Adare Manor up for sale

One of the jewels of Irish tourism, the Adare Manor and Golf Resort, is being put up for sale tomorrow.

Adare Manor up for sale

The vendors will seek first- round offers and these will be examined to decide which will be further pursued.

A senior financial source told the Irish Examiner: “Offers deemed to be serious will be whittled down and the property will be sold to the highest bidder at the end of the process.”

It is believed the property, which stands on over 400 acres, is valued in the region of €30m. The five-star resort includes a championship golf course and a hotel in the old manor house which has hosted heads of state including former US president Bill Clinton.

It was voted the top resort in Europe by an international celebrity magazine. At the height of the property boom in 2005, a one-acre site on the property with planning permission, sold for a record €900,000.

Adare Manor, the ancestral home of the Dunraven family, was sold to US investment banker Tom Kane in 1987. In recent years, it has encountered difficult trading conditions.

Mr Kane, 74, a former US marine fighter pilot, bought Adare Manor as a fun investment. In an interview with this journalist, he recalled: “In 1966, I came out of the marine corps and went to work in Wall St and after six years I started my own firm, Printon Kane & Company.

“We made our first trip to Ireland in 1985 as part of the underwriting for Ashford Castle. We were involved in the syndication of Dromoland Castle in 1986.

“On December 13, 1987, a friend of mine, the late John Connor, told me about Adare Manor which had been put on the market by Earl Thady Dunraven. On a lark within 40 minutes, I put in a bid of £2m and the following day, I was told I was the proud owner. For that, I got the manor and 847 acres. I hadn’t seen it. I hadn’t even seen a picture of it.”

Two weeks later, he met legendary golf course designer Robert Trent Jones and he indicated he would like to design a golf course for the manor.

Mr Kane said: “Trent Jones knew Adare as he had stayed in the Dunraven Arms when he was over designing the Cashen Course in Ballybunion.”

Adare Manor opened for business on July 15, 1988, with 15 rooms. Additional rooms were completed by September of that year when the then taoiseach Charlie Haughey performed the official opening at a gala night.

A wing with 36 rooms was built in 1988/89, increasing the accommodation to 63 suites and rooms.

Work on the golf course started in 1990 and was completed in 1995. A clubhouse and 25 town houses were built in 1998 and luxury multimillion- euro private houses were built and sold during the Celtic Tiger days.

Mr Kane said the manor — with its top-class golf course — was ‘a rounded complete product’ where people could stay and play golf in luxury.

Since it opened it’s doors, VIP guests include President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary and many other heads of state.

Golfers who stayed there during the JP McManus golf classics include Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, and other major winners.

During his years in Adare, Mr Kane was a staunch supporter of Shannon. He said in an interview in 2000: “I cannot emphasise, even today, how strongly that the position of the viability of Shannon is absolutely critical to the success of a property like Adare Manor and all the other tourism resorts along the West of Ireland.

“If you haven’t easy access people won’t come here. If Shannon were to go the way of Prestwick in Scotland, the hospitality sector all along the West of Ireland wold suffer irreparable damage.”

Mr Kane and his wife Judy lived and managed the manor for many years assisted by their daughters Linda and Diane.

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