THE birthplace of the GAA has been sold at auction for €650,000.
After what was a nail-biting 10-minute auction in the capital, Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, was sold to an anonymous buyer for well above its price tag of €500,000.
The solicitor who placed the winning bid on the iconic 30 bedroom property, where the GAA was founded in 1884, said that she was acting on behalf of the new owners who wished to remain anonymous for the time being. But he hinted that they may be natives of the Premier county.
At least six interested purchasers competed in the most heated bidding war of the day, but it was Tipperary man Martin Healy who had the most sentimental reason for being interested in the hotel.
"My grandfather scored the only goal in the very first All-Ireland Final that won it for Tipperary. I reckon it is in safe hands, I am delighted and I wish him the best of luck," Mr Healy said afterwards.
The property was one of 194 lots which were sold in Allsop Space's biggest ever auction.
Bargain hunters - including former presidential candidate Sean Gallagher - filled the hall from early morning.
It is understood that at least 1,500 people descended upon the RDS throughout the day. As well as an additional 4,000 people who joined in on the proceedings online. The auctioneers said that €54.5m worth of sales were made throughout the day, with investors and bargain hunters coming out as the real winners.
Six large residential complexes were sold in Dublin for a combined total of €12.3m.
Complexes in Lucan and Malahide, with a total of 50 apartments and town houses, went under the hammer for a combined total of €8.6m.
Meanwhile, a small Clondalkin complex containing five apartments and a small detached bungalow was snapped up for just ���415,000.
Amongst the most expensive lots to be sold from outside the capital was a complex in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, which contained 37 residential units, and was sold for €1.925m - almost double its reserve of €1m.
Duvillaun Beg Island off the coast of Belmullet Co Mayo was undoubtedly the most unusual lot up for auction yesterday, and it was sold for €105,000.
An agent acting on behalf of the purchaser refused to reveal their identity, apart to confirm that they were European.
A number of properties failed to reach their reserve price and went unsold, while a number of bargain hunters managed to snatch homes at prices not much higher than their minimum reserve.
Among the happy new home owners was 19-year-old Rui Lin. The Chinese teenager was joined by family members on the day as they purchased a two-bedroom apartment in Bray for €165,000.
Mr Lin revealed that this was their first residential purchase here in Ireland, adding: "I think it is getting better, and I think we got a good price."
Some of the other deals which were snapped up on the day included a three-bedroom mid-terrace house in the south Dublin suburb of Stillorgan, which went under the hammer for €325,000.
Elsewhere a semi-detached four bedroom house in Enfield, Co Meath was sold for €145,000 - just €30,000 above its reserve.
Robert Hoban, director of auctions at Allsop Space, said that he was "thrilled" as the sales were a "distinctly non-distressed set of properties".
"We hope that the corner turned by this auction is a reflection of the market as a whole," he added.