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Dublin trophy homes' big fall in value

MANY of the big-name dev- elopers led the charge towards super bling and Celtic Tiger renovations in their own homes. Swimming pools, helipads, saunas, cinemas and ballrooms are just a few of the extras that these guys put into the houses. At the height of the boom, many must have believed that the amounts they forked out were worth it. Now the value of these trophy homes has slumped.

Paddy Kelly, the developer who said he was exploring the "possibility of bankruptcy" in March of this year, lives in Clonmore on Dublin's Shrewsbury Road. Back in the Nineties, he ran into cash flow problems at the same time as he was asked to pay for the disastrous losses made by his Lloyd's syndicate where he was one of the Irish 'Names'.

Kelly had bought the old Clancool house on Shrewsbury Road for a couple of hundred thousand punts. He refurbished it and then built a similar six-bedroomed palatial house in its front garden and named it Clonmore, after the townland where he was born in Co Laois. When the banks came to call, he held on to both houses for as long as possible but then agreed to sell Clonmore at auction. Eventually, however, he moved into it and sold Clancool.

Kelly was not one for revolving ballrooms or other excesses and Clonmore, described as "a little dated but smashing", could now fetch about €10m. At the top of the market, it would have been valued at around €35m.

Sean Dunne's home, Ouragh on Shrewsbury Road, is an ostentatious newbuild with a very tight garden, right beside Niall O'Farrell, who has put his home on the market for €14m. Our local expert says that €7m is the likely current value for the Dunne abode. Dunne bought the house for €3.8m from O'Farrell. Dunne's wife, Gayle Killilea, has emerged as the owner of Walford, which became Ireland's most expensive house when it was sold in 2005 for €57m. A planning application seeks permission to demolish the house and replace it with a new house, with a swimming pool and staff quarters.

Derek Quinlan, who has now decamped en famille to Lausanne in Switzerland, also has a house on Shrewsbury Road. His home, Derrymore, is also now likely to be worth less than €10m. He owns two other houses on the road, for which he splashed out €27m in 2006, as well as a property on Ailesbury Road, bought in 2007 for €8.5m.

Builder Bernard McNamara, who was once a failed Fianna Fail election candidate, lives on Ailebsury Road where the Japanese embassy once stood. This is a large property, with a big garden, and the house was given the full treatment including a glass dancefloor and swimming pool. It is now likely to have a value of €10m. It was bought in 1998 for £2.95m.

Joe O'Reilly -- owner/ developer of the Dundrum Town Centre and the Gaiety Centre off Dublin's Grafton Street, as well as large number of houses in Foxrock -- lives in Cnoc Ard on Kerrymount Road in Foxrock. The house is described as "one extension after another", coming to about 15,000sq ft, and even includes car lifts. Agents say it would probably go on the market for around €6m.

Paddy McKillen is also into retail property, with a portfolio including the Jervis Street Centre as well as several properties around Grafton Street, including the old Bank of Ireland, plus property in the Far East and France. In 2004, he was part of an Irish consortium that bought the Royal Opera House retail portfolio in Covent Garden in London for €114m. When in Dublin, McKillen lives in The Birches on Torquay Road in Foxrock in a home he bought off Sean Dunne. Neighbouring houses are now valued at around €2.5m, although agents estimate that his home could be worth €3.5m.

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