Sarah Newman finding moving on 'cathartic' after swapping mansion for cosy house
Published 09/12/2012 | 05:00
Businesswoman and former dragon on RTE's Dragons' Den Sarah Newman has sold her Monkstown mansion and moved into a rented house.
Ms Newman, who once featured on Ireland's rich list with a fortune of €35m, has urged people not to fear 'downsizing' after selling the home she once shared with her estranged partner, former Kilkenny hurling star DJ Carey.
The former dot com millionaire was speaking just a week after she moved from her renovated Georgian house in Monkstown, Co Dublin, which she and Carey renovated at the height of the boom.
"I have moved to a smaller house, but that was my choice and my children's choice. I wanted to be in a cosy family home. And once you let go of the emotion of saying 'moving house is the most traumatic thing', actually, it doesn't have to be.
"I feel relief, I feel free, I feel happy. It's genuinely a really positive thing," she said.
Although admitting the last few months have been "tough", she described the moving on process as "cathartic".
"It can be really, really positive when you clear out all the old clutter. My kids and I gave so many books and clothes and things they have outgrown to really worthy causes."
Giving advice to people struggling with the idea of downsizing home as they face into the new year, she urged: "At the end of the day, if you can detach from, well obviously, the amount of money you have invested in a property, the amount of memories that you have, then you bring those memories with you and put your photographs around you – and your children – and that's all that matters.
"Your health, your children, your family and friends – nothing else matters.
"The first day we moved into our new home I thought it would upset me – but I haven't stopped smiling since.
"So my advice to people is to just let go of the drama because moving can be one of the best things you have ever done, not one of the worst."
She added: "I don't want a big house with big things in it. I want a small, cosy home that I can be happy and comfortable in and that's what I have and nothing else matters. I couldn't give a toss what anybody else thinks.
"I have really changed over the past number of months, I really know who I am now. And all that matters is my Grace and my Patrick."
It's been a difficult year for the mother of two, who was due to marry Carey last summer.
Carey moved out of their Monkstown property and is living in one of the couple's houses which is located on the grounds of the K Club.
Last Christmas it emerged that the luxury Swiss chalet owned by Ms Newman and named after her daughter had also been sold.
Chalet Grace, a 450sqm property in the alpine ski resort of Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, has accommodation for 14 people, a cinema, a wellness centre and a games room.
The speculation in property turned out to be a major setback for the former Dragons' Den star who seemed blessed with a Midas touch for business.
She moved to Ireland in 1994 to found Needa-hotel.com, which she sold to multinational Cendant in 2006 for an undisclosed figure, believed to be in the region of €50m – including a cash payment of some €30m.
It was reported in May 2011 that Newman and Carey consented at the Commercial Court to a judgment of more than €9.5m against them in favour of AIB Bank, arising from loans and guarantees of each others liabilities.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted judgment against Carey arising from an April 2007 mortgage loan of €7.85m advanced in the context of a wider commercial transaction involving him and associated businesses to refinance existing debt due to Irish Nationwide Building Society and to release equity on properties held by him and Ms Newman.