Storied 286ac Limerick stud farm back on the market for €5.5m
Now that President Trump has been and gone, he has trodden a path that's almost a rite of passage for American leaders - a visit to the Emerald Isle.
In 1970 we were graced with a visit from Tricky Dicky himself, Richard Nixon. During his stay here overnighted at Kilfrush in Co Limerick, an estate and stud farm that was then in the ownership of Irish American millionaire, John A Mulcahy.
It's between Hospital and Knocklong in Co Limerick; I have passed the 286ac property many times on my trips south and never knew what was inside the fine gates until Paddy Jordan invited me to walk the property last week.
I stood in the bedroom Nixon slept in; I trust that does not make me one of the President's men.
The estate, with its palatial house, a guest wing built for Nixon's visit, a complex of stable yards and extensive staff accommodation, is currently in the ownership of Mubarak al-Naemi, a Qatari businessman. It is for sale as an entire for €5.5m
Located 35km south-east of Limerick city, the property is 2km from Knocklong and 2km from Hospital. It is one of the best properties I have set foot in since I started this job.
Manager David Ryan and his wife Mary showed me around. The original house was built by the Gubbins family in 1835. A substantial Georgian residence, it has all the space, light and ornamentation one would expect from a building of its vintage. The spacious hallway leads to the reception rooms that include drawing room, dining room, ante room and breakfast room.
Upstairs is reached by an elegant staircase: there are three bedrooms with ensuites and dressing rooms, each one with the footprint of a small house.
The wing built for the 1970 presidential visit is semi-circular in shape, with extensive lounge space, a bar area and games area complete with full size billiard table. Three suites here include large bedrooms, dressing rooms and ensuite bathrooms, along with a swimming pool, gym and sauna.
Other fully refurbished accommodation includes two three-bedroom staff houses built in the 1980s along with a four-bedroom gate lodge and a four-bedroom manager's house.
Out of doors are lovely garden areas including a walled garden and an artificial pond with a series of fountains.
In 1978 it was bought by a Frenchman, Jean Pierre Binet, who converted the farm and the farm buildings into the state-of-the-art bloodstock breeding operation it is today.
The equestrian facilities are extensive and comprehensive. The main yard includes 24 boxes, including a stallion box tack and feed rooms along with three foaling boxes, a workshop and three pony boxes.
The outer yard has 11 yearling boxes, two three-column enclosed haysheds, an enclosed lunging ring and five further haysheds with lean tos.
Facilities also include a seven-animal horse walker while an American barn has 22 boxes, a feed room and a vets room with stocks.
There are extensive fodder and machinery storage spaces and a large double car garage.
The grounds and the lands are extraordinary. The place is all in one block except for a 65ac portion and an isolation yard at the other side of a cul-de sac. This was added to the original 220ac estate by John A Mulcahy.
The land is the best of ground, completely flat and dry without an inch of waste and covered in a fine sward of green grass, testament to its fertility.
The entire holding is serviced by an internal roadway system giving access to every division - a dairy farmer's dream.
According to my host David Ryan it is possible to drive to every paddock to inspect stock day or night, and indeed we drove around every part of it on the superb surface.
Great shelter is afforded the various divisions by fine stands and groves of trees.
The fencing is post and rail throughout, and each gateway gives ample space for turning vehicles.
There is also a range of paddock sizes to suit mares with foals, young foals and more mature horses.
The wooded areas have numerous pathways running through them, making for some beautiful walks.
All in all this property is a ready-to-go serious equestrian outfit.
In its day it has bred over 80 group and listed winners; it also has real potential as a substantial dairy farm.
Kilfrush will be sold at auction at the Dunraven Arms hotel, Adair, Co Limerick at 3pm on Wednesday, July 24.
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