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Palmerstown House sits on 4.5 square kilometres of surrounding lands including a championship golf course. Phil Inglis/Getty Images)
Palmerstown House sits on 4.5 square kilometres of surrounding lands including a championship golf course. Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

Gem of a property in the Emerald Isle

The Life: Ireland was one of the first countries hit by the crisis in the euro zone and today property prices are down by as much as half their 2007 levels.
This has not escaped bargain hunters.

Ireland was one of the first countries hit by the crisis in the euro zone and today property prices are down by as much as half their 2007 levels.

This has not escaped bargain hunters, who are sizing up some historic homes in the Emerald Isle at a snip of the price they would have fetched a few years ago.

Built in 1872 by the sixth earl of Mayo, Palmerstown House in Johnstown, County Kildare is being sold by the receivers KPMG for offers in excess of 12 million (Dh55.3m).

The Victorian neo-Palladian manor house sits on 4.5 square kilometres of surrounding lands including a championship golf course and a former world renown stud farm - and it's only 25km from Ireland's capital city Dublin.

The upmarket London estate agents Knight Frank is marketing the 15-bedroom mansion with a specific eye to the Middle East market."Kildare is the heart of the horse-racing world in Europe," says the selling agent Alasdair Pritchard. "So far we have received quite a lot of interest from potential Arab buyers hoping to buy what was one of the most famous stud farms in Ireland. We have had more than 20 viewings from both companies and high net worth individuals." But potential buyers should perhaps be aware the 2,350 sq metre pile complete with billiards room, grand hall, galleried landing and games room, has a somewhat chequered history.

The house was built by Richard Southwell Bourke, a former chief secretary of Ireland and viceroy and governor general of India who was assassinated on the Andaman Islands before he could even move in, leaving his son Dermot Robert Wyndham Bourke, the seventh Earl of Mayo and one of Ireland's first senators, to take up residence. Fifty years later the house was razed to the ground during the Irish Civil War.

After being restored by the Irish state, in the 1950s Palmerstown became home to the US statesman and writer William Christian Bullitt, popularly known as "The champagne ambassador" before being taken on in the 1960s by his daughter Anna, who turned it into one of Ireland's foremost stud farms.

In 1999, the Irish entrepreneur Jim Mansfield bought and restored the estate and developed the grounds into a PGA championship golf course. The estate was taken into receivership by KPMG last year after Mr Mansfield's property development company got into financial difficulties.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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