Thursday 19 September 2019

Killeen Castle to join ranks of Ireland's luxurious hotels

Brittany Lincicome of the USA hits an approach shot on day one of the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle Golf Club
Brittany Lincicome of the USA hits an approach shot on day one of the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle Golf Club

RONALD QUINLAN Commercial Property Editor

Killeen Castle looks set to be counted among Ireland's most luxurious hotels following the submission last week of plans for the development at the historic property to Meath County Council.

Developer Joe O'Reilly has sought permission for a 177-bedroom hotel set out across a new build element and within the castle.

While the new structure would accommodate 160 of the hotel's rooms, O'Reilly is seeking permission for a change of use inside the castle to allow for 17 suites, as well bar and dining facilities.

The 'new build' section of the scheme is also to include a day spa and swimming pool, a winter garden restaurant, function room and pre-function area.

Recognising the castle's status as a protected structure, the Chartered Land chief's company, Sasula, is seeking permission to reinstate a number of ground floor principal rooms which were either lost or damaged in 1981 in a fire.

This work would see the conservation, repair and restoration of these rooms.

Interestingly, the application also makes provision for the protection of the bat roost on the castle's roof, and for permission to retain an opening in the gable of the adjoining Rose Cottage, to allow for bats to use its roof space as a roost.

All told, the proposed hotel development is expected to extend over an area of 15,152 sq m (163,094 sq ft) once the new build element and existing castle are combined.

The proposed hotel is set to complement the existing offering at Killeen Castle Golf Club.

The club's Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course famously played host in 2011 to the 12th Solheim Cup.

The event saw competition between teams drawn from 12 of the leading female professional golfers in the United States and Europe.

The history of Killeen Castle dates back over 800 years to 1181, when it was built by Hugh de Lacy as part of the strategic castle defence system for north Leinster.

From 1403 until the 1950s, the castle served as the seat of the Plunkett family, Earls of Fingall, and amongst the oldest of the country's major Anglo-Irish families.

Sunday Independent

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