Sunday 25 June 2017

Westport House sold to local business dynasty

Sheelyn Browne’s family reluctantly agreed to the sale of Westport House, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
Sheelyn Browne’s family reluctantly agreed to the sale of Westport House, Co Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

Denise Clarke

The new owners of Westport House have pledged to invest €50m in the estate and create 200 jobs.

Westport House has been sold to local business family Hughes, who own Hotel Westport. Ganly Walters oversaw the sale of the 10-bedroom property. It was on the market for €10m, making it the nation's second most expensive country home for sale this year.

The Browne family, who have owned the house for centuries, "reluctantly" agreed to the sale in February last year.

The estate administrators recently agreed the terms of the sale of the estate and house to Hotel Westport.

"This is an emotional day for our family. On the one hand, we are handing over custody of our ancestral family home after hundreds of years but we are doing so in the knowledge that the new owners are committed to bringing to fruition the ambitions and dreams of our late and much loved father Jeremy Browne," Sheelyn Browne said. "We are indebted to the estate administrators Con Casey and Dermot Furey for their unrelenting efforts to secure the future of the estate."

The Hughes family's business dynasty also includes the Portwest outerwear firm. Cathal Hughes, the chairman of Hotel Westport, said: "On behalf of the Hughes family I want to wish the Browne family every success in the future and I look forward to liaising with them as we develop our plans over the next few years.

"I want to assure all the existing staff, suppliers and customers that we will continue to operate as normal under the new ownership."

Regional Economic Development Minister Michael Ring said: "I am delighted that the future of Westport House and estate has been secured and there is a purchaser who is going to invest further in the jewel of the tourism offering in the west of Ireland."

Irish Independent

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