Monday 20 October 2014

From Bill to bust - Gannon's dream turned to nightmare

Sarah Stack

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

Former President of the United States Bill Clinton

A PHOTOGRAPH of former US President Bill Clinton with property developer Gerry Gannon and wife Margaret once hung proudly on the wall of their aptly named White House Hotel in Ballinlough, Co Roscommon.

It was a sign of the times and a dream of things that would never come.

This week the 19-bedroom property – said to have cost Gannon more than €2m in renovations alone – was withdrawn from auction when it failed to reach its reserve of €150,000. Negotiations are ongoing for an offer of just €135,000, despite only needing "a good clean" to get it back open.

The Gannons, who hail from the locality, had high hopes their US friend would officially open their next venture. They had planned to transform a convent snapped up for €2m into a hotel that would compete with some of Ireland's most luxurious resorts. "It was a dream that didn't happen," said auctioneer John Early of Property Partners.

The landmark building, which sits on a 20-acre site on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Loughglynn in Co Roscommon, also went under the hammer with a €150,000 reserve in recent days. It fetched €140,000.

The properties were both sold by Gannon with Nama's agreement.

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