independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Busted developer's house hits market for €500,000

PALLADIAN MANSION: Alan Hanly’s house near Strokestown

ROSCOMMON developer Alan Hanly's Laragan Developments crashed and burned in 2009, leaving its creditors across the country out of pocket to the tune of €146m.

But it seems to have taken until now for Mr Hanly to have come to terms with the 'new reality' Nama chairman Frank Daly bangs on about whenever he's called to task about the lavish lifestyles of busted builders.

Having sat stubbornly on the Strokestown landscape for nearly four years, the Laragan chief's Palladian-style mansion has finally been put on the market for the knockdown price of €500,000.

Described by its selling agents, Earley Property Partners, "as a truly exceptional six-bedroom residence located in a select countryside area", Mr Hanly's unfinished dream home covers a floor area of 8,084 sq ft and comes with its own swimming pool and five-bay detached car garage.

And while both the pool and the garage have yet to be finished off, the agent's description of the house itself is sure to attract plenty of interest from potential buyers.

It will almost certainly incense the developer's many creditors to be told that the house, which is surrounded by 13.75 acres of land, is "a once in a lifetime property with no expense having been spared on the finish".

It is a "residence of magnificent stature incorporating top quality architectural design for superior daily living", the agent adds.

Looking at what had been envisaged in the original planning application for Mr Hanly's gaudy palatial pile provides a telling example of just how carried away some of Ireland's former elite became during the boom. Indeed, in the case of Mr Hanly, it would seem he had come to develop the kind of notions that wouldn't have been too far out of place at the original Strokestown House, the famous Palladian mansion where successive generations of the Mahon family lived from after the Cromwellian wars up until its sale at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1979.

Submitting their application to Roscommon County Council, the Hanlys' planning consultants outlined in fawning terms their client's importance to the people of Strokestown, saying: "Mr Hanly and his family are key players in the local rural economy, with their family businesses employing 300 persons, and active, members of the rural community. He needs to live in close proximity to his place of work. It is the council's policy to support the rural economy, and as a corollary, it must be the council's policy to facilitate one of the area's significant employers in living close to his business."

While the proposed sale of the Hanly mansion will no doubt prove to be of some consolation to the Laragan chief's many trade creditors and to the numerous individuals who put down deposits of between €15,000 and €20,000 on apartments at Milner's Square in Santry and at Carrickmines, whatever proceeds there are will barely serve to put a dent in his company's overall indebtedness.

According to the Statement of Assets and Liabilities drawn up by Laragan Developments in 2010, the company's total deficit was estimated at a massive €146.9m.

Irish Independent

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