The mystery buyer of Charles Haughey’s mansion wants to restore the 18th-century palatial spread to its former glory.
Estate agents Sherry Fitzgerald last night confirmed the sale of Abbeville and said its new owner wants to do up the north Dublin residence.
The former estate of Mr Haughey and his family was bought by an individual, thought to be an overseas investor. This would fit the pattern of international buyers purchasing Irish country homes at a time when prices are attractive.
Mystery buyer snaps up all 250 acres with purchase of former mansion of Taoiseach Charles Haughey.Abbeville deal close to sale price of €5m— Juno McEnroe (@Junomaco) November 11, 2013
Asked about the sale, which took place last Friday, a Sherry FitzGerald spokeswoman said: “It’s an individual, not a company. Discussions had been ongoing for a while. It has been badly in need of restoration. The home is in need of love and attention and has been unoccupied for some time.
“The buyer wants to remain anonymous but does intend to restore Abbeville to its former glory.”
The estate was being offered on the market at a reduced price of €3m with just 80 acres. But the buyer bought all 250 acres with the 14-bed mansion for around €5.5m, industry sources last night.
The estate agents said there was no indication yet whether the buyer would live in Abbeville.
Haughey, who died in 2006, bought the estate in 1969. Cork firm Manor Park Home Builders then paid €45m for the Kinsealy mansion and surrounding land in 2003. The Haughey family continued to live in the property up until the former taoiseach’s death.
There were plans to redevelop the lands and home into a hotel and golf course after Manor Park went into receivership. However, those plans never took off and the planning permission granted by Fingal County Council expired in 2011.
The Haugheys entertained various notable people in Abbeville including Margaret Thatcher, Luciano Pavarotti, and Colonel Gadaffi. Cabinet meetings were also held in the house.
The site includes tillage farmland, woodland, gardens, enclosed paddocks, and lakes.
Research released in May about the stately home revealed that a General Richard Montgomery, a friend of George Washington and a martyr of the American Revolution, was born and raised at Abbeville.
Sherry FitzGerald will today make a formal announcement on the sale.
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