Sunday 17 December 2017

Americans want Irish 'safe house'

US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

American millionaires are snapping up luxury properties in Ireland amid mounting fears of increased shootings and terror attacks in the US if Donald Trump is elected president.

The "Donald Effect" has resulted in a series of sales of country homes and estates to wealthy Americans.

Auctioneers and selling agents have said a growing number of America's super- rich are making "contingency plans" by buying properties in Ireland.

They are concerned that Mr Trump's inflammatory language will provoke retaliatory violence on American soil.

Roseanne De Vere Hunt, head of country homes, farms and estates at Sherry FitzGerald, said: "Ireland can certainly provide what these buyers are looking for. They're also winning on the exchange rate."

The minimum amount being spent is around €2m, while the uber-rich are forking out up to €30m.

Glin Castle in Co Limerick, on the market for €6.5m, has attracted the attention of Americans. Other properties in Cork, Limerick and Mayo are also on their radar.

Irish-American billionaire businessman John Malone, the biggest land owner in the US, is perhaps the most high-profile American buyer in recent times.

He bought Humewood Castle in Co Wicklow for €8m in 2012. He also bought the 840-acre Ballylinch Stud in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny. In addition, he owns Castlemartin and its 750-acre estate in Co Kildare.

Ms De Vere Hunt said the majority of prospective buyers are looking for period houses in "exquisite condition".

Celia Lamb, head of country homes, estates and farms at Ganly Walters, said: "Prospective buyers see the UK as enormously expensive, and we're an obvious English-speaking option.

"The fact that firms like Google and LinkedIn and vulture funds have bought here has given high-end business people a lot of confidence in Ireland."

Sunday Independent

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