Tuesday 21 November 2017

Ryan's Lyons demesne sold in €25m deal

Lyons Demesne in Co Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin
Lyons Demesne in Co Kildare. Photo: Tony Gavin
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

ONE of the biggest estates in the country is on the verge of being sold, after terms were apparently agreed for a deal worth tens of million of euro.

The Lyons Demesne outside Celbridge in Co Kildare has been on the market for about €25m.

It is understood that a US businessman has agreed a deal close to that asking price and the property is now "sale agreed".

While the sale could still hit a last-second hitch, that is seen as unlikely.

The buyer is thought to be a US businessman with numerous connections to this country, both professionally and personally.

Sherry FitzGerald, which was acting as agent for the sale, declined to comment on the possible deal, while Knight Frank – the agent for the property in the UK – could not be reached for comment.

However, details of the property have been removed from both companies' websites.

The Lyons Demesne is one of the most significant, and grand, estates in the country.

The estate, which dates from at least the 17th century, was reputedly the scene of a duel between Daniel O'Connell and John D'Esterre of Dublin Corporation, after O'Connell apparently made derogatory comments about the corporation.

In the 1960s, UCD bought the estate before selling the house and half the land to Ryanair founder Tony Ryan.

Mr Ryan paid IR£3.5m for the property in 1996 but subsequently spent around IR£80m renovating it from top to toe.

Mr Ryan left the Lyons Demesne to his wife after his death in 2007, and it was valued at €60m when it was put up for sale in 2009.

In the depths of the worst economic downturn of the last 50 years, though, the asking price had to be slashed to about €25m in 2012.

Aside from the estate gardens, which the property is renowned for, Lyons Demesne also features a stocked lake, stud farm, gallops, stables and five additional lodges.

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