Sunday 23 July 2017

Trust for Desmond's children pays €14.25m for Walford - the house that once sold for €58m

Walford on Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Walford on Dublin’s Shrewsbury Road. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

A trust established by financier Dermot Desmond for the benefit of his children paid €14.25m to acquire Walford, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The price paid by Mr Desmond's Celtic Trustees represents an increase of just €250,000 on the €14m the Shrewsbury Road mansion's most-recent owners, Yesreb Holdings, had paid to secure its ownership in December 2013.

The €14.25m price tag also amounts to a fraction of the €58m developer Sean Dunne paid to acquire the property in trust for his wife, Gayle Killilea, in 2005, in a deal which saw Walford earn the title of "Ireland's most-expensive house".

While it is understood the Desmond family trust's purchase of Walford was completed in early December, the matter has since been complicated as a result of Mr Dunne's ongoing dispute with the official handling his bankruptcy.

As part of his investigation into Mr Dunne's financial affairs, the official assignee, Chris Lehane, has raised questions over the ownership of Walford's previous owners, the Cypriot-registered Yesreb Holdings.

Mr Lehane told the High Court it was necessary to establish who the current beneficial owner of Walford is, and on what basis the claim is being made".

A 2014 photo shows the interior in a dilapidated state
A 2014 photo shows the interior in a dilapidated state

Mr Dunne has strongly denied having any involvement in the house's ownership. In a replying affidavit to the High Court, he said: "I am not, or was not ever the legal beneficial owner of Walford."

Clearly determined that Mr Lehane's investigations into the developer's affairs will have no impact on their acquisition of Walford, Mr Desmond and his children Brett, Ross, Derry and Zoe and Celtic Trustees commenced High Court proceedings against the official assignee last Monday.

Dermot Desmond. Photo: Tom Burke
Dermot Desmond. Photo: Tom Burke
Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea. Photo: Edmund Ross
Sean Dunne and Gayle Killilea. Photo: Edmund Ross

Irish Independent

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