Bloomberg News

Irish 247-Acre Estate Where Premier Hosted Qaddafi for Sale

May 10, 2012

The estate, called Abbeville, includes a 14-bedroom mansion dating to the mid 1700s. Photographer: Denis Bergin/Savills Ireland via Bloomberg

The estate, called Abbeville, includes a 14-bedroom mansion dating to the mid 1700s. Photographer: Denis Bergin/Savills Ireland via Bloomberg

The 247-acre (100-hectare) country estate where former Irish Premier Charles Haughey entertained Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti is on sale for 7.5 million euros ($9.7 million).

Haughey, who died in 2006, also hosted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Abbeville estate, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of Dublin, according to Savills Plc (SVS), which is managing the sale. Haughey bought the estate in 1969 when he was finance minister. It was sold in 2003 to Manor Park Homes for 45 million euros, the Irish Times reported.

Irish real estate prices, which have fallen about 55 percent from their peak in 2007, may fall for two to three more years and lose as much as 70 percent of their value, Danske Bank said today. The lender expects to reduce its 8.45 billion-euro loan portfolio in the country by half, Jesper Nielsen, the deputy chief executive officer of the bank’s Irish unit, said in an interview today.

Haughey, a four-time prime minister, led a “conspicuously lavish lifestyle” on relatively modest earnings, according to a 2006 tribunal convened to investigate his finances that finished after his death. Haughey received more than 11 million euros over two decades from benefactors and businessmen, the tribunal concluded.

Abbeville includes a 14-bedroom mansion dating from the mid-1700s. It has six reception rooms and 14,600 square feet (1,356 square meters) of space over four floors. The property is being sold on the instructions of Tom Kavanagh, receiver for Manor Park Homes, according to Savills. Manor Park went into receivership in 2011.

The estate also has 23 stables, an indoor equestrian arena, two cottages and an outdoor swimming pool. Planning permission has previously been secured for the development of a leisure resort including an 18-hole golf course, a hotel and luxury homes on the property, Savills said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Finbarr Flynn in Dublin at fflynn3@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Lytle at dlytle@bloomberg.net


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