiquins sold Dromoland Castle in 1962 and today live in Thomond House on adjoining lands.

In his appeal against the Clare County Council decision to grant planning for the water supply, Lord Inchiquin told An Bord Pleanála his estate would be substantially devalued as a result of conditions imposed by the council.

Lord Inchiquin stated in his appeal that the conditions attached to the permission for the Dromoland water plan “would cause the sterilisation of my farmland”. The board’s inspector in the case stated that he did not consider the proposed development would have any impact on residential amenity.

In 2012, the High Court refused an application from Lord Inchiquin that Dromoland Castle return to him 37 paintings valued at €1.4m.


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