Wednesday 21 February 2018

Broke developer Bernard McNamara sells palatial D4 home

Proceeds will go developer's creditors

The former home of
developer Bernard
McNamara at 22
Ailesbury Road,
Dublin 4
The former home of developer Bernard McNamara at 22 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4
The drawing room in the D4 mansion
The house also has a swimming pool
Bernard McNamara: owns one-third share of company. Photo: Tony Gavin

Donal Buckley

PROPERTY developer Bernard McNamara has sold his palatial home in Dublin 4 which had been on the market for €12.5m.

Mr McNamara built the mansion at 22 Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge in the 1990s when he demolished the previous Edwardian-style house which had housed the Japanese Embassy and bought an adjoining property to give him extra space for his new mansion.

The seven-bedroom home had been on the market through Sherry FitzGerald and Christie's International at €12.5m, but director Simon Ensor refused to comment yesterday on how much it was sold for.

The money will go to Mr McNamara's creditors, including NAMA.

Mr McNamara admitted last year that he was broke and that his companies owed about €1.5bn.

Over the years he accumulated a huge property empire with a number of business partners and its portfolio included some of Dublin's best-known hotels such as The Shelbourne, The Burlington, The Montrose, Tara Towers, Ormonde and The Conrad as well as hotels in Galway, Cork and Kerry.

However, his most controversial investment came in 2006 when he teamed up with Derek Quinlan to pay €412m for the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin 4, just before the market crashed.

A number of allegations arose from this deal after the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) became an investment partner and Davy investors came looking for a return on their investment.

Subsequently Mr McNamara sued the DDDA, a government agency.

Mr McNamara and his wife Moira commissioned top architect Brian O'Halloran to design the house on Ailesbury Road with over 16,000 sq ft of floor space extending over three storeys.


Although period-style on the outside, inside the palatial home has all the latest modern conveniences installed as well as five reception rooms and an entrance hall on a manorial scale.

An unusual feature of the house is its indoor swimming pool which can be covered with transparent glass and transformed into a dance floor for parties.

The rear of the grounds overlook Wanderers Rugby grounds and include two adjoining derelict mews houses on Ailesbury Road, which were priced at €800,000 each.

Irish Independent

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