PUNTERS who wish to attend the next Allsop Space auctions of ' monster' properties will be charged a €200 deposit to gain entry.
The fee will be to “control and manage the numbers” according to organisers – and comes after the last auction in July was cancelled due to large protests.
“As each auction came along, demand grew and the attendees grew in number,” said Allsop Space director of auctions, Robert Hoban. “There were some disturbances last time so it made sense to introduce these charges.
“Our preference is that genuine bidders make up the majority of the attendee numbers.”
Heated and dramatic protests stopped the Allsop property sale at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin last July.
A handful of protesters - many of whom have lost their homes in the downturn - shouted "Ireland is not for sale" and told the auctioneers to "go home".
After singing the national anthem, the protesters told the crowd that the auctioneers had left the premises "out the back door."
There were cheers following a brief statement when a spokesperson for the hotel said: "Ladies and gentlemen I'm afraid we're going to have to cancel today's auction."
The gardai were called to the protest.
Now the auctioneer is to offer 115 properties at the RDS in Dublin next Tuesday.
But punters wishing to gain entry to the event must pay a ‘refundable’ deposit of €200.
“We have to control and manage the numbers and this is why the refundable fee was introduced,” said Mr Hoban.
“It’s bringing the auction more in line with other auctions. You would pay €500 at a car auction so it’s understandable that we have introduced a charge,” he continued.
However, €15 of the charge will not be refundable – being described as an administration charge
Mr Hoban explains that this fee is purely to cover the processing administration costs, online credit card charges and auction catalogues which will be given to attendees on the day. “We are making no profits from this charge,” he insists, adding that he doesn’t believe the public will be put off.
“Those with just a passing curiosity may be put off by the registration charge but we have already experienced high pre-registration numbers since the site went live last week. The numbers registering are going up all the time,” he said.
Residential properties include a four-bedroom house on Phoenix Hill in Dublin 8 with a reserve of €350,000; a mid-terrace house with sea views in Blackrock, Co. Dublin with a reserve of €250,000; and an entire residential estate of 14 houses in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, with a reserve of €400,000.
Investment properties up for auction include the 24-bedroom Grant’s Hotel, in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, which has a reserve range of € 350,000 - € 400,000; the 46-bedroom Hilamar Hotel in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath, which has a reserve range of between € 285,000 - € 325,000; and the Friary Pharmacy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, which has a reserve of €200,000.
Allsop Space has also reaffirmed its pledge not to offer for sale any repossessed family homes at this or any future auction.