Thursday 22 February 2018

The Comers' Midas touch

Courtown Demesne
Courtown Demesne
Palmerstown Estate in Kildare
Die Pyramide in Berlin

Age: Mid-fifties. Luke is older than his brother, Brian.

Why they are in the news: The property barons continued their spending spree in Ireland in recent days snapping up the 400-acre Courtown Demesne in Co Kildare.

Upbringing: Grew up on a farm near Glenamaddy, Co Galway. As teenagers they both became apprentice plasterers, and were renowned for their speed.

They moved to England in the 1980s and divide their time between England, Germany, Monaco and Ireland.

Family: Their children also work for the multi-national property business. Two of Brian's daughters, Jessica and Caroline, work in sales and lettings in the UK. Two of Luke's sons, Luke Junior and Barry, are also involved. Barry takes care of Irish interests.

Property interests: Real estate in Ireland, UK and Germany valued last year at €2.25bn. They revamped Victorian institutions in London and the south-east of England and turned them into apartments, including a former "lunatic asylum".

Started buying in Berlin a decade ago and built up a portfolio of office towers, apartment schemes and 29 shopping centres.

Irish purchases include the Sentinel Tower in Dublin's Sandyford, the former Vet College in Dublin 4, 640 apartments in Dublin and Cork, the Glashaus Hotel in Tallaght, the Palmerstown Estate in Kildare, the 250-acre MetroPark site near Dublin Airport and sites in Galway.

Other interests: Both brothers have invested heavily in horses. They have five stud farms, including one in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Luke has 70 racehorses, and Brian has 10 horses. The Comers are Galway FC's sponsor, funding the League of Ireland side with €300,000 over three years.

Most likely to say: "This country is in tatters. We'll buy it."

Least likely to say: "Why would we buy property? That's dead money."

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