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Independent.ie

Monday 5 December 2016

Golf course may revert to farmland

Farmers and golfing interests are in the market for Rathsallagh Golf and Country Club

Jim O'Brien

Published 08/07/2015 | 02:30

Rathsallagh Golf and Country Club, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow
Rathsallagh Golf and Country Club, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow

The sale of golf courses was a feature of the land property market at the depths of the recession in 2011 and 2012. However, these sales seem to have abated amid an economic recovery so it is somewhat surprising to find a 273ac golf course within striking distance of the capital in scenic west Wicklow on the market.

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The property at Rathsallagh, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow is to be sold by private treaty with a guide price of €1.35m or €5,000/ac. There is considerable interest from both golfing concerns and farmers in the land which is suitable for dairying and tillage.

According to Paddy Jordan of Jordan Auctioneers, joint agents for the sale along with Lisneys, the golf course was sold last year at tender but the sale did not proceed and as a result the property has now returned to the market.

It is important to note that the neighbouring Rathsallagh House Hotel, on circa 260 acres of land, owned by the O'Flynn family is not for sale and is not affected in any way by the sale of the golf course.

The club and its lands are located 2.5km from the M9, 3km south of Dunlavin village, 15km from Naas, 20km from Carlow and 48km south west of Dublin city centre.

Designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr and Peter McEvoy, it was rated for a time as one of the top courses in Ireland.

Officially opened in 1995 by the legendary Australian golfer Peter Thomson, the property includes a clubhouse of approximately 1,050sqm.

The lands have a separate main entrance, two additional gateways and are also accessed through two shared entrances. The adjoining Rathsallagh House Hotel is accessed by various rights of way over the property.

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While the golf course has not been fully maintained since February 2015, the infrastructure remains in place.

Fertile

There is also considerable agricultural interest in the property from farmers indicating they may bid for the entire. Mr Jordan said several golf investors have shown interest.

Mr Jordan is not surprised that the property is of interest to farmers containing as it does a substantial quantity of high quality and fertile lands suited to both dairy and tillage purposes.

Turning a golf course back into farmland can be an expensive undertaking. However, at a guide of €5,000/ac it might prove viable.

Converting the clubhouse to a milking parlour could be a tall order but a designer's eye and a farmer's instinct for the possible could see a state-of-the-art dairy unit take shape.

"The former golf course may well also continue to be used for that purpose," said auctioneer Mr Jordan.

"However, it has to be attractive to farmers. It is a big block of land that is well sheltered and located in a good farming area."

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