A protracted multimillion-euro high court battle involving Kinnitty Castle is finally over, but the chance to sell the hotel for top dollar may have been lost.
An €11.6m deal for the sale of the luxury hotel and society wedding venue collapsed in 2006, leading to two years of legal wrangling which complicated the property going back on the market.
Kinnitty Castle is up for sale once more, but is worth as much as 50pc less than the original €11.6m price tag in the current market, according to property experts.
Hotelier and developer Alan Hanly won a judgment for €750,000 against Kinnity Castle's owner Cornelius Ryan, according to 'Stubbs Gazette'. The amount is a settlement which has ended a two-year legal feud and paved the way for the hotel's sale at the end of this month.
Mr Hanly said his company, The Hanly Group, paid a €920,000 deposit and signed an €11.6m deal (though press reports at the time put both figures at higher) to buy the high-end Co Offaly hotel in 2006, but the deal fell through and ended up in the commercial court when the deposit was not returned. Mr Hanly succeeded in having a 'lis pendence' placed on the castle's title, a legal barrier which made it much more difficult to sell the property. The €750,000 is a settlement of the deposit issue.
Kinnitty will now go for sale by public tender on November 27, but two estate agents said the hotel could achieve a greatly reduced price -- between 30 and 50pc less in the current climate -- a price cut of at least €4m.
The Hanly Group is worth some €180m and owns Co Leitrim hotel Lough Rynn Castle and Co Roscommon hotel Kilronan Castle, which it developed from a ruin into a five-star hotel and Nick Faldo-designed golf venue last year. The group is also heavily involved in various types of construction, development and quarrying business.
The 37-bedrooom castle is being sold with about 61 acres of estate land and has planning permission for a conference centre and 26 additional bedrooms.