Haughey’s 250-acre palatial pad to be sold to highest bidder

It was once the home of the rich and (in)famous.

But if you still have enough cash after a generation of questionable financial and political practices, the seeds of which some say were sown in the Haughey era, then it could be just the place for you.

Estate agent Savills has confirmed that Abbeville, formerly the grandiose 250-acre palatial pad of Charlie Haughey, will shortly go on sale to the highest bidder.

Details of the likely price, the exact date when it will become available to potential suitors and whether it will be sold by private treaty, auction or public tender have not been revealed.

However, for those just keen to see what a life of excess looks like, the chance to take a glimpse inside a location some would describe as the ground zero of Ireland’s current economic malaise may be too good an opportunity to pass up.

Ironically for such an historic property, Abbeville’s recent exploits have more than a passing resemblance to the wider problems which have hit this country since the bubble burst and our eyes were opened to reality.

The house and surrounding land and stud farm, in Kinsealy, north Dublin, was sold by the Haugheys in 2003 at a time when the former Fianna Fáil figure was facing a €5 million revenue settlement.

In the hands of its new owner, Joe Moran’s Manor Park Homes, plans were put in place for a golf course, 70-bedroom hotel, villas and townhouses complex — everything a Celtic Cub would need.

Except, of course, real financial security.

While the plans were given the green light, instead of speeding ahead the deal soon crashed, with Manor Park Homes going into receivership after Bank of Scotland Ireland sought to recover debts owed to it.

Receiver Tom Kavanagh was then appointed to oversee how these funds could be recovered, with estate agent Savills selected to deliver Abbeville into the hands of new, and presumably rich, owners.

Just like almost every property in today’s Ireland, Abbeville has also been the victim of a substantial drop in value — from €45m at the height of the boom to a reported €5m-10m in the bottom of the bust.

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