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Monday 11 December 2017

Developer's family lifestyles were marked by opulence and glamour

Donal O'Donovan and Dearbhail McDonald

THE opulent interiors of Tassaggart House, photographed earlier this year, show the gilded existence Jim Mansfield and his family still enjoy.

It's why the move to register a €280m judgment against him is Jim Mansfield's biggest setback yet.

He had already lost his most valuable commercial assets. Now his personal assets could be up for grabs, everything that remains of his once €420m fortune.

One son, PJ, married former Miss Ireland Andrea Roche in what was the society wedding of the boom years. The marriage ended after three years.

Another son, Jimmy Junior, dated the tragic model Katy French. In January last year he was convicted of drunk driving his father's Rolls.

Jimmy's troubles continued when AIB registered a legal judgment against him for an unpaid property development loan of €6.3m.

There was further controversy when a Jim Mansfield-owned plane was found with heroin on board in Belgium, bound for Weston.

The plane had been rented to a third party. None of the Mansfields was connected with the episode.

In the 1980s Jim Mansfield made £26m in a stunning scrap metal coup by claiming and selling 1,000 diggers abandoned on the Falklands after Britain's war with Argentina.

In 1990 he bought Citywest, turning it into the country's biggest hotel, and paid €10m for Palmerstown House.

He paid €10m for Weston Aerodrome, upgrading the then small airfield outside Dublin into an executive gateway to Ireland.

Irish Independent

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