McManus homes keeping builders afloat

JP McManus and his family are helping many building workers get through the construction slump.

As work on his €100 million mansion at Martinstown Stud has just been completed, his daughter Sue Ann and husband Cian Foley are embarking on a huge renovation of the Islanmore Stud mansion in Croom which they acquired last year.

A planning application lodged with Limerick County Council by the couple, who were married in July 2007, sets out a massive redevelopment of the main house at Islanmore. The plan includes the development of four bedroom suites with dressing rooms and en suite bathrooms at the first floor, in a special guest wing which they plan to add to the building.

Staff will be given their own apartments at the east and north courtyard blocks.

In an effort to retain the original Georgian style of the mansion, internal refurbishment works will be carried out on all rooms and will include the reinstatement of original features.

The project will see the partial demolition of the east wing of the residence. A glazed gallery will also be added with the building of a two storey courtyard extension.

The Foleys are also planning to install a lift from the lower ground floor to the first floor and a new entrance is also being built at the west facade. A new driveway will be developed from the main gates.

Islanmore is set in 400 acres and the mansion was built in 1794 for a son of the Earl of Dunraven who used it as a hunting and fishing lodge. One of the best fisheries on the River Maigue runs through the estate.

Tony Tarry took over the estate in 1963 and turned it into a stud farm. Mr Tarry, a vet, was a stewart of the Turf Club for many years. The Tarry family developed spectacular gardens set in three acres of manicured lawns and were open to the public by appointment.

JP and Noreen McManus recently moved into their new mansion home at Martinstown. It covers 40,000 sq ft and features a 200-seat cinema, gym with 18-metre pool, sauna, steam room and hot tubs.

The mansion also contains a ‘panic room’ which can be used in the event of a security alert.

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