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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Charles J Haughey leaves just under €1m in will

Charles Haughey
Charles Haughey
Charles Haughey


Former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey has left less then €1m in his will, according to documents lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin last week.

The politician, who sold his Abbeville mansion in Kinsealy, Dublin, for €45m in 2003, left an estate valued at €1,029,955, but after deductions for debts and funeral expenses the net value of his estate was €930,012.

In a simple will dated May 3, 2002, Mr Haughey left everything to his wife Maureen, who now lives in a house built at the edge of what was once the family's 250-acre north Dublin estate.

In the event that she died before him, Mr Haughey specified that his legacy be divided equally between his four children, Eimear, Conor, Ciaran and Sean.

Charles James Haughey, who is described in probate documents as 'a retired public representative' of Abbeville Kinsealy, died on June 13, 2006. His will was drawn up by a firm of solicitors in Malahide, MP Black & Co, and he appointed his two eldest children, Eimear Mulhern and Conor Haughey, as executors.

Mr Haughey's turbulent political career came to an end when he resigned as Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail in the early Nineties.

He was then the subject of several investigations following revelations of payments made to him by retail tycoon Ben Dunne. The Moriarty tribunal established that he received €15m in payments from prominent business figures during his political career.

It was also revealed that when he first became Taoiseach he had an overdraft of €1.2m with Allied Irish Bank, who subsequently wrote off a large amount of the debt, including a €250,000 'debt of honour', which he never repaid. But probably his lowest moment came in May 1999, when social columnist Terry Keane revealed to Gay Byrne on one of his last Late Late Show broadcasts he had been her lover for many years.

Mr Haughey began negotiating the sale of his Abbeville estate to Treasury Holdings -- controlled by Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett -- in 2001, but eventually sold it to Joe Moran's Manor Park Homes in 2003 for €45m. It was a condition of the sale that he remained in the mansion for the rest of his life.

He then made a €6.5m settlement with Revenue and is believed to have divided a considerable portion of the residue among his four children through the family's private company, Larchfield Securities.

Manor Park Homes is now in receivership and although the mansion is for sale for between €5m-€7.5m, a buyer has not yet been found.

Mr Haughey's will, which runs to less than a full page, was signed with a flourish in fountain pen by the former Taoiseach. Because of a High Court regulation introduced by Judge Richard Johnston, it is no longer possible for the public to view the 'Schedule of Assets', which accompanies the will.

Sunday Independent

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