Q A great-grandmother has donated the proceeds of her property sale to a children's charity.
Catherine Harold, a self-made businesswoman who spent most of her life in the UK working as a developer, put her patch of land of 0.675 acres at Kiltegan in Co Wicklow on offer with a reserve of €10,000, with the stipulation that the proceeds be donated to LauraLynn, Ireland's only hospice for children.
Dublin-born Catherine Harold fled poverty-stricken Ireland in the 1950s with her husband to start a new life in the UK. There they started a family and a business but always intended returning home to Ireland. In 1972, she bought a scenic site in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.
"I wanted the land for my two young daughters," said Catherine.
Her daughter Caroline recalled that each year as small children they made the trip to Ireland and took the pilgrimage to see where "they'd build our houses when we grew up".
"But we're settled now in the UK – I live in London," she said.
While Catherine is now back living in Dublin, she decided to sell the site for charity.
"My husband passed away in a hospice, where they did so much for him. The LauraLynn organisation runs Ireland's only children's hospice, so we could not think of a better cause than that."
The property was sold to self-employed north Dublin-based gas boiler serviceman Anthony Murphy for €13,000 who, by coincidence, has also bought it for his daughters, who are aged 10, 6 and 4.
The 29-year-old Cabra man said: "When I saw the bidding was at ten grand, I said, 'I'll have a go'. If I was going to buy something, I decided that I'd rather the proceeds go to a charity rather than go to a bank."
Also among the successful buyers were food and restaurant businessman Lingning Lin and his wife Xiao Ling Chen, both originally from the south of China, who acquired a landmark three storey Victorian building at Wyvern Street in Bray, Co Wicklow. The young couple, who have been resident in Ireland for the last 13 years, bought the 5,000 sq ft building at its reserve price of just €240,000.
"We were delighted with the price, now we have a headquarters for the food and restaurant business we have been growing," said Mr Lin (32).